Development cooperation: the Netherlands and Croatia

The Netherlands is your partner in development cooperation.

Dutch development cooperation policy

The Netherlands' approach to development cooperation is all about people's rights and opportunities. Everyone should be able to stand on their own feet and have opportunities to develop successful lives. The Netherlands also wants governments in developing countries to provide stability and protect their population.


The Dutch government's three ambitions for development cooperation are:

  • eradicating extreme poverty in a single generation
  • promoting sustainable, inclusive growth that also benefits the poorest and most vulnerable populations around the world
  • enabling Dutch companies to succeed abroad.

Doing what the Netherlands is good at

To achieve results the Netherlands invests in the themes where its expertise lies:

Within these themes, particular attention is paid to women's rights, climate change and promoting entrepreneurship.

Aid, trade and investment

Where possible the Netherlands links aid to trade. This contributes to sustainable economic growth worldwide, which benefits people in developing countries – including the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society. And it also provides opportunities for Dutch businesses.

The Netherlands' activities focus on:

  • more and better access to international markets
  • strengthening the private sector in low- and lower middle-income countries
  • promoting trade and investment
  • fair taxation
  • making production and marketing chains more sustainable.

Development cooperation: the Netherlands and your country or region

Since 1996, the Netherlands actively supported Croatia’s efforts to build institutions of civil society and government with the so-called MATRA social transformation programme, the Matra-Kap and G2G programme. This was done to help Croatia meet the EU’s entry standards. The Dutch support was aimed at, amongst others, the modernisation of the social security administration, the establishment of a new Real Property Registration and Cadastre Joint Information System, and a strengthened Border Veterinary Inspection in Croatia. The support amounted to € 27 million in total and came to an end with the accession of Croatia to the European Union.