(E) Croatia: EU Grants Euro 51 mn for Infrastructure Projects (?)
Croatia: EU Grants €51 mn for Infrastructure Projects
17:11 - 31 January 2006 - The Croat government announced that it had received its first funds as an official candidate country for European Union (EU) membership as the country expects to receive a total of €245 million from the EU by the end of 2006 for such projects.
As part of the accession package, candidate countries are eligible for funding to prepare them for joining, including funds earmarked for infrastructure improvements and structural reforms. Of the initial package of €51 million, €29 million will be used for a much larger project to rebuild a railway line linking the eastern city of Vinkovci with the Serbian border. (?)
Another project to be funded by the EU is the development of a water supply project in the central town of Karlovac. The EU's first progress report on Croatia was positive, stating that the country is seen to be taking the necessary steps to prepare for accession. The majority of infrastructure funds are initially intended to go towards war reconstruction.
Depending on the efficiency with which Croatia succeeds in implementing structural reforms and improving its infrastructure, the country is expected to join the bloc by 2009.