Zagreb – Croatian Parliament Speaker Boris Šprem met with Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy and the delegation he headed.
Šprem and Hahn underlined the importance of cohesion funds for promoting economic growth and reducing regional differences, particularly in Croatia where development rates vary significantly from one region to another, the most considerable needs for funds being identified in Slavonia, border-areas and returnee populated areas. They concluded that absorbing capacities at the local level should be increased and trans-border cooperation strengthened.
Since Croatia will become an EU member state on 1 July 2013, Šprem and Hahn discussed concrete ways for Croatia to benefit most successfully from the available funds until the actual accession and during the first six months following the accession.
One of the topics covered at the meeting was the Danube strategy, given the importance of the Danube river for the development of the region, particularly its industry and tourism.