Minister Černač at the High-Level Forum of the Committee of the Regions
Minister for Development and EU Cohesion Policy Zvone Černač today participated in the High-Level Forum on Regional Recovery and Resilience which was jointly organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in Lipica, Slovenia. The Forum put spotlight on ways to ensure synergies between EU Cohesion Policy and Recovery and Resilience Facility by strengthening partnerships between EU, national, regional and local authorities. It was organised in a hybrid format as part of the programme of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Joining the Forum via videoconference call, Minister Černač briefed the participants on the state of play of preparations of Slovenia's operational programme for 2021-2027, and touched on complementarities with other EU funding sources ''We need to coordinate Cohesion Policy measures and Recovery and Resilience Plans so that they complement each other; coordination and complementarities are of utmost importance if we wish to build stronger and future-proof social systems and emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis''.
In terms of Cohesion Funds programming, the Minister explained that the activities were geared towards having the procedures at the national level completed by the end of the year. ''Slovenia will support and deliver measures that strengthen social and territorial cohesion. We will also work on bringing EU Cohesion Policy closer to EU citizens'', added the Minister.
Referring to the challenges Slovenian Presidency was facing in terms of complementing the short-term post-Covid recovery measures with long-term Cohesion Policy investments, the Minister underscored that changes needed to be made to planning of investments involving different EU funding sources. He underlined that Slovenian Presidency was committed to speeding up the approval of national Recovery and Resilience Plans that promote investments into green and digital transformation. Mr Černač added that the existing systems would be upgraded. ''An essential objective and a challenge at the same time is to establish a framework which will ensure synergies between short-term and long-term mechanisms on the one hand, and simplify implementation procedures on the other, with local and regional authorities playing a key role alongside national governments,'' concluded the Minister.
The Forum featured other high-level guests, including Isabelle Boudineau, Chair of the CoR Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and Budget (COTER), Marc Lemaitre, Director-General, DG REGIO; Juraj Droba, Head of the Slovak delegation to the CoR, Ulrika Landergren, Chair of the CoR Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) and Eddy van Hijum, CoR rapporteur on the SME Strategy.