The Commission has yesterday endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Croatia’s payment request for €700 million of grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
On 24 July 2023, Croatia submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 32 milestones and 13 targets selected in the Council Implementing Decision for the third payment request. This includes reforms related to healthcare, science and higher education, research and innovation, labour market, waste management and renewable energy sources, as well as investments in energy renovation of buildings, green and digital transition of tourism and reducing the administrative burden for businesses.
With their request, the Croatian authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 32 milestones and 13 targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Croatian recovery and resilience plan is supported by €5.5 billion in grants. Croatia requested to modify its plan and add a REPowerEU chapter on 31 August 2023. The Commission is currently assessing Croatia’s revised plan. Croatia has so far received €2.2 billion in RRF support. This includes €818 million in pre-financing paid in September 2021, followed by two payments worth €700 million each disbursed in June 2022 and December 2022.
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 of Croatia’s fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. Following the EFC’s opinion, 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 the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Croatia can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Croatia based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.
Members of the College said
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “My congratulations to Croatia! Croatia is set to receive a third payment worth €700 million under its plan, once Member States have given their green light. Croatia has made good progress on its recovery and resilience plan, with for instance a new strategy to make tourism more sustainable. It is also investing in flood protection measures and in the renovation of buildings to reduce energy consumption. We will continue to support Croatia in making its recovery plan a success.”