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State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs: “Municipalities are an important partner in the process of planning the use of available EU funds.”

State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs attended an event that was part of the Zlati pogovori cycle, which takes place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Zlati kamen event. In the virtual conversation “How to get funds for municipalities after 2020?”, State Secretary underlined that municipalities and development regions are important partners in the process of planning the use of European Cohesion Policy funds for the period 2021-2027 as well as the funds available under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

At the round table State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs presented the implementation of European Cohesion Policy in the period 2021-2027 and the novelties. “The Government plans to simplify the system of obtaining EU funding. We want to relieve the beneficiaries and those implementing the projects of unnecessary administrative burdens, where possible. In doing so, we must comply with all EU and national rules that apply to European Cohesion Policy. We will strive to be as successful as possible in attaining this goal”, underlined State Secretary in the introduction. She pointed out that the Government is trying to listen to all the stakeholders involved in European Cohesion Policy implementation. In her opinion, this is the only way we can use the available funds for projects that will contribute to the sustainable and balanced development of Slovenian regions and the country as a whole.

State Secretary also informed the participants of the novelties pertaining to the implementation of the Integrated Territorial Investment mechanism (ITI), Community-led Local Development (CLLD) and the Mechanism regarding the Agreement for the Development of a Region. “In addition to the ITI mechanism, which applies to urban municipalities, we intend to establish a similar mechanism for all other cities that have the status of a city on the basis of the Local Self-Government Act. We are proactive in improving the current mechanism, which has proven to be too complex in terms of European ​​Cohesion Policy implementation and will need to be simplified significantly. The CLLD mechanism remains unchanged for the most part, however, simplifications, especially for the ‘rural’ part will need to be introduced”, she added.

“We should remember that despite the additional funds that will be available to Slovenia under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, there will never be enough money for all planned investments and projects. This is why it is imperative for municipalities to strengthen their mutual cooperation as well as cooperation with companies and other partners, and thus find answers to local development challenges through cooperation”, she underlined.

State Secretary also presented the progress made in drafting the National Recovery and Resilience Plan which serves as the basis for using the funding available under the Recovery and Resilience Fund. “As the name of the instrument suggests, the basic purpose of these funds is to recover from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and to strengthen the resilience of the European Union. The basic goals of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is to ensure the resilience of the healthcare and long-term care system, mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the epidemic, support strategic investments for green and digital transition and create a stimulating business environment”, also said State Secretary.

At the Government consultation with the municipalities, which took place on 20 August 2020, and at individual meetings with the mayors, the wish to include in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan the possibility of financing wastewater management for areas with agglomeration below 2,000 p.e. was repeatedly emphasised. “We have foreseen such investments in the draft plan and we will strive to confirm this in the dialogue with the European Commission”, concluded State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs.