Until the end of March 2016 Croatia absorbed 64% of EU funding that was available to it for the 2007-2013 programming period, which means that the country should step up the absorption of the remaining funding which must be spent until the end of the year, shows a report by the European Commission on the effects of the cohesion policy in the said programming period.

In the period from 2007 to 2013, EUR 705.9 million from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) was available to Croatia, which is equal to 0.2% of GDP. On top of this amount comes EUR 104 million of public budget funds and 23.7 million euros of private funds.

This makes a total of EUR 833 million, and 85% of the funding comes from the EU budget. More than half of the amount - EUR 450 million - comes from the European Fund for Regional Development and the Cohesion Fund, which were available to Croatia in the first six months of its EU membership in the second half of 2013.

By the end of March this year Croatia withdrew or applied to withdraw 64% of the total available funding.

Under EU rules, the remaining funding must be withdrawn by the end of this year otherwise it would remain unused.

Most of the funding absorbed so far has been spent on ecological infrastructure and transport and slightly less on innovation and research and technological development.

In the said period the funding was used for three operational programmes, with 38% of the funding having been spent on an operational programme for the environment, focusing on waste management, wastewater treatment and improvement of water supply. The remaining funding was distributed evenly on two operational programmes, related to transport and regional competitiveness.

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