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Sport is now part of the Ministry of the Economy and Tourism

With the confirmation of the reorganisation of the Government, the name of the ministry of the economy is changing today, and this ministry will also be responsible for sport. The new Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport will continue to be led by Minister Matjaž Han.

In the continuation of his term, Han will advocate the maintenance of a dialogue between the state, the economy, employees, the civil society and local communities and the enhancement of synergies within the Ministry’s three pillars: the economy, tourism and sport.

At the presentation in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia last week, Minister Han highlighted the importance of incorporating sport in the ministry of the economy, "The decision to link sport with the economy and tourism for the first time in the history of our country is groundbreaking and I see it as a challenge and an excellent opportunity for the further development and fortification of Slovenia’s position among the most successful countries."

The Minister also emphasised the multiplier effects, "Integrated economy, tourism and sport have numerous synergy effects. I believe that great breakthroughs can be achieved with clear objectives, an efficient action approach and good cooperation. I can sum up all of my plans into one message: I will do everything to achieve new victories for the Slovenian economy, tourism and sport."

Minister Han underlined three points of approach when leading the Ministry, which is based on i) cooperation with everyone, ii) reform of the legislation in order to improve the legal framework for effective operations and development breakthrough of the economy, tourism and sport, and iii) efficient management of all available development resources.

In the field of the economy, Minister Han announced that the first task would be the provision of sustainable conditions for operations of companies in crisis, whereby he emphasised that "the business sector will not be abandoned." The second task will be the provision of efficient and targeted support for further development of companies in cooperation with economic organisations. Han highlighted, "The legislation will ensure a good and inclusive business environment, while the development resources will enable the economy to move towards high added value." On this note, he also mentioned the urgency for greater ambition of our business sector, i.e. to attain the objective of EUR 100,000 of added value per employee by 2030.

Other objectives underlined by Minister Han include the placement of Slovenia among the group of countries that are innovation leaders, promotion of better payment for highly qualified experts, improvement of the environment for growth of the Slovenian development companies, enhancement of the wood industry, strengthening of internationalisation and economic diplomacy, measures to increase Slovenia’s attractiveness to global talents and improvement of air connectivity. Together with his team, the Minister will devote his attention to improving the efficiency of procedures, enhancement of green transformation of the economy and strengthening the partnership between businesspeople, workers and the environment.

The key task in the field of tourism is to increase the quality of services and subsequent added value. "The latter is enabled by the fact that Slovenia is a country with exceptional natural and cultural assets. We are the pioneers of sustainable development, acclaimed many times as one of the best sustainable destinations in the world. We are also a superpower when it comes to wine and cuisine with an exceptional potential for outdoor experiences. The emphasis will also be placed on the Lipica Stud Farm which my team and I want to develop into one of the leading national tourist gems," Minister Han explained. With this year’s intensive investment in the public and private tourist infrastructure and mountain centres worth more than EUR 150 million, the Ministry will also amend a section of legislation governing tourism to enable more efficient development of tourism and hospitality services.

In the field of sport, the Minister will strive to enhance the importance of sport and the promotion of sports tourism and sporting events in Slovenia, increase the construction of the sports infrastructure and provide more surfaces for outdoor sports, form a systemic pillar for planning and co-financing the organisation of large sporting events and fortify the cooperation between sports, the economy and tourism. The Ministry will thus draft a new national programme for sports until 2033 and it wishes to double public funds for sports development in four years. "It’s time to give back to Slovenian sport what it has been giving to Slovenia all along," said Minister Han.

Among the achievements of his current leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in the last seven months, Minister Han highlighted the intensive two-way dialogue with the business sector, the elimination of chronic delays in implementing the European legislation and the provision of help to the business sector during the energy crisis. In the second half of 2022, the Ministry continued to publish public calls for awarding development funds. The Ministry thus provided almost EUR 700 million to the business sector in 2022, which was earmarked for investing in enhanced productivity of companies, modernisation of technology and production, research and development, digitalisation and green transition, tourism and regional development.

The Ministry also established the Cross-border Economic Coordination to enhance international economic cooperation and support several projects that belonged to other line ministries, such as the Volleyball Men's World Championship, the European Women's Handball Championship, the organisation of the European Youth Olympic Festival in Maribor and Netflix film production in Slovenia. On this note, Minister Han said, "As a long-standing deputy, I was always bothered when the ministries made excuses and avoided responsibility. I want to be a different kind of minister, a minister who addresses problems."

Reorganisation of the Ministry

The Sports Directorate and the Inspectorate of Sport from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport will be transferred to the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport. The entire Regional Development Directorate will be transferred to the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development, with the exception of social economy content, which will be incorporated in the work of the new Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport. A section of technologies that was part of the former Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will also be transferred to the newly established Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation.

The reorganisation of the Ministry will be completed no later than by three months after the entry into force of the Act Amending the State Administration Act.