The EIB's lending operations in Croatia support projects helping the country to meet EU accession criteria and to integrate rapidly into the Union. EIB lending in Croatia since 2001 reached around EUR 2.4 billion at the end of 2010.
At the beginning of the decade, the EIB focused on the construction and rehabilitation of the country's infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, which has absorbed almost 64 % of total EIB lending in Croatia.
In 2010, the EIB increased its activities in Croatia as a response to the economic crisis. The loan signatures amounted to a record level of EUR 511 million in 2010, coming from EUR 415 million in 2009 and EUR 170 million in 2008.
This support went mostly towards SMEs investments with new SME credit lines established with local financial institutions and public sector projects in line with the priorities of the Government.
The future of the EIB in Croatia
Over the coming years, the Bank intends to step up its financing of railway projects in Croatia, as well as to continue expanding its lending to municipalities and local authorities for infrastructure improvements in the environmental, health and education sectors. The EIB will also increase its support for SMEs, both in EU Candidate Countries and in the Union.
Combining EIB loans with EU Programmes
Croatia is a beneficiary of EU Pre-Accession Programmes (Phare, ISPA and IPA). Through its various loan products, the EIB provides the financial resources needed for co-financing projects with EU grants, thus contributing to the successful implementation of the Croatian National Development Plan.
In addition, the EIB cooperates closely with other co-financiers, in particular the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank, combining its expertise with the professional knowledge of these international financial institutions in order to help Croatia prepare well-designed projects facilitating the country's integration into the European Union.
Over the next few years, the Bank plans to extend its operations in Croatia to the environmental and human capital sectors, in close cooperation with the Commission and the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.