The City of Rijeka actively took part in a number of activities and projects falling within the field of European integration, financed under the EU pre-accession assistance programmes (ISPA; SPARAD and PHARE, i.e. IPA, since 2007) and the technical and financial assistance programmes and the cross border cooperation programme (CARDS and INTERREG). Taking advantage of international cooperation, as well as of the aforementioned EU financial sources, the City of Rijeka realised a number of successful projects and activities that made improvements in the City of Rijeka and contributed to its convergence with EU standards.

At the beginning of 2007, the City of Rijeka signed an agreement with the Development Agency of the County of Varaždin – AZRA for the use of the Croatian Regions Office in Brussels. The Office was established with the aim of representing the regions’ interests, namely counties and cities at EU institutions important for regional development, finding eventual cooperation opportunities with European partners in EU projects, and forwarding information on events in various EU activity fields.

In 2013 Croatia became a fully-fledged member of the European Union, which opened up new possibilities for the next development phase of Rijeka. In the previous period an innovative approach was necessary toward project and programme financing, while IPA-programmes (pre-accession programmes offering assistance while preparing for EU membership) were not available for the needs of development infrastructure in a city such as Rijeka.

After the entry of Croatia into the European Union, EU funds became available for Rijeka and some entirely new programmes developed by the European Union for the period from 2013 to 2017. All efforts previously made became visible in that period on the level of the city system because Rijeka had a number of prepared projects and programmes that it adjust to the criteria of EU funds.

This heading specifies the projects funded under EU funds. They include the projects of the City of Rijeka, city institutions and its associated companies, as well as civil society organisations.

For quite a while now the City of Rijeka has been taking part in projects co-financed by the European Union in two basic ways:

  • as a project partner and
  • by co-financing the beneficiaries of EU grants

As more and more legal entities apply for tenders for EU financial assistance, the number of requests sent to the City of Rijeka for co-financing projects keeps growing, therefore the City of Rijeka has adopted the Ordinance on project co-financing within the programmes of the European Union and other international co-operation programmes (OJ PGKC 37/11).