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Prior to its EU accession Croatia the same as other future EU member states had access to several programmes intended to help candidates and potential candidates comply with and implement the EU acquis.
In that period, the projects for the development of transport infrastructure in Croatia could be financed out of ISPA programme and between 2007 and 2013 period from IPA programme that replaced the earlier programmes CARDS, PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD.
By entering the EU Croatia has the opportunity of using proceeds from EU structural and investment funds. Their purpose is to support the implementation of certain EU policies in the member states.
Cohesion policy is one of the most important policies of the EU. It is financed out of three funds:
Cohesion fund (CF) - for member states whose gross domestic income per capita is lesser than 90% of the EU average; for transport and environment projects,
European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD) - for strengthening economic and social cohesion in the EU and for decreasing development gap between the regions and
European Social Fund (ESF) - for enticing employment and employment possibilities in the EU.
EFRD and ESF are commonly called structural funds.
In addition to these there is European Fund for Rural Development and European Social Fund, and all five of them are called European structural and investment funds, (ESI).
In financial period 2007 to 2013 €347 billion was allocated for ESI funds from the EU budget, and for the 2014 - 2020 period €376 billion is planned.
The use of proceeds from the EU funds for transport infrastructure in the first financial period was established in the first financial period by the Operational Programme Transport (OPT) 2007-2013, and in the second financial period by Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020.
The central coordinating body in charge of fund management is the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds.
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