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Brussels, 26 March 2012
Š. Füle met Branko Grčić Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds
I have had a very good meeting today with Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Branko Grčić. I congratulated Mr Grčić on his appointment. I look forward to our close cooperation in the future.
Our discussions focused on the forthcoming Commission monitoring exercise as well as on Croatia's ongoing preparations for membership in the fields of regional policy and coordination of structural instruments. We discussed how Croatia's pre- and post- accession funds have the potential to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Croatian economy, create jobs, and raise living standards.
While Croatia is overall on track with its preparation for membership, I still expect further progress, particularly in the development of a mature project pipeline. I call on Croatia to be able to make the most of the advantages offered by the Structural and Cohesion Funds. This is even more important in the current economic situation.
In this regards, I emphasized to Mr Grčić the necessity to keep reinforcing Croatia's administrative capacity. This is crucial for a sound and efficient implementation of its future cohesion policy.