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State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs on the process of preparing Recovery and Resilience Plan: ‘’It is hard work, but I know we will succeed’’

State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs today attended a conference on draft Recovery and Resilience Plan at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor. The conference was held at Brdo pri Kranju.

In his opening speech President Pahor welcomed participants on behalf of the Permanent Consultative Committee for Climate Policy and thanked them for coming to Brdo pri Kranju. Mr Pahor invited them to share their views on draft document which Slovenia is to submit to the Commission by the end of April 2021.

State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs said that the document had been developed since August 2020. ''There is very little time to draft the document. As we embarked on this journey, we did not have a strategy, a long-term vision of Slovenia's development that would guide our work.'' Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy had online discussions with over 2,000 stakeholders at the end of 2020. ''We wanted to make sure that all voices were heard, '' stressed State Secretary.

She dismissed allegations that the document was prepared on the bottom-up principle serving as a local communities' wish list. ''This is simply not true. We combined both the top-down and the bottom-up approach. EU Regulation sets out that nearly 60% of total expenditure should be dedicated to green and digital transition goals, with the remaining expenditure is to focus on investments in priority domains agreed. We collected proposals from line ministries and other stakeholders to be able to decide on the distribution of the remaining funding per thematic areas,'' she explained. Local community projects are thus not incorporated in the plan; instead, calls for proposals with clearly defined criteria will be prepared for these projects.  

The funding made available under the Resilience and Recovery Plan will be allocated to four key areas, namely healthcare and social security; green transition; digital transformation; smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. ''We need to focus on the projects that can be implemented by the end of 2026 when the programme closes,'' she underlined.

Coordination Task Force for Resilience and Recovery Plan is engaged in intensive dialogue with the 25 Directorates-General of the Commission that examine in detail the content of draft document. ''Continuous coordination efforts from both sides have resulted in a revised document. Several initially planned projects are no longer included in the document as they failed to meet the set criteria,'' she added.

Finance-wise, State Secretary explained that the country would initially focus on the EUR 1.6 billion in grants and EUR 1 billion in loans made available to Slovenia under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

State Secretary said that the plan was a comprehensive document developed in accordance with the guidelines of the Commission. She rejected criticism that the document was too long, underlining that a concise 20-page ‘Recovery and Resilience Plan in a nutshell’ document clearly outlining the priorities and measures would be prepared for the general public. ''It is hard work, but I know we will succeed,'' concluded State Secretary.

The conference brought together 14 high-level experts, scientists, individuals from the economy and representatives from NGOs. The conference was also attended by the Minister for the Environment and Spatial Planning mag. Andrej Vizjak and State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure Blaž Košorok.