New Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development
- Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development
- Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy
Slovenian parliament has confirmed nine new ministers, completing the government reshuffle. As part of the reshuffle, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy has been transformed into the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development. The new ministry will also be responsible for the policy area of regional development. It will be headed by Dr Aleksander Jevšek, who has been sworn in as Minister for Cohesion and Regional Development.
Three new ministers and six ministers, whose portfolios have changed as a result of the reorganisation, took the oath of office after the parliament today gave green light to the government reshuffle. Dr Aleksander Jevšek, who previously served as Minister without portfolio responsible for Development and European Cohesion Policy, has been appointed Minister for Cohesion and Regional Development. The former Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy has been transformed into the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development. The new ministry has taken over the area of regional development from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.
Both cohesion policy and regional development promote the same cause and pursue the same goals, so the move to combine them under one ministry is sensible. By establishing a stand-alone ministry that will also be responsible for regional development, the government has proved that it is committed to working on regional development as part of its priority agenda. ''Cohesion policy and regional development are both about reducing economic and social disparities between regions. According to Dr Jevšek, combining the two areas of work under one ministry will facilitate future work and make decision-making and planning for regional development more strategic and holistic.
At the hearing before the respective parliamentary committees, Minister Jevšek identified the following four strategic goals of regional development policy:
- improving the quality of life in all regions by balancing the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
- catching up with European regions to close the development gap;
- reducing development disparities between regions; and
- delivering on development potentials and seizing global opportunities through international and inter-regional cooperation and integration.
Dr Jevšek underscored that making regional development a government priority was a must, since ‘’for regional development, the situation analysis has revealed that differences between the twelve Slovenian regions persist. Development is neither balanced nor sustainable. We see worrying population decline trends in border areas, and people are moving out of the country and migrating daily to urban centres. Moreover, there is still a strong tendency toward centralisation in Slovenia. Balanced development is what both regional and cohesion policy put at the forefront. That is why ‘’combining both policy areas under the same ministry will create synergies and complementarities, helping us optimise investments in development projects in Slovenian regions and municipalities,’’ added Minister Jevšek.
The newly formed ministry will take over the portfolio of responsibilities of the former Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, adding to the portfolio the area of regional development. The staff, the resources and the equipment of the former government office have also been transferred to the ministry. In terms of its organisation, the ministry will have two directorates, one covering the work area of cohesion and the other one the work area of regional development. State Secretary, mag. Marko Koprivc, who has been responsible for policy area of cohesion, will be joined by State Secretary, Ms Andreja Katič, who will be in charge of regional development.