Minister Jevšek and Commissioner Ferreira discuss efficient use of EU funds to support recovery and reconstruction after devastating floods
Minister Dr Aleksander Jevšek today spoke over the phone with European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira about the scale of devastation caused by the floods that recently hit Slovenia. The Minister thanked the European Commission and EU member states for their fast response and support. He invited the Commissioner to Slovenia to see first-hand the damage caused by the floods.
Commissioner Ferreira, who is also responsible for the work of Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) that provides expert and financial support for reforms in member states and oversees the EU Solidarity Fund, assured him she would pay a visit to Slovenia as soon as possible. The Minister outlined the measures that Slovenian government had taken in the aftermath of the devastating floods to help the Slovenian citizens and economy and asked for the maximum flexibility and support of the European Commission in this respect. He underscored that Slovenia is extremely proud of the solidarity shown by Slovenians and other countries in the wake of the floods. While people have lost virtually all, the disaster has not stripped them of optimism and hope.
Minister Jevšek also informed the Commissioner that the government had established an inter-ministerial task force responsible for preparing the application for the EU Solidarity Fund assistance. The task force is led by State Secretary Andreja Katič. Slovenia must submit the application to the European Commission at the latest by 27 October. The country will also ask for an advance payment.
The Minister and the Commissioner also talked about the possible redirection of any funding that remains unused under the Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period and the possibility of amending Slovenia's Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027. Commissioner Ferreira assured Dr Jevšek that Slovenia could count on the support of the EU in its recovery and reconstruction efforts, and that the Commission would make sure that the country would use the funds available across various funds and mechanisms as efficiently as possible.