The European Commission on Tuesday endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Croatia's payment request for €700 million in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
“I have good news for Croatia: as soon as Member States give their green light, it will receive €700 million in grants under NextGenerationEU. Croatia has made swift progress in implementing the reforms and investments of its national recovery plan,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Croatia, she added, “has taken important steps to strengthen the labour market and enhance social protection… 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. So keep up the good work and congratulations!”
On 15 March, Croatia submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 33 milestones and one target selected in the Council Implementing Decision for the first instalment. They cover reforms in 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 Croatian authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 34 milestones and targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Croatian recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures in six thematic components. The plan will be supported by up to €6.3 billion in grants, 13% of which (€818 million) was disbursed to Croatia in pre-financing on 28 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.
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment to the Economic and Financial Committee, which has four weeks to deliver its opinion. After that, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following that decision, the disbursement to Croatia can take place.
“This is an important moment in the roll-out of Croatia’s ambitious recovery and resilience plan. Our positive preliminary assessment of Croatia’s first payment request found that the country has successfully implemented the required 34 milestones and targets. These include a new Energy Efficiency Programme and a Waste Act that will support the green transition, as well as a number of measures to enhance education, employment and social protection,” said Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.