The task force established by the European Commission in late 2014 to assist several member-states in absorbing money from the European Union structural and investment funds for the 2007-2013 period is already producing good results, ensuring that Croatia is not left without money it should have spent by the end of this year, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said in Brussels on Thursday.

In late 2014, the Commission created the Task Force for Better Implementation to provide tailored support to eight member states that are facing particular challenges linked to the implementation of Cohesion Policy funds: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.

Although it is still too early to say exactly how much money has been saved thanks to this task force, I can say that Slovakia will not lose the funds for this year; the risk has been removed. Croatia will not be left without the funds for this year either, because the deadline for their absorption has been moved to the end of 2016, in light of the fact that the country entered the European Union later, Cretu explained.

Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013, has EUR 450 million at its disposal under the 2007-2013 programme, and the funds may be withdrawn in the three subsequent years after 2013.

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