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Zvone Černač attends the Informal Meeting of European Union Ministers responsible for Cohesion Policy: ‘It’s been almost a year since EU leaders reached a historic agreement and now it’s time for action.’

Zvone Černač, Minister competent for Development and the EU Cohesion Policy, attended the informal audio-video meeting of EU ministers responsible for cohesion policy at the invitation of the Portuguese Minister for Planning, Nelson de Souza.

During the video conference, the Ministers discussed maximising synergies and complementarities between Cohesion Policy and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which are the two main European instruments supporting the recovery, transformation and development of Europe in the future.

Minister Černač welcomed the fact that Portugal organised a meeting on such an important topic and underlined that both instruments play a crucial role in strengthening the economic, social and territorial cohesion that will support the development of each European Union Member State over the next years: ‘The agreement that EU leaders reached last July is historic. Both with regard to the Recovery Fund and in terms of the next seven-year financial framework. We have completed a challenging task in the past year; both at the level of the EU institutions and the Member States. Now the time has come to complete administrative procedures and start implementing reforms and investments that will boost economic growth and bring greater prosperity for all.’

The Minister went on to present Slovenia’s experience in developing its Recovery and Resilience Plan, which Slovenia submitted to the European Commission at the end of April. All the line ministries and more than 2,000 various stakeholders were involved in the process and thus contributed to shaping Slovenia’s development over the next decade. In its Recovery and Resilience Plan, Slovenia outlined development areas and the related reforms and investments that will help mitigate the negative economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic and prepare Slovenia for addressing new challenges. The plan is forward-looking focusing on supporting green and digital transition, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, strengthening the healthcare and other systems, and bringing prosperity for all.

On the other hand, we must not forget about the development opportunities that Cohesion Policy has to offer. ‘Slovenia is developing measures to strengthen social and territorial cohesion that will eliminate development differences between individual less and more developed regions and areas.’

In light of the coming presidency of the Council of the EU that Slovenia will take over from Portugal in a month’s time, Minister Černač underlined the importance of formally approving the national recovery and resilience plans as soon as possible. ‘This will be one of the priorities of Slovenia’s presidency. We will do our best to complete this process as soon as possible so that the Member States can start implementing reforms and measures that will support their recovery from the crisis and boost their economic growth,’ the Minister concluded.