Minster Černač on the approval of Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan: "We will realise the reform and investment potentials for the good of the people. For a progressive, green and digital Slovenia."
Today in Brussels, EU finance ministers approved the second batch of national recovery and resilience plans, including Slovenia’s. Minister without portfolio responsible for development and EU cohesion policy Zvonko Černač remarked that there is not much time to realise the investments and reforms, so it will be essential that stakeholders cooperate well and make compromises.
After being approved by the European Commission at the beginning of the month, today the Slovenian recovery and resilience plan was also given the green light by EU finance ministers. "One year on from the historic agreement of EU leaders on the extensive package of EU funds and after a difficult period of drawing up and coordinating the recovery and resilience plan, the time has come to bring the envisaged reforms and investments to life – to the people," said Minster Černač, announcing that ministries will publish their first invitations to tender this year. Slovenia can expect to receive pre-payments in the amount of 13% of the allocated funds in August or September.
Slovenia must realise investments totalling 2.5 billion euro and the reforms under the recovery and resilience plan by the end of 2026. "The implementation of reforms will be the condition for the payment of funds. There is not much time. Cooperation and compromises will have to be the key guidelines for all those who participate in the drafting, coordinating and approving of laws and strategic documents," stressed Černač.
State Secretary Monika Kirbiš Rojs, who led the preparation of the Slovenian resilience and recovery plan, also highlighted the importance of cooperation in achieving the set goals. "Today’s approval of a key development document is a victory in one of the most difficult stages on the journey towards the recovery and better resilience of Slovenian society. As always at turning points, we were capable of joining forces to prepare this document. The result is a clear vision and strategy for the development of our country to achieve a digital and green future. There will not be much time for rest. Good cooperation among ministries and those who will implement the projects at the national and local levels will have to be further enhanced and encouraged throughout the implementation. Only in this way will we timely prepare and implement the reforms and make good high-quality investments that will facilitate the recovery and resilience," State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs is convinced.
Slovenia will direct nearly 1.8 billion euro in grants and over 700 million euro in loans from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is the most extensive financial instrument in the EU’s Next Generation EU recovery and resilience package, towards green transition, digital transformation, support for the economy, research and development, education, healthcare, social security, and housing policy. The recovery and resilience plan envisages that 42.45% of the funds, or nearly 1.054 billion euro in investments, will be used to achieve climate objectives. This is almost 4% more than is envisaged in the EU regulation. Slovenia will allocate 21.46% of the funds, i.e. 532.75 million euro, to achieving the digital objectives.
The plan determines reforms and investments for four development areas and related components:
- renewable energy sources and efficient energy use in the business sector,
- the sustainable renovation of buildings,
- a clean and safe environment,
- sustainable mobility,
- circular economy – resource efficiency;
- the digital transformation of the business sector,
- the digital transformation of the public sector and public administration;
Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth:
- research, development and innovation,
- increased productivity, a friendly business environment for investors,
- labour market – measures to reduce the consequences of negative structural trends,
- the reform of Slovenian tourism and investments in tourism and cultural heritage infrastructure,
- stronger competences, in particular digital competences and those required by new professions and the green transition,
- efficient public institutions;
Healthcare and social security:
- social security and long-term care,
- housing policy.
Now that the document has been approved by the Council of the EU, the coordination of the plan’s implementation falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance as the main custodian of the state budget and the national reform programme. Minister Černač wished Minister of Finance Andrej Šircelj every success and good cooperation with the ministries that will manage the implementation of reforms and investments in their areas of work.
In order to achieve territorial, economic and social cohesion and the multiplication of effects of the planned measures, the funds of the 2021–2027 multiannual financial framework have been programmed alongside the preparation of the recovery and resilience plan. In accordance with the principle of complementarity, synergies and demarcations should be ensured between the measures supported by the Recovery and Resilience Facility and by the funds of the cohesion policy. Černač stressed, "The cohesion policy funds are essential for reducing the development gap between regions and improving quality of life. The use of funds must be planned smartly; they should be combined correctly and used economically. We should bear in mind that the funds both come from people and go back to people. The programming process is expected to be concluded by the end of the year. When the strategic documents are approved by the European Commission, we can start with the implementation in the second half of next year."