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EU funding for young people – tackling challenges and building future

A special event was held today in Ljubljana to showcase the vast array of opportunities and possibilities cohesion policy has to offer to young people. In his opening remarks, Minister of Cohesion and Regional Development Dr Aleksander Jevšek underscored that cohesion is mostly about cooperating and bringing together – countries, regions, cities, organisations, businesses, and people – young, old, and everyone in between. He said that this kind of events was important and that the ministry would continue to organise them in the future.
Minister Jevšek in državni sekretar Koprivc v pogovoru z izvajalci projektov sofinanciranih z evropskimi sredstvi

Minister Jevšek and State Secretary talk to project promoters | Author Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development

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‘’We are closing the 2014-2020 programming period at the end of 2023. At the same time, we have already kicked off the 2021-2027 period with the third generation of cohesion policy programmes. I am happy to announce that the implementation rate for Slovenia currently stands at 96%, which means that we will absorb all the cohesion funding that was made available to the country under the 2014-2020 period, which is roughly 3.3 billion euros,’’ said Minister Jevšek.

The central part of the event was dedicated to cohesion policy and what it does for young people. A panel discussion titled Meeting young people’s needs with the help of cohesion policy was also held. As part of the event, different organisations showcased the projects for young people that had received EU support.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development mag. Marko Koprivc who facilitated the discussion said: ‘’It is very important that we develop the relevant activities by working together with as many different stakeholders as possible to be able to hear about the actual challenges and needs of young people directly from those who work with them on the ground. We aim to design policies and guidelines that will allow us to make the most of the EU funding that is available to all; mostly, we wish that all citizens benefit from the positive impacts of the development enabled by the EU funding.’’ 

The panellists, Director of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth mag. Tina Kosi; President of the National Youth Council of Slovenia Eva Kotnik; UN Youth Delegate Arina Šmidt; Jana Rožac from the Employment Service of Slovenia and Deputy Director of CNVOS, national NGO umbrella network, and head of advocacy Tina Divjak highlighted three key areas that young people most worry about nowadays: housing, labour market and precarious work, climate change and sustainable mobility.

Funding for young people has been set aside under the Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027. Thus, 727 million euros will be available for research, development, and innovation, investments in research infrastructure and research capacities, and investments in digitalisation under the policy objective ‘A more competitive and smarter Europe’. A further 741 million euros will be earmarked for social inclusion, employment, and education and training programmes under policy objective ‘A more social and inclusive Europe’.

‘’There are other important sources of funding available to young people besides cohesion policy; here I refer particularly to the Norway Grants. The Norway Grants offer many funding opportunities for young people, also through the calls for proposals prepared by CNVOS,’’ stressed State Secretary Koprivc.

The event ended with a Q and A session. The participants were also invited to learn more about the EU-funded projects that had already been carried out.