Zlatko Komadina, county president and Sandra Krpan, Rijeka deputy mayor received the ambassador of the Swiss Confederation H.J. E. Urs Hammer accredited in the Republic of Croatia in August 2022, who paid his inaugural visit, accompanied by the honorary consul of Switzerland, Draženka Moll.

Mayor Zlatko Komadina and Rijeka Deputy Mayor Sandra Krpan briefly presented the profile of Rijeka and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and on that occasion they emphasised good cooperation with Swiss partners. However, they agreed that there was room for further development of cooperation, especially in the field of the economy.

Ambassador Hammer pointed out that Croatia and Switzerland had a modest mutual exchange of goods. In addition to the increase in economic exchange between the two countries, the ambassador also emphasised special attention that he planned to devote during his mandate to the development of scientific and academic cooperation, especially with the University of Rijeka.

Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation H. E. Urs Hammer pays an inaugural visit to the County and the City of Rijeka

Deputy Mayor Sanda Krpan, speaking about significant investments in transport in the area of Rijeka that would increase the economic activity of the city and the entire country, also pointed out similarities with Switzerland. “A multicultural and multi-ethnic country that has always been open, like Rijeka, shows that diversity is wealth,” pointed out Krpan and invited Ambassador Hammer to visit the recently opened exhibition of the Swiss artist Talaya Schmid at the MMCA in the Art Quarter “Benčić”.

The county president Komadina thanked the ambassador and the Swiss government for the financial support they had offered to Croatia, and especially for the investment in the water supply, drainage and waste water network in the area of Gorski kotar.

Namely, in 2006, the Swiss Confederation established a financial mechanism in order to contribute to the enlargement process of the European Union, which is aimed at new EU member states and is an expression of Swiss solidarity with Europe in assuming part of the burden related to the activities undertaken with the aim of reducing economic and social inequalities in the territory of the European Union.

In the period from 2014 to 2024, Switzerland provided funds in the amount of CHF 45,000,000 (approx. EUR 45.8 million) for the Republic of Croatia. In the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the funds were invested in three projects: Water supply and drainage of the municipality of Brod Moravice, Water supply and waste water of the town of Delnice, Water supply and waste water of the municipality of Fužine. Out of the totally planned HRK 192 million invested in water supply and water protection in Gorski kotar, 85 percent of that amount, or HRK 177 million (CHF 21.5 million), were provided by a grant of the Government of the Swiss Confederation.

Exchange of suitable gifts

In 2022, the Framework Agreement was signed for the implementation of the second Swiss contribution in the area of cohesion for Croatia. The total amount of the second grant amounts to CHF 45.7 million, of which a significant part is intended for Gorski Kotar. The second grant of around CHF 21.5 million will be used to finance further reconstruction of the drainage and water supply systems in Gorski kotar, and the works will begin after the preparation of a study on the necessities and after having obtained the permits and following a public tender, while completion is expected by 2029.

Ambassador Hammer emphasised that the Swiss-Croatian cooperation programme, was aimed at further strengthening the cooperation between the two countries through the exchange of experiences, knowledge and values, and he said that he believed that in the fields of research and innovation, palliative care and civil society there would be more successful projects.

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