EBRD and EU Cohesion Funds joining forces in Croatia

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD and EU Cohesion Funds joining forces in Croatia

First water project under joint new framework

The Croatian town of Poreč will be the first beneficiary under a new framework between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the EU Cohesion Funds for co-financing infrastructure investments. Poreč is a coastal town in Istria and one of most popular tourist destination on the Adriatic coast.

The EBRD will provide a €4 million loan to Odvodnja d.o.o. Poreč, a municipal company providing wastewater collection and treatment services in the city and surrounding municipalities, for a comprehensive investment plan including the extension and reconstruction of the wastewater network as well as the construction of 4 new wastewater treatment facilities in the Poreč area.

As a result the local population will benefit from improved services. Furthermore, the investment will allow the company to reach compliance with EU regulations. EU Cohesion Funds will provide €49 million to the project.

Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Director for Croatia, said: “We are very pleased to sign the first project under the new framework today. It combines efforts by the local authorities, the company, the national authorities, the EU and the EBRD to increase the overall absorption of EU grants. The implementation of the project will improve the environmental standards in local communities.”

Edi Štifanić, Mayor of Poreč, added: “With this project our city is starting one of the largest environmental investment programmes in our history to secure the sustainable guture development of our municipality and region. We are pleased that EBRD is part of this project.

Milan Laković, Managing Director of Odvodnja Poreć, said: “We see the EBRD as a long term partner, not only in funding our project, but also in assisting us in the preparation and implementation of the investment. “

The Croatian EU Cohesion Fund Water Co-Financing Framework C2CF is the first municipal framework for co-financing of EU cohesion funds in the water and wastewater sector in Croatia. Sub-projects will focus on water and wastewater operating companies benefiting from EU Cohesion Funds. The Framework will secure the necessary co-financing for the implementation of the EU Water and Wastewater Directive.

The EBRD has been active in Croatia as an investor since the country’s independence and has invested some €3.25 billion in 180 projects to date. The Bank’s activities cover all areas of the economy but are especially strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.