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OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME COMPETITIVENESS AND COHESION 2021-2027

NEWS RELATED TO THE COHESION POLICY WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE FINANCIAL PERSPECTIVE 2021-2027

At its session held on 5 November 2020, The Republic of Croatia adopted the Decision on Operational Programmes related to Cohesion Policy for the financial period of the European Union 2021-2027 in the Republic of Croatia, and the bodies in charge of their preparation (within the framework of the Cohesion Policy):

  1. Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2021-2027 (European Regional Development Fund – foreseen amount: 5.36 billion EUR and Cohesion Fund – foreseen amount: 1.546 billion EUR)
  2. Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2021-2027 (European Social Fund Plus – 1.982 billion EUR)
  3. Integrated Territorial Programme 2021-2027 (European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and Just Transition Fund – 81 million EUR) – new Operational Programme:
  4. One programme for all territorial instruments
  5. It particularly expresses the requirement of regional and local level
  6. It enables the planning of the development of specific areas, such as investments in specific areas: Slavonia, Baranja, Srijem, North, Banovina, Dalmatinska Zagora, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Islands

The new Cohesion Policy supports locally launched growth strategies and it strengthens the role of local self-government bodies in management of funds. Thorough the new Cohesion Policy, the urban dimension has been strengthened, i.e. eight percent of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is foreseen for the urban sustainable development, as well as the new programme for networking and capacity building for the city administrative bodies – European Urban Initiative.  

OBJECTIVES, PRIORITIES AND FINANCING POSSIBILITIES

Five objectives/priority axes of the EU Cohesion Policy:

1. A Smarter Europe (PO 1)

Within the first objective of the policy, there are four specific objectives which refer to:

  • improvement of research and innovation capacities and enhanced application of advanced technologies
  • reaping the benefits of digitalization for citizens, businesses and governments
  • strengthening the growth and competitiveness of SMEs
  • developing skills for smart specialization, industrial transition and entrepreneurship
  • enhancing digital connectivity
2. A Greener Europe (PO 2)

Within the objective “A Greener Europe”, seven specific objectives have been set and they refer to:

  • energy efficiency
  • renewable energy sources
  • development of smart energy systems, networks and storage on the local level
  • fostering adaptability to climate change, preventing the risk related to disaster resilience
  • sustainable water management
  • transition to a circular economy
  • biological diversity, green infrastructure in the urban environment and reducing pollution
  • promoting sustainable multimodal mobility
3. A More Connected Europe (PO 3)

Within the objective “A More Connected Europe”, four specific objectives have been established and they relate to:

  • development of a sustainable, smart, safe and intermodal TEN-T network which is resistant to climate change
  • development of sustainable, smart and intermodal national, regional and local mobility which is resilient to climate change, including better access to the TEN-T network and cross-border mobility
  • promotion of sustainable multimodal urban mobility (Digitalization of transport, Infrastructure of clean urban transport, Clean urban transport vehicles, Cycling infrastructure, Digitization of urban transport, Alternative fuels infrastructure, Multimodal transport (TEN-T))
4. Europe with a more prominent social component (PO 4)

Specific objectives in terms of hard activities:

  • the labour market and access to quality employment through the development of social innovations and infrastructure
  • education, training and lifelong learning
  • increasing socioeconomic integration of marginalized communities
  • increasing socioeconomic integration of third-country nationals
  • health care
  • strengthening the role of culture and tourism in economic development, social inclusion

Special objectives in terms of soft activities monitor the aforementioned infrastructural activities in all sectors and target groups.

5. Bringing Europe closer to citizens by encouraging sustainable and integrated development of urban, rural and coastal areas and local initiatives (PO 5)

Within the fifth objective of the Policy, two specific objectives are established, which refer to:

  • encouraging integrated social and economic development, development in the field of the environment, cultural heritage as well as security in urban areas
  • fostering integrated socio-economic development and the development in the field of environment on the local level, cultural heritage and security, including local and coastal areas, inter alia through local development under the community leadership.

Conclusively, the forthcoming financial perspective puts an emphasis on green and digital – more funds for local and regional development, greater focus and a special objective of the Policy committed to the local development, further development of territorial instruments and higher integration of investments from various sources.

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