Croatia’s Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds Gabrijela Žalac, and World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, Elisabetta Capannelli, signed a technical assistance reimbursable advisory services (RAS) agreement on May 11 to support the preparation of the 2030 National Development Strategy (NDS) and the establishment of a new strategic planning system for Croatia.
The Croatian government agreed in December 2017 to develop a new National Development Strategy for up to 2030 to strengthen policy commitment, coordination and implementation. The NDS will become the main overarching strategic document of the country, laying the foundation for increasing Croatia’s economic growth potential, boosting shared prosperity and enhancing territorial cohesion and development.
The twenty-six-month reimbursable advisory service will have three main components: to support the preparation of the 2030 National Development Strategy; to design and support the implementation of the strategic planning system; and capacity development and facilitation of policy implementation.
“By working with prominent World Bank experts, we will establish an effective and efficient system of strategic development management, which will greatly help us to move more readily into the next financial perspective than the case was for the current 2014-2020 period, when we did not have any projects prepared in the field, which is why we had major problems with the use of EU funds at the beginning of the mandate,” said Ms Žalac.
“We will put together our global expertise and experience to help the Croatian authorities to strengthen the national strategic planning framework. This is crucial for the successful implementation of the government policy agenda and for the efficient use of national and EU resources. Together with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, we look forward to a successful implementation of this important work,” said Ms Capannelli.
Since joining the World Bank Group in 1993, Croatia has benefited from financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services provided by the global development institution. To date, the World Bank has supported 54 operations amounting to around 3.5 billion US dollars in investments. Current Bank’s financial engagement focuses primarily on the transport sector, and projects in health, social protection and innovation.
Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) are customised advisory services offered by the World Bank to its members, mostly used in borrowing and non-borrowing middle and high-income countries. RAS are requested and paid by the client using their own or third-party resources, in this case as for most of the EU countries, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Like other advisory and analytic services, RAS support clients to design or implement better policies, strengthen institutions, build capacity, inform development strategies or operations, and contribute to the global development agenda. Through these services the World Bank is able to provide global best practices, cutting-edge knowledge products and bring leading global experts to address these various challenges.