European Commission gives the green light to Slovenia's first payment request for European funding for recovery and resilience
The European Commission has given a preliminary positive assessment of the first payment request for European funding for recovery and resilience. "We have been eagerly awaiting the news that was announced today by Commissioner Gentiloni. I am very pleased that the Commission has given the green light to our first payment request for the Recovery and Resilience Facility," said the Minister of Finance Klemen Boštjančič at a press conference.
Following Slovenia's submission of its request for the first instalment of the grant to Brussels last October, the European Commission announced today that it has given a preliminary positive assessment of the application. The assessment will be forwarded to the Economic and Financial Committee for information and opinion. Once the Commission has given its final positive assessment, it will issue a decision formally authorising the payment of the financial contribution of just under EUR 50 million. "We expect this in April," said Minister Klemen Boštjančič at a press conference with the European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni.
In his opening speech, European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni congratulated Slovenia on the successful preliminary positive assessment of its payment request for a grant from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Slovenia has successfully reached 12 milestones and will receive EUR 50 million in the next few weeks.
Slovenia will benefit from EUR 1.5 billion in grants from the Facility and plans to use EUR 705 million of reimbursable funds to implement the measures of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. Slovenia is currently covering the activities of ongoing projects through an advance payment (EUR 231 million) received in September 2021. As the Minister said, the effects of the EU funds are already visible and can be felt by citizens. He highlighted some completed and ongoing projects: the upgrade of the Ljubljana-Jesenice and Ljubljana-Divača railway lines, the upgrade of the Grosuplje railway station, the digitalisation of the economy, the upgrade of the clinic for infectious diseases at the UKC Ljubljana and the Pod Pekrsko gorco residential neighbourhood in Maribor, which is one of 34 projects of this kind that will be implemented under the plan.
"Today's news is an additional incentive to continue our efforts to speed up the implementation of measures. The Government is committed to speeding up the achievement of milestones and objectives in the planned actions and thus the sending of payment applications. But there is still a lot of work to be done. The Government has also intensively embarked on the process of adjusting the plan, which is mainly being undertaken to reduce the grant allocation (EUR 286 million less grant than originally planned) and to address the objectives of the European REPowerEU plan to reduce dependence on Russian energy," the Minister described the next steps in the implementation process.
Minister Boštjančič also took the opportunity to thank the European Commission for all its support and cooperation so far, which he looks forward to continuing in the future.