Of the EUR 52.82 million earmarked for funding Croatian government projects under the European Union's pre-accession programme PHARE 2006, contracts have been signed for that purpose in the total amount of EUR 44.79 million, or 84.8 per cent, a press conference at the Finance Ministry heard on Monday. The head of the European Commission's Delegation in Zagreb, Vincent Degert, said that good results had been achieved in the process of agreeing projects under the PHARE 2006 programme and that those projects were important for the accession of Croatia to the EU.
Among major projects, Degert cited the supervision of maritime traffic in the Adriatic, preparations for EU structural funds, support to the judiciary, and assistance to Roma communities in northwestern Croatia.
Finance Minister Ivan Suker said that these good results were achieved thanks to the system set up for that purpose by the Finance Ministry, which included training and capacity building.
The deadline for agreeing projects under PHARE 2006 expired on 30 November.
Of the 15.2 per cent of the remaining funds, EUR 4.54 million, or 8.6 per cent, concern public procurement projects that were agreed at lower costs than planned, while EUR 3.49 million or 6.6 per cent refer to projects for which no contracts were signed. Two were cancelled in the first half of 2008, while three were never agreed because they did not receive adequate bids.
It was also said that Croatia had received accreditation for the implementation of the IPA programme, which will make it possible for the country to draw the first advances in the total amount of EUR 42.7 million by the end of this year. (Hina)