(Photo: Davor Puklavec/PIXSELL) (Photo: Davor Puklavec/PIXSELL)

Over the past 25 years, the World Bank has provided billions of euros to Croatia for a wide range of projects, said the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region Vice President Cyrill Muller.

"In numbers, the World Bank Group has provided more than 5 billion euros to Croatia and helped implement more than 80 projects," Muller said.

He highlighted a number of Croatia's achievements that were aided by the World Bank, including the restructuring of public enterprises, ports, roads, and railways in particular, the overhaul of land administration and cadaster reform, the rise of a crop of new innovation and research companies, improvements to water services in coastal areas, and wildlife preservation.

The government is finalizing a proposal for how it plans to work with the World Bank over the next five years, said Finance Minister Zdravko Marić. Muller said the World Bank planned to expand its support.

"Under the new country partnership framework, which we discussed with the Prime Minister this afternoon, which will be implemented for the next five years, we plan to expand the use of all of our instruments, prioritize our support, and focus on building institutions for a resilient, inclusive, and competitive Croatia,” according to Mulller.

The World Bank's involvement in Croatia started with the post-war reconstruction effort. Today its contribution is more focused on reform and development, Prime Minster Andrej Plenković said.

"Today, these are projects in the judiciary and education. There is major support for the Slavonia, Baranja, and Srijem project. Their consultancy services strengthen our capacity to reduce inequities in regional development and that is why I am confident this next five year plan will be very good and will complement our national reform program, including preparations for the adoption of the euro."

Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said that with EU and World Bank funding, Croatia planned to ensure that all public schools operate in one shift, from morning until afternoon, something that currently is not possible in many densely populated areas due to a lack of resources.