Towards Balanced Regional Development in Croatia

From Strategy Design to Implementation

Since joining the EU in 2013, Croatia’s macroeconomic performance has improved significantly. At the same time, large demographic and socio-economic disparities across Croatian regions persist. These trends provide the backdrop against which Croatia has reformed its legislative and strategic planning framework for regional development. Such reforms culminated in the adoption of the National Development Strategy 2030, which includes balanced regional development among its main long-term objectives. They have also led to the creation of regional development agencies, and the design of development plans at the county and local levels. This report assesses the extent to which Croatia’s multi-level governance system is supporting its regional development objectives. In particular, it provides an overview of the country’s regional development performance on several demographic, economic and well-being indicators. From there, it considers how the regional development reforms adopted since 2014 affect the ability of national and subnational governments to design, implement, fund, monitor and evaluate place-based regional development plans. Finally, this report provides practical recommendations to help national and subnational policy makers develop and implement strategic frameworks to meet their territorial development objectives and deliver tangible results to communities across the country.

Published on April 29, 2024

In series:OECD Multi-level Governance Studiesview more titles


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive Summary
Assessment and recommendations
Setting the scene: Regional development trends in Croatia
Croatia’s regional development governance framework
Regional Development Planning Instruments and Practices
Regional development funding and financing
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