The resources from the European Union assistance programme in the environmental protection sector, both in the pre-accession period and immediately after accession to EU membership, are primarily aimed at fulfilling the requirements in the, so-called, Heavy Investment Directives, i.e. EU legislation governing waste management and air quality.
Infrastructural investments in the environmental protection sector in the pre-accession period were financed through the ISPA and IPA IIIb programmes.
The key framework for the use of European Union funding in the area of regional competitiveness is the Operational Programme Environment 2007 – 2013, and investments in infrastructure will continue in the upcoming financial perspective through the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion” 2014 – 2020.
More details are available here.
The need to manage waste in a sustainable manner is growing in importance because the growing number of the population, as well as the quality of life, are causing a significant increase in the quantity of generated waste. The current, conventional approach (disposal of waste on open landfill cells, with no treatment) is the worst method of waste disposal, and it is the most detrimental to the environment because we fail to separate usable raw materials such as paper, metal, glass, plastics…
This years-long practice is not sustainable: the existing capacities are rapidly filling up, and in a few years we will no longer have any place left to dispose of the waste. Waste disposal poses both ecological and health risks, so EU Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste prohibits the disposal of untreated waste.
Treaty Concerning the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union specifies that all existing municipal landfills in Croatia have to comply with the requirements of the Directive, meaning that the Republic of Croatia assumed the
obligation to build waste management centres and remediate all landfills by 31 December 2018.
The Fund, as Intermediate Body level 2, has an important role in compliance with these objectives, since it verifies eligibility of the projects and their costs for co-financing from the ESI funds.