The Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry on Sunday dismissed claims that, by shortening a deadline for European Union projects by national and nature parks, the parks would remain without EU funding.
The ministry said in a press release that sufficient EU funds for preserving and promoting the natural heritage had been set aside and that they should be drawn by 2023.
If the projects are not submitted by October 31, it does not mean that they will remain without funding, as tenders will be advertised every year until all available funds have been utilised, the ministry said in response to Environmental Protection Ministry claims that 20 projects worth over HRK 620 million were in question after the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry decided to shorten the deadline by which nature parks can submit EU projects to a tender advertised in April.
Under that tender, the projects could be submitted by 31 December 2017, but the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry shortened the deadline to 31 October 2016. The Environmental Protection Ministry claims the other ministry made a decision to that effect on July 18 without consulting it.
The Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry said that by shortening the deadline in agreement with the other ministry, it wanted to motivate parks to submit projects this year so that implementation could start in 2016.