Croatia has contracted total of HRK17bn in EU funds this year, which is an increase of 31% compared to last year, EU funds minister Gabriejla Zalac said. When looking at paid funds, the situation is rather bad as no tenders were made in the past year, the minister said explaining that the funding for large projects has not been disbursed yet in the current period either. Thus, paid amounts are at only 9% of the available EUR10.7bn in the 2014-2020 programming period and comparing to other countries Croatia ranks at the bottom, with worse results published by Malta only (7% absorption rate). One of the reasons for the slow absorption are the complex procedures as many companies give up when get aware of the amount of paperwork needed. Also, there is a need for better planning with demand exceeding available funds in certain areas, experts claim. We note that the Croatian authorities have declared in June a target to contract EU funding worth HRK13bn in 2017, which appears to have been exceeded. In July, government officials said that Croatia has contracted around 23% of the total EU funds it has at its disposal by end-June and hopes the ratio to rise to 50% in 2018.