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Serbian Minister visits Slovenia

Minister Dr Aleksander Jevšek and Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik met in Ljubljana with Edin Đerlek, Serbian Minister without portfolio in charge of balanced regional development. The meeting focused on the presentation of the area of local self-government, regional development and EU Cohesion Policy from Slovenia’s accession to the European Union to today.
Ministrica Ajanović Hovnik, srbski minister Edin Đerlek in minister dr. Jevšek

Minister Ajanović Hovnik, Serbian Minister Edin Đerlek and Minister Dr Jevšek | Author Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development

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Minister of Cohesion and Regional Development Dr Aleksander Jevšek and his colleagues presented Slovenia’s experience with the absorption of the available EU Cohesion Policy funding from the period of EU accession negotiations to the present period when Slovenia is closing the projects, supported under the programming period 2014-2020, as well launching the new programming period 2021-2027.    

The Minister underlined the importance of the ministry’s cooperation with local communities, regional development agencies and both cohesion regions, which are the ones that “can best identify the needs of the local communities and its inhabitants; they are the ones benefitting from EU funds support”.

Minister Jevšek also presented the ministry’s plans for regional development: “We have already started with the activities for concluding the agreements on the development of regions. We could start signing the contracts already in 2023. Amending the Promotion of Balanced Regional Development Act is also a challenge to be addressed.”

Minister of Public Administration Sanja Ajanović Hovnik underlined the commitment to strengthen the dialogue between the state and local-self government. The dialogue has been established in the frame of the local self-government working group, which she and Minister Jevšek chair alternately. The working group addresses issues regarding the reform and improvement of local self-government legislation with representatives of all three municipal associations being actively involved in the process.     

Minister Ajanović Hovnik also presented the Serbian delegation with the competences of the Ministry of Public Administration. She also presented the local self-government system, which was established 30 years ago with the adoption of acts regulating the establishment and financing of municipalities. These acts paved the way for the first regular local elections and the established and functioning of the bodies of the newly established municipalities.

In this context, Minister Ajanović Hovnik underlined the unified information support to municipal electoral bodies in local elections, i.e. the isDVK, which proved to be an effective tool during the last local elections in 2022 and can also be used for referendum-related matters.

At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to further strengthen cooperation by exchanging experience and best practices. In the afternoon, the Serbian delegation visited the Regional Development Agency of Gorenjska – BSC Kranj and a best practice example on the ground.