State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs at the meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Slovenia
State Secretary Kirbiš Rojs today attended the 17th meeting of the Presidency of the Association of Municipalities of Slovenia to inform the mayors of Slovenian municipalities on most recent developments concerning the use of EU funds by 2030.
The State Secretary said that the 2014-2020 programming period is gradually closing to a draw and that the drafting of programming documents for the upcoming multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 is full steam ahead at the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy.
The State Secretary outlined the priority intervention areas for the 2021-2027 period which were defined on the basis of the European Commission guidelines and identified development gaps. The funds will be earmarked for increasing productivity, digitalization and ensuring adequate infrastructure (rail connectivity, sustainable mobility, larger missing water supply systems and wastewater infrastructure, third development axis, energy renovation of buildings, investments in renewables etc.).
She also reassured the mayors that the funding mechanism called agreement for the development of regions would be kept in the next programming period and would feature important simplifications. In fact, the upcoming period brings to the table a record high amount of funds for Slovenia: Cohesion Policy envelope has been topped up by the resilience and recovery funding. This calls for efforts to simplify processes, shorten project approval processes and increase absorption capacities. The State Secretary assured the mayors that the municipalities will also be allocated EU funds on the basis of territorial approach mechanisms, i.e. Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI), Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) and endogenous regional policies for initiatives designed by the country.
The State Secretary highlighted that ''the municipalities make up an important player in the programming process. We’ll take into due account the specificities of individual municipalities, including small ones, as we fully understand that not all municipalities are on equal footing.''
The State Secretary also added that the programming documents will be, to a large extent, drafted by the end of the year. The Commission is expected to officially approve the member states’ operational programmes sometime in mid-2022. Draft documents will be regularly published on the website evropska sredstva. A series of workshops for a wide circle of stakeholders will be held in November and December.