From 2007-2013 there has been 1.45 billion euros available to Croatia, but it only managed to access 45% of that. At the other end of the scale, Lithuania and Estonia have both managed to draw out 90% of available EU funds to them. Not far behind those two nations are Poland (82%), and Slovenia (76%). The average utilisation of funds by EU member states was just over 67%. In the new financial period up until 2020, more than 8 billion euros will be available to Croatia, how much it can access however will depend on how good the projects presented are.
“The poorer a state, the more important European funds become for public investment. In times of crisis such as now in Croatia, they are the only source of funds for public investment,” Ružica Gelo, Director of The Croatian Chamber of Commerce’s’ EU Center, told Poslovni dnevnik.
Is is not all take however and being part of the club comes at a price. Croatia’s contribution to the EU’s 2013 budget was 211.9 million euros.