Over the past six years, how has Croatia changed as the newest member of the EU?

Croatia is progressing positively and incorporating the acquis communitaire into its legal and business practices. However, citizens are seeking better lives, which is causing a brain drain of young people leaving for other EU countries. We believe that without EU membership, Croatia would have slower progress, if any progress at all.

What are the priorities of the proposed national Energy Strategy?

The proposed national Energy Strategy, which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2019, aims to increase energy efficiency and use of renewable sources, while gradually reducing fossil fuels. The challenge lies not in setting the objectives but in achieving them and establishing a sustainable economic system in the energy sector that can generate positive processes and attain the objectives of energy transition. The tax policy needs revision, and a tax on CO2 emissions needs to be implemented as the exclusive factor of the transition process.

What impact will the construction of the LNG terminal have on the local economy?

The LNG terminal, being a regional project, is expected to contribute to the security of supply and stability of natural gas prices in the region. We do not believe that the local economy will be significantly affected.

What are the renewable energy ambitions of Croatia, and is there government and public support for clean energy?

Renewable energy is likely to be included in the new strategy. Similar to other EU countries, the public feels that more needs to be done. An economic model that allows every investor, household, or entrepreneur to build renewable sources for their needs and for the market is essential, with the sun for citizens and the sun and wind for entrepreneurs. We believe there is already sufficient interest in solar and wind energy, even without government subsidies.

Do Croatian companies have an appetite for international expansion, and which new geographies are they typically interested in?

Croatian companies are becoming more aware, but there needs to be greater synergy between the development of industry and science at both the EU level and the level of each member state. There is a major challenge in defining industrial policy in the context of new conditions and international developments. We state that companies have ambitions, but that alone is insufficient.

How is the EIHP supporting the market during this time of change, and what are the organization’s key objectives for the near future?

EIHP is helping create the transition in Croatia and many other countries globally. The organization aims to transfer its knowledge to countries in need, including those in the region, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. We believe that coming from a country that has undergone a legal transition and is preparing for an energy transition qualifies EIHP to be of use to many governments. EIHP has experience in the public interest in energy, which is a significant issue for many of the countries it works with.

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