Horvat: Applications for funding from EU Solidarity Fund surpass €1bn

Photo /Vijesti/2021/lipanj/10 lipnja/21.jpg

The value of Croatian applications for post-quake reconstruction through the EU Solidarity Fund currently surpasses HRK 7.6 billion (€1bn), of which more than HRK 2.6 billion is already agreed, Construction Minister Darko Horvat said after meeting with Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević on Tuesday. 

Last year Croatia was granted HRK 5.1 billion from the EU Solidarity Fund to deal with the consequences of a devastating earthquake that struck Zagreb on 22 March 2020. The deadline for the absorption of these funds, primarily intended for the reconstruction of public buildings, is June 2022.

The value of the grant has already been surpassed, and Horvat said that the intention was to sign contracts worth at least 200 percent of the allocation from the Fund.

Horvat said that nearly all public calls announced by the ministries whose representatives attended today's meeting were already issued and that now "the battle with time begins" to meet the deadline. 

He said that the HRK 5.1 billion would not be spent on reconstruction alone, given the costs of emergency clearance and repair operations.

Horvat said that information on how much Croatia would be allocated for the earthquake that devastated the Banovina region last December was expected later in July. Croatia has requested €319.2 million.

Tomašević: We must not allow a single euro to remain unused

Mayor Tomašević said that the City of Zagreb had so far issued three calls for applications for EU funding, worth slightly over HRK 2 billion in total, to be used for the reconstruction of schools, kindergartens and traffic infrastructure, while a smaller amount was intended for water supply and drainage.

He said that everything should be done to ensure the absorption of funding. "We really can't afford a single euro from the EU Solidarity Fund to remain unused," he said.

The mayor said that the remaining year was a short time to prepare and approve projects, issue public procurement tenders and start reconstruction of buildings, adding that this would be a major challenge.

Tomašević said that the operational and procedural aspects of the reconstruction process would be discussed with Horvat next week. The meeting would also be attended by officials from the Reconstruction Fund headed by Damir Vanđelić.

Text: Hina