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Slovenia Weekly

Shifts towards sustainability

05.06.2015

Editorial

The Slovenian government supports the development of the economy towards a green economy in which the resolution of problems is seen as an opportunity for development. Photo: Mostphotos
Economic globalisation has influenced our values. Methods of consumption and production also affect Slovenia and we carry part of the responsibility for the necessary change. Does economic growth mean more to us than sustainable development? We say that we have become richer, but this is mainly at the expense of nature, which was considered a free reservoir for our excessive economic and consumer appetite. The economic crisis has shown that endless growth at the expense of environment is not possible. How can we find a balance? The answer lies in a transition to a green economy. Society is already paying unsettled bills to nature, so we have to think about how we will change our behaviour. Decision-makers in Slovenia seek sustainable development as a unique opportunity and Slovenia's comparative advantage that will ensure an end to the crisis and improve the competitiveness of our economy. In this respect, we should not forget that the long-term prosperity of the population, quality of the environment and life, and sustainable activities of the economy also depend on responsible management of natural resources.

This week, several events were dedicated to sustainable environment. The conference on connecting potential for sustainable growth confirmed that Slovenia has great potential for sustainable development, which could be used to boost development by strengthening the environment, social and economic capital and considering the core values of social responsibility and Slovenia’s natural and cultural heritage. According to PM Miro Cerar, our mindset and actions in many fields will have to change, including financial and economic. According to the PM, the government supports the transition to a green economy, in which the resolution of problems is seen as an opportunity for development.

At the recent OECD ministerial council meeting in Paris, ministers also talked about sustainable goals and the role of the OECD. Goals for sustainable growth are a novelty, as they apply not only to developing countries, but also members of the OECD. Therefore, the Slovenian government decided to prepare Slovenia’s Development Strategy based on sustainable development goals.

With its visit to the Primorsko-notranjska region on Wednesday, which was very much affected by the catastrophic glaze ice last year, as wood is one of the primary natural resources in the area, the government clearly stated its purpose to make existing natural resources one of the major natural resources for sustainable development. According to the government, more linking of forestry and wood sectors, particularly to create new jobs is needed.

Today, 5 June, is World Environment Day, a day when people take positive environmental actions that have a positive effect on the planet. This year’s slogan is connected to lifestyles, which can decisively impact the environment: Seven Billion People. One Planet. Consume with Care. It is true, we have to start with ourselves, or, in the well-known words of Goethe ‘Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean’.

Combining potentials for a sustainable future

With the conference “Combining potentials for a sustainable future” Slovenia began to mark the first European Sustainable Development Week. Slovenia has excellent environmental, social and economic capital which it can leverage to launch a new development cycle, said PM Miro Cerar, adding that the mindset must be changed in many areas, including finance and the economy. more...

Dombrovskis commends Slovenia’s progress

After meeting PM Miro Cerar, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is presenting European Commission’s recommendations in Slovenia within the so-called European semester, welcomed the progress of Slovenian economy, which is growing at above-average rates. But "there are still weaknesses that need to be addressed," he said after talks with Miro Cerar. Turning to the Commission's recommendations, Cerar said the government was taking them "very seriously" and described them as being "in line with our policies, which are geared towards fiscal consolidation and, in particular, additional structural reforms." In this respect, he highlighted the reform of the public administration sector, and the health and pension systems. more...

Foreign minister Erjavec at the OECD: Slovenia supports the presented vision of sustainable development goals

From Tuesday to Thursday, a three-day OECD Forum and Ministerial Council Meeting was held in Paris under the title "Unlocking investment for sustainable growth and jobs". At the meeting, the ministers also talked about sustainable development goals, which are to be adopted at the UN General Assembly in the autumn.In his speech, minister Erjavec stressed the significance of reaching an agreement on goals that can actually be implemented. Here, he expects the OECD to play a crucial role. The novelty of sustainable development goals is that they do not target only developing countries, but all countries, including OECD members. Therefore, Slovenia’s government decided to prepare Slovenia’s Development Strategy on their basis. more...

ECHR's decision in the case of Ljubljanska banka vs Croatia – the government will explore all avenues for a just solution

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) has ruled in the case brought by the defunct Ljubljanska banka against Croatia (from 2007) for the repayment of debt owed by the IPK sugar factory in Osijek. The court ruled that the case is inadmissible because the bank is state-owned and therefore not entitled to bring an individual application before the European Court of Human Rights because it does not meet the formal requirements in Article 34 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Competent bodies and departments will carefully study the possible further steps in the light of Thursday’s ruling. The government will explore all avenues, legal included, to find a just solution of the issue. This can only be to recover the claims of Ljubljanska banka, particularly because the court has ordered Slovenia to repay its savers. more...

Leaders of Brdo Process at Summit100: Trust is crucial for resolving outstanding issues

Summit 100, a two-day meeting of business leaders from the countries of South-East Europe was held on 1 and 2 June in Potrorož. This year, it was hosted by Slovenia’s President, Borut Pahor, who was joined by leaders of some of the countries of the region. The leaders of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo who came to Portorož at his invitation participated on a panel entitled “A new deal for a new age”, where they discussed possible joint projects in the six most propulsive economic sectors: energy, tourism, transport and infrastructure, digital economy, food and beverages and the knowledge-based economy. more...

Adriatic Strike 2015 international military exercise

The Adriatic Strike 2015 military exercise, which is being held for the fourth consecutive time, with the participation of 16 countries, has been underway from 1 June 2015, lasting six days. The purpose of Adriatic Strike 2015 is to train Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) with the support of military aviation. During the training, the Slovenian Armed Forces host about 450 participants, of whom 200 are troops from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, the United States and Turkey as an observer. more...

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