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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Slovenia

Slovenia

08/03/2012

Commissioner Hahn is in Slovenia on 8 March to meet Prime Minister Janez Janša and several members of the government in charge of implementing EU-funded programmes.

This will be an opportunity to discuss Slovenia's position in the ongoing negotiations following the Commission's proposals for EU cohesion policy after 2013.  The Commissioner will visit the Technological Research Centre in Ljubljana, which has benefited from funding from the European Regional Development Fund (see details below).

 

What are the country's priorities?

Slovenia shares borders with Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary.  It covers a surface area of just over 20,000 square kilometres and has a varied landscape, running from the Alps in the north to the Adriatic Sea in the south. 

With a population of 2.1 million, GDP per capita in Slovenia is 85% of the EU average (2010 figures).  There is a marked economic difference between the more prosperous western part of Slovenia, including the capital Ljubljana, and the less developed eastern part of the country.

Slovenia has an open economy that relies heavily on external trade, particularly with other EU countries. 

 

How is EU regional policy contributing?

For the 2007-2013 period, Slovenia has been allocated more than €4 billion of Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund financing under the Convergence Objective. 

The areas where EU funding is being invested include:

  • Modernisation and construction of Slovenia's road and rail infrastructure
  • Support for entrepreneurship, particularly the development of small companies
  • Innovation, research & development
  • Development of tourism infrastructure
  • Waste and water management systems
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Job creation, social inclusion and equal opportunities

 

Between 2007 and 2010, more than 500 local development projects were supported, over 150 tourism infrastructure projects, 700 projects assisting Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to purchase technological equipment, and two projects supporting higher education infrastructure (Medicine faculty in Maribor and Politehnika Ljubljana) have been set up with EU co-financing. 52 km of new motorways were constructed and fifteen major environmental projects (water and waste management) are ongoing.

Slovenia is also taking full advantage of European Territorial Cooperation by participating in several cross-border, transnational and interregional programmes with its neighbours.

 

Project examples

  • Technological Research Centre JUB:  EU funding has supported the development of a 3000 m2 research and training centre, located in a building that sets high standards for energy efficiency and use of renewable energies.  JUB is one of Slovenia's oldest chemical companies.  It has been manufacturing paints for over 130 years.
  • Cleaning the Savinja river:  Residents of Celje, Slovenia's third largest city, will have access to clean drinking water and a healthier environment thanks to an EU investment in a new waste water treatment facility.  The treatment plant will prevent municipal and industrial waste polluting the Savinja River. 
  • Renovation and modernisation of mountain refuges:  Around 3 million hikers visit Slovenia's mountains every year.  They will soon be able to enjoy a more comfortable stay in one of the country's 165 mountain huts and refuges.  22 of these refuges will be modernised and renovated with support from the European Regional Development Fund.
  • Graduate employment:  University graduates will run less risk of finding themselves unemployed as a results of the 'Candidate for Graduation' programme.  The programme places students in relevant companies before the end of their studies and then subsidises their employment at the same workplace after graduation. 

 

Further information