Slovenia will benefit from €3.26 billion in Cohesion Policy funding between 2021-2027 to support the sustainable development of its economy. The details and strategy for these investments are set out in the Partnership Agreement between Slovenia and the Commission that was adopted today.
These EU funds will address the regional disparities in the country by boosting innovation and competitiveness, enabling the economy’s digital transformation, investing in social inclusion, skills training and employment, and helping reach the country’s climate and biodiversity goals.
Fighting climate change and supporting the green economy
Slovenia will invest €806 million under the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) the Cohesion Fund for a greener, low-carbon transition towards a net zero carbon and resilient economy. The funds will contribute to the decarbonisation of the country as well as to the development of renewable energies. In particular, investments will be made in solar and wind energy capacities, and to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
EU funds will also mitigate climate change risks, promote circular economy in businesses, ensure an efficient management of water resources, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.
€249 million from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will promote a just energy transition by helping the Savinjsko-Šaleška region shift away from coal by 2033, and the restructuring of the Zasavje region. The JTF will focus in particular on strengthening training and employment opportunities, contributing to the diversification and resilience of the local economy and reviving degraded areas.
Boosting economic competitiveness and reducing regional disparities
€727 million under the ERDF will be invested in research and innovation for the business sector, creating favourable conditions for businesses and promoting the digital transformation of the economy.
Over €511 million under the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund will support sustainable and smart mobility and address the shortcomings of the public passenger transport, in particular by modernising and upgrading the Slovenian rail network.
Social inclusion, employment, education, and training
€769 million from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and the ERDF will help tackle the challenges of long-term unemployment and of an ageing population by investing in upskilling and lifelong learning, and improving the working environment and conditions of older workers by training employers and adapting workplaces.
For an active and healthy ageing, Slovenia will use some of its ESF+ funds to invest heavily in its long-term care system. Community living will be supported by investments in social and community services, recruitment of new staff and training and modern educational programmes. Slovenia will equally invest in healthcare and mental health services which are critical for the well-being of society.
Money from the ESF+ will also help reduce social exclusion and the risk of poverty for vulnerable groups. For example, young people with special needs will get support to access education and the labour market. And, €29.4 million will be used to purchase food packages for disadvantaged groups at risk of poverty.
Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
€23.9 million from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) will target investments in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, conservation of marine biodiversity and protection of marine ecosystems in the Adriatic Sea.
The Fund will also support the development of Fisheries Local Action Groups, that will contribute to productive and vital local fisheries and aquaculture communities in Slovenia.
Members of the College said:
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “With these Cohesion Policy investments, Slovenia can continue its sustainable economic development and overcome challenges in innovation and competitiveness. 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.”
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added: “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. It is also very encouraging that 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.”
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Europe’s blue economy creates tangible opportunities for coastal communities and plays a crucial role in decarbonising our economy. This Partnership Agreement will help Slovenia further build low-carbon, resilient, sustainable, and innovative fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and support the green and digital transition of the blue economy in Slovenia. The Fund will also contribute to the sustainable use and the protection of the marine resources and biodiversity, to the benefit of people, nature and the economy.”
Under Cohesion Policy, and in cooperation with the Commission, each Member State prepares a Partnership Agreement, a strategic document for programming investments from the Cohesion Policy funds – ERDF, ESF+, and the Cohesion Fund – the Just Transition Fund and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The Partnership Agreements focus on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities identified by each Member State. They present a list of National and Regional Programmes adapted to the needs of the country for implementation of the investments on the ground, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each programme.
The Partnership Agreement with Slovenia is the 20th to be adopted following those of Greece, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal, Estonia, Slovakia, Italy, Romania and Croatia.