Connecting the core network of transport infrastructure with trans-European networks and corridors is one of the main goals and a very important prerequisite for harmonised development of all EU member states.
With an increasing number of member states EU is putting great efforts to enable construction of necessary roads and to integrate national road networks into the single trans-European road network (Trans - European Network – Transport, TEN-T).
Transport Operational Programme (TOP) is a document that defines and directs the use of EU funds for the development of transport infrastructure strategy in the Republic of Croatia in the 2007 - 2013 period.
The general strategic goal of TOP is to develop modern traffic networks, to increase accessibility of the regions, to foster better integration of Croatian road transport networks within the European transport network by improving traffic infrastructure in railway and inland waterways sector through the development of transport networks on TEN-T corridors and by improving regional connections.
One of the goals consists in promoting balanced development of traffic networks through the application of measures aimed at equal investment in road and other transport sectors, particularly railway sector.
By entering the EU the Republic of Croatia got various possibilities for financing projects from structural and investment funds of the EU and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure supplemented the existing Operational Programme that is now implemented on four priority axes:
Priority Axis 1:
Upgrading of the railway infrastructure and Project preparation in transport sector. The goal of this priority axis is to modernise Croatian railway network on TEN-T corridors, regional and suburban railway network and to develop necessary studies and prepare infrastructure projects for the forthcoming programme period.
Priority Axis 2:
Upgrading Croatia`s inland waterway system . The goal is to improve Croatian system of inland waterways by creating conditions for safe and reliable navigation and to comply with the minimum navigational requirements and to improve port infrastructure.
Priority Axis 3:
Technical Assistence that aimed at helping operational structure while managing the operational programme and increasing capacity of the administrative body and other bodies involved in the implementation of this operational programme and potential users as well as the preparation of strategic documents for the transport sector.
Priority Axis 4:
Road and airport development is aimed at investing in the road and air transport where a major contribution can be made for regional accessibility and connectivity; international mobility and travel outside and inside Croatia, and finally for projects of regional importance that have a positive impact on economic development and sustainability of environment, landscape and heritage of Croatia.
A total of €278,803,890 is planned for the TOP 2007-2013 out of which €236,983,305 will be financed out of the European Regional Development Fund and €41,820,585.00 from national proceeds.