The government was briefed on Thursday about compliance with the remaining commitments from Croatia's accession negotiations with the European Union in connection with a monitoring report to be released in October.
It's important the monitoring report be positive because our Accession Treaty has been ratified by 12 countries and we expect nine more to ratify it by the end of the year, said Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic.
The government has plenty to show in the report because it found solutions to issues that dragged on for years, including shipyards and Dubrovnik's links with the rest of the country, she said.
For years we reported on pending court cases and in six months the government has ensured computerised monitoring and we finally have exact data, said Pusic.
Commenting on the division of Croatia into two statistical regions, which has been criticised by some Slavonian counties, she said the division was agreed during Croatia's EU accession negotiations.
From 2014 to 2020, Croatia will have EUR 13.7 billion in EU funds at its disposal, Pusic said, adding that the problem was not the money but insufficient projects and insufficient capability to draw it.
We have drawn only half of about 260-300 million euros from the pre-accession funds and now we are faced with the possibility of drawing EUR 13.7 billion, so it's no time to argue about who is being shortchanged, she said.
For the first time, we have the chance to submit a project for farmland irrigation in the entire Slavonia, but first we must do the project, said Pusic.
Economy Minister Radimir Cacic said the division of Croatia into three statistical regions could not survive because Zagreb and northern Croatia would not be entitled to a penny from the EU funds.
The new division means a completely equal treatment of the entire country and equal chances, and those who know more and have a bigger capacity to draw those funds will fare better, he said.