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Slovenia receives over half a billion euros in EU recovery and resilience funds

Slovenia has received EUR 536 million in response to its second request for the payment of funds from the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

"All the efforts we've invested in implementing this facility in Slovenia from the very beginning have now borne fruit. We've taken an important step forward. The funds received in response to our second request for payment are proof of our hard work, providing great motivation for the future," said Prime Minister Robert Golob.

The Slovenian Minister of Finance, Klemen Boštjančič, also commented on the payment received. "We couldn't have wished for a better way to start the new year. The year 2023 was a turning point in terms of implementing our Recovery and Resilience Plan. We've received funds in response to two of our payment requests and adapted our plan. The time frame for using these funds is very tight and there's still lots of work we need to do. But today it's the time to celebrate. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow ministers and their staff, as well as the staff at the Recovery and Resilience Office, who have made all this possible," he said. The Minister added that, together with the Recovery and Resilience Office, the Ministry of Finance will continue to closely monitor the achievement of the milestones and targets linked to the payment of the next instalments.

The European Commission and the competent EU Council committees assessed that Slovenia satisfactorily fulfilled all 44 milestones related to its second request for payment, which covers the second and third instalments of the non-repayable grant and the first instalment of the loan support, and that it is therefore entitled to receive the maximum amount.

The request was for EUR 614 million gross, but the net payment amounts to EUR 536 million, comprising EUR 226 million in grants and EUR 310 million in loans. In addition to the proportionate share of the advance grant payment from the Facility, which Slovenia received in September 2021, the European Commission's final calculation of the payment also took into account the recently received prepayments for the implementation of REPowerEU measures, totalling EUR 24 million.

On this occasion, the Director of the Slovenian Recovery and Resilience Office, Josip Mihalic, highlighted that while today's payment, which Slovenia received just before the start of the new year, may seem like a present, in fact it is anything but. "Both Slovenia and Brussels have invested great efforts into getting us to reach the point we're at today. Standing behind all these 44 milestones are concrete results related to reforms and investments, the common goal of which is to provide a better tomorrow for all," he pointed out.

A variety of activities related to reforms and investments have been carried out within the context of the milestones and targets linked to Slovenia's second request for payments. Among other things, the Electricity Supply Act and the Investment Promotion Actentered into force, and the 2021–2025 Broadband Network Development Plan and theCapital Market Development Strategy were adopted. Open calls were held for funding drinking water supply projects and municipal wastewater drainage and treatment projects. In addition, selection procedures were completed for projects related to tourist accommodation investments and projects related to the renovation of cultural heritage sites. Employers have used EU recovery and resilience funds to provide permanent jobs for 700 young people. Progress is also being made in providing public rental housing to young people, the socially disadvantaged and other marginalised groups. To this end, amendments to the Housing Act have entered into force to promote an effective and balanced approach to housing provision by adjusting the amount of non-profit rent.

In the summer, the plan's implementation entered its third year. A variety of projects are under way, while some have already been completed. Recently, work has been completed on Domžale railway station and on the right-hand track of the line between Brezovica and Borovnica. Progress is being made with the construction of the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, a contractor has been selected for the construction of a new clinic for infectious diseases in Ljubljana, and a building permit has been issued and an open call for proposals has been announced for the construction of the central part of Ljubljana railway station, whose renovation will start early next year.

Together with today's payment, Slovenia has so far received a total of EUR 841 million for carrying out the plan. This is more than 30% of the total recovery and resilience funding available to Slovenia by the end of 2026. This ranks Slovenia among the most successful EU Member States in terms of absorbing these funds.

Based on the predicted expenditure reported by the ministries, the funds received in response to the second payment request should cover all the project costs incurred in 2024.