The Agency for investments and competitiveness in its capacity as user institution together with a ESCO group, has organized an international conference on 11 April 2017 in the Westin hotel in Zagreb as part of the project “Combination of European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds and public-private partnership”.
The conference attended a hundred participants, mainly representatives from local and regional self-government units, line ministries and agencies, financial institutions and the private sector. The presentations have led the European Investment Bank experts who presented the blending model in the context of the European investment policy, highlighting the benefits of the model for the public sector, primarily through an aspect of more affordability and scale of public projects.
During the panel the debate highlighted the willingness of key institutions from the EIB and the EBRD to finance high level preparedness projects, but also the possibility of using their resources dedicated to project preparation (Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility). As the key factors for the success of public projects were stressed political support, the need to streamline smaller projects, to standardise processes and methodologies, as well as the strong capacity of contracting authorities to prepare, implement, and monitor projects (project and contract management). As important shortcomings in public infrastructure development in Croatia, the absence of capital planning, lack of project stock, insufficient focus on the life-cycle of projects and analysis of options as well as value for money calculation as key criteria for the procurement of projects are highlighted.
The last part of the conference presented the results of the project which should improve the quality of project preparation, relating to the determination of the affordability of the public sector in PPP; the calculation of the discount rate in blending projects, the calculation of conversion factors in economic analysis, recommendations for pre-feasibility study and the recommendations on accounting records related to the accounts of both the public and private partners, combining subsidies and PPPs in relation to the balance sheet records per recommendation issued by Eurostat and the recommendations for calculating capital aid and the use of financial instruments in blending finance of PPPs and ESIF.