Prime Minister Janša: This is a great achievement that will enable us to achieve the goal of greater and faster development in the next seven-year perspective

Photo: The Government of the Republic of Slovenia

On Tuesday, after several days of negotiations, the European Council reached an agreement on a multiannual financial framework and a recovery fund, worth a total of 1824 billion euros. The agreement brings extensive additional funds for Slovenia, which will facilitate the recovery following the COVID-19 crisis and encourage investments in the green and digital transition. Slovenia can count on 10.5 billion euros from the entire package for the reconstruction of Europe, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The European Union is different after Brexit, the power balance is different, new balances are being established, and perhaps, this has further contributed to the fact that it took practically four days for an agreement to be reached,” the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša said in a press release.

He went on to say that Slovenia welcomes the reached agreement, both for the multiannual financial framework, as well as the recovery fund. “This is a great achievement,” said the Prime Minister, adding that it was also a good moment. “Firstly, because the total amount of funds for recovery and development in the coming years, especially in the first three years, is now sufficient. This is a robust response to the corona crisis, and this overall scope also provides some greater optimism before autumn, as we are all still a little afraid of what will happen with the continuation of this epidemiological wave,” said the Prime Minister, adding: “On the other hand, both instruments are good, also because we have achieved fair distribution.”

This is an ambitious agreement, also important from the psychological point of view
The Slovenian Prime Minister emphasized that especially in this last part, “our” proposals were taken into account, as well as the proposals of the others who addressed the European Council, the leadership, and the Commission, in the sense that the specifics of individual countries were taken into account. In the case of Slovenia, a lot of focus was put on our Western region in particular, which, according to the previous financial perspective, was threatened by a drastic drop of funds. With this agreement, we have succeeded with our maximum proposal in providing additional funds so that this envelope is large enough to make the transition smooth.

“Given our starting points, Slovenia has achieved the key strategic goal, that is, we have reached an ambitious agreement, which is important not only from a financial but also from a psychological point of view. Namely, Slovenia has achieved all the essential negotiating goals, we have secured a very favourable share of funds under both instruments,” the Prime Minister emphasized. He then pointed out what this means, in concrete terms: “If we are talking about the general global financial position of Slovenia, the entire period of seven years is 10.5 billion funds, of which 6 billion and 600 million are grants, within which our national envelopes contain almost 3 billion euros for the cohesion policy, and 1 billion euros and 600 million euros for the common agricultural policy. As part of the recovery fund, we have another 2 billion and 100 million in grants and 3 billion and 600 million in loans,” said the Slovenian Prime Minister. According to the Prime Minister, the size of the envelope for the Western Cohesion Region is 350 million euros, “so our maximum expectation.” “In addition, we have managed to improve the Commission’s proposal when it comes to rural development, and we have received an additional 50 million euros on this item, so despite the fact that this meeting of the European Council was long and arduous, we are leaving satisfied,” the Prime Minister Janez Janša added.

The government will reach an agreement on the successful drawing and spending of the funds on Wednesday’s session already
The Prime Minister also assessed that, given the situation, in terms of Slovenian statistics, and in terms of relative development, the outcome of these negotiations, comparing all three negotiations that have happened so far, is the best, when it comes to the multiannual financial perspective. “Slovenia remains a net recipient of the European budget, and looking back, we regret the fact that we have not done better in the seven years since the last negotiations, but considering where we currently stand, our outlook is positive, and it is a success because it enables us to achieve the goal of greater and faster development in the next seven-year perspective, largely also with the help of the financial resources from both instruments,” said the Prime Minister.

He went on to say that so far, after we successfully negotiated the funds, both for the period 2007-2013 and for the period 2013-2020, the state had a problem with the investing of the funds, and it was sometimes difficult when one was reminded of the difficult negotiations, and then saw the graphs which showed that we were not exactly successful in drawing the funds. “When looking at it like this, we are now trying to better prepare,”  said the Prime Minister, adding that the government will hold a working session in Brdo on Wednesday, “where we will find an agreement on how to provide additional capacity to make these funds as productive as possible and make sure we are able to use them as soon as possible, and we will also prepare the programme, which is envisaged by the document adopted today,” the Slovenian Prime Minister emphasized.  

Sara Kovač