Slovenia agrees on EUR 3.26bn funding strategy with European CommissionReading Time: 2 minutes
Slovenia will receive 3.26 billion euros in EU funding via a partnership agreement, the details of which it finalised with the European Commission (EC) on Monday, 19 September. The deal covers the EU’s current funding period of 2021-27.
European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said “Slovenia can continue its sustainable economic development and overcome challenges in innovation and competitiveness.”
EU Partnership Agreements strategise to address individual priorities identified by each member state. In the case of Slovenia, the funds will target regional disparities in the country by boosting employment, innovation and competitiveness, digital transformation, social inclusion and skills training.
Supporting competitiveness, narrowing regional disparities
Slovenia has allocated EUR 727mn towards research and innovation for the business sector and promoting the digital transformation of the economy, via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
A further EUR 511mn will go towards supporting sustainable and smart mobility and a revamp of the public passenger transport, most notably the Slovenian rail network, via the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund.
Boosting social inclusion, employment, education
Slovenia has earmarked EUR 769mn from the ERDF and the European Social Fund Plus (ESFP) to go towards work skills and adult learning, and improving working conditions for older workers via training and workplace adaption.
The Balkan country will use some of its ESFP funds to invest heavily in its long-term care system. Slovenia will also invest in healthcare and mental health services, communal living via social and community funding, recruitment, training and educational programmes.
European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said “I welcome Slovenia’s objective to invest in long term care and healthcare. Last week the Commission presented its European Care Strategy which underlines the importance of overhauling our care systems, to ensure they are accessible, affordable and of good quality.”
ESFP money will also help to reduce social exclusion and poverty risks for vulnerable groups. Young people with special needs will get support to access education and the labour market. Additionally, EUR 29.4mn will buy food packages for disadvantaged groups at risk of poverty.
“Slovenia will continue to focus on boosting employment, lifelong learning and reducing poverty, which reflect the three main goals of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan,” Schmit said.
Meeting climate goals, backing green economy
The funds also help EU member states to achieve their climate and biodiversity goals. For its part, Slovenia has agreed to invest EUR 806mn in a projects towards a greener, low-carbon transition towards a resilient and net-zero carbon economy.
The EU funding will contribute to the decarbonisation of the country as well as to the development of renewable energies, particularly solar and wind energy and the energy efficiency of buildings.
The funds will additionally mitigate climate change risks, promote circular economy, improve water management, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.
Ferreira concluded that “I am glad that a significant part of the funds will be invested in the development of the digital economy and in fighting climate change, thus improving living standards and leaving no one behind.”
The agreement makes Slovenia the 20th EU member state to finalise its cohesion fund strategy with the EC, with Hungary a notable exception.