ZAGREB (Croatia), May 11 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said it has endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Croatia's payment request for 700 million euro ($740 million) in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) aimed to help the country emerge stronger from the pandemic.
“I have good news for Croatia: as soon as Member States give their green light, it will receive 700 euro million in grants under NextGenerationEU,” the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Tuesday.
Croatia has made swift progress in implementing the reforms and investments of its national recovery plan. For instance, it has taken important steps to strengthen the labour market and enhance social protection.
Croatia has also adopted a national programme for the energy renovation of buildings and a plan to improve road safety.
“This is the first payment, and more will come," she added. The Croatian recovery and resilience plan includes investment and reform measures in six thematic components. The plan will be supported by up to 6.3 billion euro in EU grants, 13% of which was disbursed to Croatia in pre-financing in September 2021.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on member states implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
On March 15, Croatia submitted to the commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 33 milestones and one target selected for the first instalment. They cover reforms and investments in the areas of health, social policy, adult education, public administration, anti-corruption, fiscal, audit and control, anti-money laundering, energy, transport, water and waste management as well as energy efficiency of buildings.
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Croatia's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee, asking for its opinion. The EFC's opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the commission's assessment. Following the EFC's opinion, the commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure. Following the adoption of the decision by the commission, the disbursement to Croatia can take place.