'I choose Croatia' scheme aimed at bringing back expats, demographic revival

Photo /Vijesti/2021/prosinac/23 prosinca/VRH_1698 (1).jpg

The government on Thursday adopted a conclusion on the "I choose Croatia" scheme to motivate emigrants to return with incentives to start a business and to encourage the population revival of areas with significant emigration.

The scheme is an extension of the Croatian Employment Service's (HZZ) self-employment scheme.

Under "I choose Croatia," those returning to Croatia from the European Economic Area and Switzerland and starting a business would receive an additional HRK 50,000. There are also additional incentives for starting a business in rural areas.

Under the current HZZ scheme, a person can receive up to HRK 130,000 for a business plan approved by the HZZ.

Under the new scheme, the amount is raised to HRK 150,000. Also, those who over the last two years have been employed in an EU member state for at least one year will be motivated to return with an additional HRK 50,000.

That is a maximum HRK 200,000 for those who return to Croatia, apply for the scheme and have their business plan approved by the HZZ, said Labour, Pension System, Family, and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović.

A similar scheme is envisaged for migration inside Croatia given the trend of people moving from rural to urban areas. The scheme is aimed at encouraging migration to Dalmatinska Zagora, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Banovina, and Slavonia with the same self-employment option - HRK 150,000 to start a business plus an additional HRK 25,000 to move.

The "I choose Croatia" scheme is expected to be formally adopted by the HZZ Steering Council.

The government also supported other active employment policy measures within the HZZ's remit for next year for which HRK 1.02 billion was set aside in the 2022 state budget.