The Labour and Pension System Ministry has been accredited for drawing EUR 1.85 billion from the European Social Fund for the 2014-20 period and the money will be used for employment, social inclusion and those most needy, Minister Nada Sikic said on Wednesday.
"Over the past 100 days this government has done a lot to draw funds from the EU and in other matters," she told reporters after a government session, adding that Croatia was accredited two days ago.
Her assistant Katarina Ivankovic Knezevic said the accreditation was important because it prevented that a HRK 150 million advance for youth employment be returned to the European Commission's coffers. "This means that we managed to spend, check and authorise a little over HRK 78 million for the employment of 3,800 young persons."
She said they were employed as part of the Youth Employment Initiative. "We want to truly adapt active policy measures to labour market needs," she said, adding that it was crucial to adapt those measures to the labour market and not the jobless to them.
"The amount for youth employment measures is very high, EUR 132 million envisaged to be spent by the end of 2018. All those projects are being implemented and our goal is to have about 28,000 young people co-financed through European Social Fund measures," Ivankovic Knezevic said.
She said there were also incentives for the employment of women and vulnerable groups.