OCTOBER 12 2012 17:29h
ZAGREB, Oct 12 (Hina) - If Croatia wants to benefit from accession to the European Union, it must get informed and prepare so that it can use the money from the EU funds that becomes available upon accession, the head of the EU Delegation to Croatia, Paul Vandoren, said in Zagreb on Friday.
He was speaking to the press as part of Better Building Brunch, which was organised by the Green Building Council of Croatia.
Vandoren said entrepreneurs must find out the market niches in which companies could sell their products and services at competitive prices.
It's very important that Croatia use the money from the EU funds that will be available as of next July, he said, adding that the money would not be allocated without efforts being made, but only if Croatia had the required administrative capacities, experts for priorities and development plans.
Vandoren said the government on the central, regional and local levels should hold consultations, talks with stakeholders, NGOs in the private sector, to agree priorities for the modernisation and development of the country.
He said Croatia would have even more money from the EU funds at its disposal as of 2014.
That's a big challenge but also a unique opportunity to use those funds. It's the best expression of the solidarity of the taxpayers of our current 27 member countries and it would be a pity if Croatia didn't use this opportunity, said Vandoren.
He went on to say that Croatia should improve the investment climate to kickstart the economy because of the widespread perception that one should not go to Croatia because of too much corruption and red tape.
Asked by a member of the press if the EU could exert pressure on Slovenia not to tie the ratification of Croatia's accession treaty to the Ljubljanska Banka issue, Vandoren said the Commission was not in the habit of pressuring member countries.
We continue to be confident that the two countries will find a satisfactory solution, he said, recalling that Croatia and Slovenia had already taken steps towards that. I think there's still time, he added.
Better Building Brunch is organised twice a year to link people interested in green building, sustainable development and socially responsible behaviour in Croatia. The Green Building Council of Croatia was established in 2009 as a non-profit organisation. (Hina)