European funds are allocated in the framework of seven-year financial periods or perspectives, and we have just entered the new financial period 2021-2027. The financial envelope of the European Union budget is the largest so far and amounts to € 1,824.3 billion, of which almost € 25 billion will be available for the Republic of Croatia (all amounts are expressed in current prices).
Funds to be made available to member states in the financial period 2021-2027 are allocated from two sources. One is common and known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) which is programmed for a seven-year period. The other source is Next Generation EU, a novelty that has proved necessary due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Funds allocated from the MFF amount to € 1,074.3 billion, while € 750 billion is financed from the NGEU instrument. Of the € 750 billion allocated from the NGEU, € 390 billion are grants, while € 360 billion are loans to member states.
Funds allocated to the Republic of Croatia for the financial period 2021-2027 in current prices amount to almost € 14 billion from the MFF and a little over € 11 billion from the NGEU.
A significant amount of these funds will be implemented in accordance with the Regulation laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Cohesion Fund, the Just Transition Fund and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and financial rules for those and for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy (hereinafter: the Common Provisions Regulation / CPR). For more information, please consult the Legislative package for Cohesion Policy 2021-2027.
Funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is available for investments in infrastructure; research and innovation, productive investments in SMEs and investments aiming at safeguarding existing jobs and creating new jobs, equipment, software and intangible assets, and networking, cooperation and exchange of experiences.
The Cohesion Fund (CF) supports investments in the field of transport and the environment, with special emphasis on renewable energy and investments in TEN-T.
The European Social Fund Plus (ESF +) supports greater access to employment, modernization of labour market institutions and services, promotion of gender-balanced labour market, promoting of adaptation of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change, higher quality, inclusiveness and effectiveness of education and training systems for the labour market, promoting equal access to quality and inclusive education and training with an emphasis on disadvantaged groups, promoting lifelong learning.
Just Transition Fund (JTF) is exclusively focused on productive investments in SMEs, investments in research and innovation activities, and encouraging the transfer of advanced technologies; investments in deployment of affordable clean energy technology and infrastructure at affordable prices and the reduction of greenhouse gas emission; investments in digitalisation; investments in enhancing circular economy and investments in additional training and reskilling of workers.
The Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds, in cooperation with the European Commission, is the competent body for the preparation of strategic programming documents at the national level for the financial period 2021-2027, as well as for programming the new generation of programme documents, and accordingly preparing the institutional framework for drafting thereof.
Furthermore, in consultation and cooperation with the competent authorities, an indicative list of priorities for the financial period 2021-2027 has been prepared.