Geography & National Resources
Međimurje covers 730 square kilometers of the northernmost part of Croatia and is, with 114.000 inhabitants, the most densely populated part of Croatia. Međimurje is surrounded by two natural borders –rivers Mura in the north and east and Drava in the south, giving natural and geographical characteristics to Međimurje.
Međimurje consists of 22 municipalities and 3 cities, Prelog, Mursko Središće and Čakovec which has always been the main administrative, economic, cultural and historic centre. Climate conditions, convenient topology with interchangeable hills and plains, availability and abundance of water make the area convenient for all types of agricultural production, especially wine production. Natural sources of thermal water near Vučkovec and Sveti Martin na Muri contribute to the development of tourism in Međimurje.
As a trafﬁc crossroad, Međimurje is a dynamic and open area. It is positioned along important trafﬁc routes which make Međimurje close to the other parts of Croatia and Central European countries. Only about 100 km from the capital city Zagreb, close to the Hungarian and Slovenian border and close to Austria, Međimurje is placed at an exceptionally good geostrategic location which is of great importance for its economic development.
Main economic activities
The strongest economic activities in Međimurje are trade, manufacturing and construction. The high prevalence of professional, scientific and technical activities in Međimurje means the clients are provided with highly professional and skilled services.
Companies in Međimurje are export oriented - they achieved a positive balance of foreign trade in the amount of 90.500.000 €. According to the research in competitiveness of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) in 2013, Međimurje ranks 4th among 21 Croatian counties.
Small and medium sized enterprises have an important role in Međimurje’s economic activities. They are based on family tradition of small craft businesses. Mobility, adaptability, financial efficiency, economics and profitability are just some of their strong points.
There were 1.331 active craft businesses in 2013, mostly doing production craftwork (metal, wood and textile products) and construction work. One of the strongest and oldest economic activities of Međimurje today includes production of cast iron, metal structures, packaging, kettles, tools, industrial equipment (shelves, consoles, stands, closets), wrought iron products, train carriages and machines, machinery and devices of various usage (for agricultural and food industry, textile industry, housing-communal equipment, informatics, environment protection etc.).
Metal industry conducts a number of services from its domain, from various metal structures installation, substations and pipeline installation, through welding, locksmith working and liquid up keeping, to projecting, quality control, machinery and electricity examination and experts training and testing.
Constructions is a well-developed activity in the County and includes buildings construction, civil engineering, hydro construction and all sorts of installation and terminal works.
Both simple and splendid, its uniqueness has always amazed people and it proudly bears the name "Cvjetnjak Hrvatske" (Croatia’s flower garden). Just a step away from major European cities, the perfect combination of traditional and modern with a rich offer that evolved from strong cultural-historical foundations.
Nature lovers will be excited to enjoy the regional nature park between Mura and Drava, floodplain forest along the Mura, Drava’s former river course, habitats of diverse flora and fauna, many of which are rare species such as scarce large blue butterfly, European mud minnow, black small pasque flower and snake’s head.
Visitors can enjoy rich diversity of traditional garments and folk customs presented by the ethnographic collection in the Museum of Međimurje in Čakovec and private collections. Međimurje’s cuisine is renowned for its delicacies unique in Croatia and Europe-wide. Winemaking expanded notably in the beginning of the last century. Winegrowing is by and large a family business in Međimurje, so these exceptional wines are launched to Croatia and the world directly from home wine cellars.
Traditional festivals are Fašnik, a carnival-like event in February and a highly attended Porcijunkulovo in Čakovec, an annual fair taking place on the streets around the city centre between July 30th and August 5th. At the fair, many of the County’s traditional products, such as baskets, can be purchased and people can see how some of the products are made.
The total number of completed projects and projects that are in process of implementation in Međimurje County is 148 in value of 53,006.554.76 €. At the same time they were co-finance from EU funds in value of 30.388.411, 22 €. In cross-border programs (period 2005-2012) a total number of 76 projects were completed with the total value of 26.665.226, 54 €. The projects cover the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship, renewable energy, culture, environmental protection, tourism, rural development, social integration and so on. Applicants other than the County and development agencies, are local governments, institutions and companies owned by LGUs, NGOs, schools, cultural and artistic associations and other institutions.
Project 1: InveSTrategy
Overall objective of project was to achieve increased inflow of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in cross border region in order to boost economic growth and development in the socioeconomic space of border area by strengthening the capacities of local experts dealing with FDI in partnering counties, defining appropriate and most efficient, up-to-date tolls for promotion of the investment potentials and attraction of FDI (marketing strategy), strengthening the capacities of the local government entities staff dealing with investors, and joint promotion of the cross-border region as desirable investment location
- REDEA – Regional Development Agency Međimurje REDEA – LEAD BENEFICIARY
- PORA – Regional Development Agency for Promotion and implementation of development activities in Koprivnica Križevci County
- AZRA – Varaždin County Development Agency
- ZMKIK – Chamber of commerce and industry of Zala County
- AIK – Agency for Investments and Competitiveness
- HITA – Hungarian Investment and trade agency
Total project budget: 166.179,78 €
Project duration: February 2013 – January 2014
Project 2: Mura-Drava.bike
Mura-Drava.bike project was co-financed from the IPA SI-HR 2007-2013 programme. The purpose of the Mura-Drava.bike project, in which Slovenia (region of Pomurje and Podravje) and Croatia (Counties of Međimurje and of Varaždin) are included, is to create a common tourism product in the territory of the cross-border region. The project, the basic purpose of which is the development of the bicycling tourism in the regions, and, at the same time, the development of the related service industries, is connected to the existing Austrian bicycle paths along the rivers Mura and Drava, and adds a new and interesting cross-border tourist destination to the European tourist map.
- Regionalna razvojna agencija Mura, d.o.o.
- Regionalna razvojna agencija Međimurje – REDEA d.o.o.
- Center za zdravje in razvoj Murska Sobota
- Razvojna agencija Grada Čakovca – Čakra d.o.o.
- Prleška razvojna agencija, giz
- Turistička zajednica Varaždinske županije
- Znanstveno-raziskovalno središče Bistra Ptuj
- Varaždinska županija
- Turistička zajednica Međimurske županije
- Mariborska razvojna agencija
Total project budget: € 1.799.816,00
Project duration: From 2009 till 2012
Project 3: Grow Mobile
Project Grow Mobile is financed from the CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme). The main objective of the project GROW MOBILE, in addition to providing better access to information users tourism offer in Međimurje County, is certainly the promotion of mobile technologies in tourism and raising awareness about the efficient use of technology to all target groups, from the bidder to the users of tourism products and services.
- Development agency Aufbauwerk Region Leipzig (Germany)
- The company INI-Novation (Germany)
- Region Kyustendil (Bulgaria)
- Municipality of Varna (Bulgaria)
Total project budget: € 529,845.41
Project duration: 24 months (3/2012 - 3/2014)
More information about the county can be found on their official web site here.