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Prime Minister Janez Janša: Our goal is to make a digitalisation proposal by mid-September

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Janša, today attended the 80th extraordinary session of the National Assembly, where he provided additional explanation to his proposal to appoint Mark Boris Andrijanič as Minister without portfolio for digital transformation.

The Prime Minister in the National Assembly on the proposal for the appointment of the candidate for minister without portfolio for digital transformation

The Prime Minister in the National Assembly on the proposal for the appointment of the candidate for minister without portfolio for digital transformation | Author Kabinet predsednika vlade

“The candidate has just successfully presented himself to the main committee and received two-thirds support,” said the Prime Minister, adding that the European Commission had recently approved a recovery programme in the context of which Slovenia would receive significant funding for digital transformation in the coming months and years. “This is the key reason we are introducing this type of coordination at this time, even though there is less than a year before the end of the parliamentary term, because experience to date shows that we have not been very successful in the digital transformation of Slovenia,” stressed the Prime Minister.

“Slovenia currently has high economic growth and low unemployment; it is the fifth most peaceful country in the world and among top ten countries in terms of sustainable development. At the same time, we rank last, 27th, among the EU Member States as regards the share of individuals who think that technology has a positive impact on development. About half the population of Slovenia think that technology can accelerate development, while the other half think practically the opposite. As a result, we are in 16th place in Europe in terms of the digital index, below the European average, with only a figure of just under 5% of all administrative services provided electronically. We are facing a great shortage of staff in the field of information technology and carrying out procedures on modern devices is difficult due to complex legislation, the General Administrative Procedure Act, the Decree on Administrative Operations and so on. Although we have many completed and expensive strategies, these lack key steps and remain unrealised. We face resistance to changes that could bring increased transparency. Digitalisation leads to increased transparency, but at the same time brings more responsibility for the adopted decisions. This is why there is resistance," said the Prime Minister, adding that "our goal is to make a digitisation proposal by mid-September to place Slovenia among the top five countries in the European Union according to the 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) by the end of 2026 and to provide for a consistent implementation of the basic principle of a lean state.

"By achieving this goal, through digital transformation, we will save citizens millions of working hours or hours of free time, which is why at this time digitalisation is not only a voluntary choice but a fact that must be accepted if we want Slovenia to develop normally in the future," stressed Prime Minister Janez Janša.

He recalled that the Government's Strategic Council for Digitalisation was set up in April this year and that the candidate for minister organised the work in record time so that the Government could already approve the first package of measures a month ago.  "The measures were presented in detail just now at the hearing. I think you have all heard what the concrete proposals are.  It is something we all need in this country and it has nothing to do with any political colour", said the Prime Minister. He added that these things simply need to be done if we want Slovenia to keep pace with developed Europe and the developed world and given that substantial European funds are available right now in the following months, not just  next year, horizontal coordination within the competent ministries is vital to avoid making the mistakes as the past.

"I recommend that you support this candidate who is undoubtedly suitable for this task", concluded Prime Minister Janša.