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Slovenia Weekly

Investments for the future



Anti-flood measures - investments for the future. Photo: GIAM ZRC SAZU
An old Slovenian proverb says that it is pointless to sound the alarm after the hail has passed. We are often being reminded of that fact by nature itself. Last week, Slovenia was again affected by extensive flooding. While the response from the Administration for the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, the Slovenian Armed Forces, fire fighters and citizens was outstanding, it is no longer enough. Additional efforts and funds must be invested in anti-flood measures and the regulation of the waterways.

The Government of Miro Cerar is aware that there have been delays and unfinished projects. However, it has chosen not to dwell on what should have been done in the past, preferring to focus on the future. At its recent consultation meeting, it made a commitment to draft a programme for the most urgent anti-flood measures by the end of November, and an overall plan by the end of next year. However, the situation must be dealt with immediately.

Anti-flood measures were also highlighted by the PM in his recent working meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, where they discussed a planned € 300 billion investment project. He also assessed that the question of infrastructure was essential and that European funds could help prevent flooding and the large-scale effects of other types of extreme weather.

Slovenia’s investment package also includes the modernisation of the railway network, including the construction of a second line. The finance ministry has also been preparing investment measures that Slovenia will propose to the Commission.

A draft operational programme for the implementation of cohesion policy in the 2014–2020 period, which sets out the basis for preparing projects eligible for 3.2 billion euros of cohesion funds, is awaiting the approval of the European Commission.

When drawing up the new financial perspective, Slovenia will not forget the creative potential of innovative companies and the goal of increasing their share, as innovations can help attract fresh capital.

Cerar and Juncker discuss Slovenia's investment projects in the EU investment plan

PM Cerar: Slovenian government is seeking to achieve a breakthrough, revive the economy and protect the environment with multiplier effects. Photo: STA
After his discussions with the President of the European Commission, the Slovenian PM said that Slovenia would like to see anti-flooding measures and the modernisation of the railways, including the construction of a second line, included in the EU’s investment plan. He explained that the Slovenian government was ambitious and was seeking to achieve a breakthrough, revive the economy and protect the environment with multiplier effects. For example, the modernisation of the railways in Slovenia would have many positive effects, including on the environment and the economy. The construction of a second line connecting the Port of Koper with Central Europe attracted Juncker’s interest. The Slovenian PM stressed that these were draft plans, and that the Ministry of Finance was drawing up several investment measures which Slovenia will propose to the European Commission.

Juncker and Cerar also discussed the situation in Slovenia, and Juncker expressed full support for the government’s policies on financial consolidation, stabilisation and ending the crisis. They also talked about the budgetary plans of members of the euro area, which the European Commission must evaluate by the end of the month. PM Cerar reiterated that he expected the Commission to confirm Slovenia’s financial plan for 2015, and that Slovenia would like to be treated equally regarding the budgetary deficit and other financial and fiscal criteria. “We cannot concede to double standards, so that bigger countries are treated differently from the smaller ones,” said the PM and was ensured by the President of the European Commission that he would make efforts in that direction.

The PM also met the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. more...

UMAR: Gradual improvement of economic indicators and the situation on the market

According to the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) in the new edition of its Economic Mirror, gradual improvement of economic indicators continues. This is a confirmation of optimistic estimates in the Commission's autumn forecast, which predicts a 2.4 per cent growth, and gradual reduction of deficit and unemployment in Slovenia. more...

Cross-sectoral cooperation crucial for absorbing European funds in 2014-2020

“By using refundable funds, we can almost double the funds received from Brussels in the 2014–2020 period,” said State Secretary Alenka Smerkolj from the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. At its meeting, the government approved the Operational Programme for the implementation of European Cohesion policy. Slovenia can expect approval from the European Commission by the end of the year. more...

Overcoming the crisis through social and political dialogue

“Open and constructive social dialogue can essentially contribute to Slovenia successfully exiting the crisis,” said the PM Miro Cerar during his discussion with representatives of major social interest groups in the National Council and his speech to representatives of employers on the 20th anniversary of the Association of Employers of Slovenia. He stressed that social partners were facing demanding decisions and compromises and added that, in order to re-establish social stability, promoting competitiveness and ensuring social state and cooperation among social partners was crucial. more...

Salzburg Forum: Slovenian initiative to fight terrorism in the Western Balkans

Slovenia hosted interior ministers of the members of Salzburg Forum at Brdo pri Kranju to discuss current interior security and police cooperation issues. Slovenian interior minister, Vesna Györkös Žnidar, said that fighting terrorism remained one of security priorities at the global, European and regional levels. In this respect, she believes that close cooperation among the members of the forum and with third countries is crucial if we wish to stand against foreign extremist fighters. more...

Slovenia has great creative potential

Numerous participants in the ninth edition of Slovenian Innovation Forum showed a great deal of creativity with regard to the presented challenges. The focus of this year’s main national event on the subject of innovation and entrepreneurship was on the value of innovation, which can greatly affect the situation in the market in the target segment. The Spirit agency, which organised the forum, believes that “if we all follow this goal, we will be able to boast numerous breakthrough innovations in the future.” more...

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