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Slovenia Weekly

Green, the colour of the future



Photo: Barbara Jakše Jeršič/UKOM
Slovenia certainly has a critical mass of knowledge, capacities and competences and there is innovation potential for placing Slovenia within global markets, thus enhancing its recognisability. This week, the investment conference on developing Slovenia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (SSS) took place in Ljubljana. Over 400 key economic and scientific-research actors in Slovenia’s development discussed Slovenia’s key development priorities in terms of investing in research and development. PM Miro Cerar underlined that the implementation of the S3 strategy would be one of his government's priorities and that the identified priorities will not only be supported in the framework of the research and innovation policy, but would also be treated as a cross-sectoral issue. He emphasised that the aim of the conference was to identify a shared direction which would “empower Slovenia with the much- needed confidence and guidance which we lacked during the crisis”.

The new financial perspective, of which SSS will be part, has clear requirements: added value is prioritised, and is to be created by projects, products, comprehensive solutions and jobs with high added value. Slovenia has many comparative advantages, and we should now invest in them to make them stronger. The common denominator of all priority areas is sustainable technologies and services for a healthy life. “This is our vision and the direction in which Slovenia is already being promoted as a green, active and healthy region, as well as a digital region,” said the minister responsible for development, strategic projects and cohesion, Alenka Smerkolj. The participants of Tuesday's round table on climate change at the Bled international conference on sustainable development also agreed that the existing system of economic growth is not sustainable, so a switch to green technology is necessary.

Green and high technologies were also at the forefront of the meetings of President Borut Pahor in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Slovenia seeks to present itself to its strongest economic partner as an innovative environment that understands development in sustainable terms and also contributes its share to such development with high technology. While on the official visit, Pahor travelled to Germany and between individual locations with vehicles that have very-low or zero carbon footprint.

Today is the Slovenian national day at the Expo Milano 2015. Slovenia is being presented in its own exhibition pavilion, which is built from natural materials and is intended to attract visitors and highlight our character and natural disposition: dynamic, open and oriented towards seeking new opportunities and solutions. The Universal Exposition Expo Milano 2015 is certainly the right place to display this, since it encourages our awareness of the fact that, by taking small steps, we can do something good for ourselves and our planet. It simultaneously provides an opportunity for establishing new business contacts and finding the way to green and sustainable development.

PMs Cerar and Cameron discuss British proposals on EU reform at Brdo

On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Miro Cerar hosted the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron on a working visit. The British PM is on a tour of European capitals to present UK’s views on reforming the EU and the UK’s membership. Slovenia’s prime minister supports the British approach to shaping the future of the EU through open and constructive dialogue with individual members states to the benefit all citizens and the EU as a unique type of organisation. The visit, which was the first visit of a British prime minister to Slovenia, was also an opportunity to further strengthen good and friendly cooperation between the countries. The PMs confirmed excellent political relations and urged strengthening the dynamics of economic cooperation. more...

Economy, science and the government hand in hand towards smart specialisation

At the beginning of the week, over 400 development actors in Slovenia – crucial economic and scientific stakeholders – met at a conference entitled Developing Slovenia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy with your Help to discuss Slovenia’s development priorities in the research and development sector within the framework of implementing the 2014-2020 European cohesion policy. In his introduction, the Prime Minister Miro Cerar said that the implementation of a smart specialisation strategy is a priority of this government, as it is an implementation document for two key strategies, concentrating on research and innovation, and Slovenia’s industrial policy. more...

Green high technology is a priority area for economic cooperation with southern Germany

Slovenia's president, Borut Pahor, has been on a two-day visit to the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The discussions focused on green and high technology and economic cooperation between Slovenia and South Germany. Germany is Slovenia most important trade partner, while the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are the most important trade partners among the German federal states. more...

Water – a human right, responsibility and opportunity

The existing system of economic growth is not sustainable, so it is urgently necessary to introduce a green economy, the participants in a round table on climate change at the Bled international conference on sustainable development agreed. During Bled Film Festival, a conference entitled Water – a Human Right, Responsibility and Opportunity took place at IEDC – Bled School of Management. Representatives of the environment ministry, foreign ministry and the French embassy took part in a round table on climate change. more...

Slovenia against compromise on data protection

Slovenia did not support a compromise on the new rules on the protection of personal data, as it is very weak in several areas and means a lower level of protection compared to the European legislation from 1995 and legislation in Slovenia, said the justice minister Goran Klemenčič, who attended the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 15 June 2015. The main topic of this meeting was a proposal for a data protection regulation which represents a significant reform of the legal framework of this area. more...

Resolution on national health-care plan for better access to medical care and better health of all

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health presented the draft resolution on the national health-care plan, which has been publicly debated by representatives of ministries, political decision-makers, the health- care sector and civil society. The proposed resolution, entitled ‘Together for a healthy society’ envisages the abolition of voluntary health care, amendments with regard to concessions, delegating more authority to the management of health institutions and giving the ministry more powers in the implementation of compulsory insurance. Based on the resolution, the ministry will draw up a two-year action plan. The first will be prepared in the autumn, when the resolution is also to be approved. The resolution and its main definitions will provide the basis for updating health-care legislation. more...

Slovenia ranks first: since 2001, the number of road deaths has fallen by 61 per cent

Slovenia was announced the winner of the 2015 PIN Award, an EU award for substantial long-term progress and high-level political commitment to road safety. The award was accepted by Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič on Thursday evening at the annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) conference in Brussels. “Slovenia deserves huge credit for its commitment to robust targets, establishment of a dedicated road safety agency and a detailed plan of action," said the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). more...

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Every friday the Slovenian Weekly Newsletter brings you the latest updates on the work of the Slovenian Government.