Prime Minister Janez Janša: Municipalities are the main factor in ensuring quality of life and development
Today at the Brdo Congress Centre, Prime Minister Janez Janša held a consultation with municipalities and development agencies on the projects and investments for which Slovenia will earmark funding from the EU coronavirus recovery package, to ensure Slovenia's efficient absorption of the hard-won EU funds. Government ministers also participated in the consultation.
At the meeting, members of the core working group for the coordination of investments financed from EU funds presented in detail the content and future activities of the 2021–2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and the recovery instrument, and listened to suggestions from the mayors and development agencies.
At the beginning of the consultation, significant attention was devoted to the management of the coronavirus crisis; Prime Minister Janša said that Slovenia had been successful in controlling the first wave of the epidemic, partly owing to the mayors' efforts, and thanked them for all their hard work. The mayors addressed a few questions on this subject to the head of the COVID-19 advisory group, Dr Bojana Beović, and made a few comments regarding education in autumn.
Prime Minister Janša said that the primary aim of the consultation was to work out how to remove any obstacles preventing EU funds from being used in a productive and efficient manner. He stressed that the Government had established the Strategic Council for De-Bureaucratisation with the purpose of relieving both citizens and municipalities of unnecessary administrative barriers. "At the same time, we will eliminate and overcome barriers by taking on programmes and investments," said Janša, adding that the Government had also set up an operational group responsible for ensuring the productive absorption of the hard-won funds.
The mayors who participated in the discussion agreed that the funds negotiated as part of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the recovery fund were truly substantial, congratulating the Prime Minister and his team on this achievement. They also pointed out that the negotiated funds significantly altered the "dark starting point" looming before the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, they agreed that EU funds had to be absorbed efficiently, i.e. brought to Slovenia. The mayors themselves called for the greatest possible operability and cooperation between the Government and the municipalities.
At the consultation, the mayors also called attention to the various challenges they were facing, indicated certain problems and highlighted the issues and obstacles they were encountering in project planning.
Prime Minister Janez Janša tweeted on the margins of the consultation that the municipalities were the main factor in ensuring quality of life and development, assessing today's discussion as productive and generating real proposals.