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Prime Minister receives EU Commissioner for the Internal Market

Prime Minister Robert Golob received the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Mr Thierry Breton. The main topics discussed over a working lunch were the defence industry and the competitiveness of the European economy, with an emphasis on the automotive and energy industries.

Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Defence, Marjan Šarec, and the Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, Matjaž Han.

After the talks, Prime Minister Golob said that, with an ambitious industrial policy, European partnerships and investments, including EU funds, Slovenia will be able to secure its future for the next ten to fifteen years.

Mr Golob and Mr Breton also devoted attention to high-tech air defence companies. Prime Minister Robert Golob is certain that Slovenia is one of the leading global manufacturers of this type of equipment and that, with further investments in this industry, these capacities can be expanded: "I believe this is the way to increase defence expenditure – by supporting high-tech companies in Slovenia, especially as most of these products and technologies are also applicable in other sectors, such as agriculture, protection and rescue operations."

The Prime Minister highlighted that Slovenia has received the general support of the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market for the automotive cluster to be integrated via cross-border projects, with partners in Europe. This will allow the green transition and the restructuring of the automotive industry to be supported by EU funding. Being a part of larger value chains, the automotive industry is in a specific position and contributes a significant share of GDP, jobs and R&D, both on the level of Slovenia and the EU. It is the most important industry in Slovenia, accounting for more than 10% of the country’s GDP.

The Slovenian Prime Minister and the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market also discussed nuclear energy. They both agree that nuclear energy is part of the solution for the green transition and that major steps forward must be taken in this area.  "It is the only way for Europe to meet its energy needs for the following ten or fifteen years, while allowing to make the most of the knowledge that Slovenia already has in this field in the future," said the Prime Minister.

Finally, Mr Golob expressed his satisfaction with today’s talks: "We talked as equal partners how we – Slovenia and the Commission – can build a better Europe together."

Today, Slovenia received a disbursement of nearly EUR 50 million after the European Commission gave a preliminary positive assessment of all 12 milestones for the payment of grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The talks were followed by a visit to Timtec Defense in Vipava, a company dedicated to the development and production of defence systems. The visit also featured a presentation of C-Astral, a company specialised in the manufacture of small unmanned aircraft systems.