Coronavirus response: €135 million of Cohesion policy to strengthen the health sector and support the economy in Croatia

©European Union, 2019, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service©European Union, 2019, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

The Commission has approved the modification of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion” in Croatia redirecting almost €135 million of Cohesion policy funding to help the country tackle the effects of the coronavirus crisis. In particular, €50 million of EU funds will serve to purchase medical and protective equipment for over 1200 hospitals, other health institutions and elderly homes, while Croatian SMEs will benefit from almost €85 million for continuing their operations and saving employment. In addition, the programme will temporarily benefit from 100% co-financing from the EU budget. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said: “Cohesion policy is playing an important role in the response to the pandemic and prompting a sustainable way to recovery. Thanks to the joint and swift efforts of the Croatian authorities and the Commission, these resources are providing much needed relief and support to the country’s health sector and economy.” The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+), which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the sectors most exposed to the pandemic and its economic consequences, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets. More information is available here.