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Cohesion by 2013 Slovenščina

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Programming

On 7 March 2019, the European Commission published Country Report Slovenia 2019 (available in Slovene) which is an analytical document providing an overview of the progress on structural reforms, and in depth review on prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances as well as policy action taken by the country. Successful regaining of balance will help the country effectively address medium and long-term challenges.

Annex D (available in Slovene) to the Country Report ‘’Investment Guidance on Cohesion Policy Funding 2021-2027 for Slovenia’’ which was prepared by Commission services is investment guidance on Cohesion Policy funding 2021-2027 for each Member State (European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and European Social Fund Plus) and serves as the basis for the informal dialogue on Cohesion Policy programming. Public presentation held on 15 March 2019 in EU House Slovenia brought together representatives from the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to comment and provide position on priority investment areas identified in Annex D.

Slovenia calls for a timely conclusion of negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework highlighting the need to better link and align individual policy objectives supported by various Funds. Slovenia believes that the implementation of measures of biodiversity and green infrastructure protection should be expanded to apply to (non)-urban areas as well in light of the size of the areas covered by the Natura 2000 network or classified as protected. Slovenia is in favour of incorporating interventions in the public sector housing in energy-saving renovation measures as they are considered a state-level priority. Slovenia does not agree with the identified linkages to only a few of the macro-regional strategies and the possibility of implementing Integrated Territorial Investments in certain investment areas only. The country also draws attention to the need to design earthquake-proof buildings.

Presentation on Annex D (available in English) marks the start of programming in Slovenia. The entire process consists of various phases which will be shaped by and depend on the developments concerning Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 legislative package.

Programming phases   

Programming involves four stages or phases, i.e. preparatory phase, indicative breakdown of programme resources and guidance on programme development, first draft of the programme, finalisation and approval of the programme.

PREPARATORY PHASE - GOVERNMENT MATERIAL

While negotiations on the next MFF are still underway at the EU level, the final breakdown of resources both at the level of each individual Member State or cohesion region is still unknown. Nevertheless, the first programming-related preparatory activities were already carried out by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC). In this context, GODC drew up information on the start of the programming process for the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and submitted it to the government departments for coordination (the material is currently being reviewed by the ministries who have been invited to provide comments on it). The material was also circulated among stakeholders and other audiences in line with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 240/2014 setting out that each Member State is to ensure that the the relevant partners are actively involved in the programme preparation to respect the principle of partnership.

Information for the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on the start of the programming of funds and design of Cohesion Policy programmes  for the period  2021–2027 highlights the need to set up appropriate structures within state administration and in the scope of enabling conditions which will replace ex-ante conditionalities from the period 2014-2020. Enabling conditions are fewer, clearer and more focused on the goals of the Fund concerned, and will be, unlike in the period 2014-2020, monitored and applicable throughout the entire period. Once enabling conditions are fulfilled, the Member States will meet the conditions for submitting EU payment applications for the concerned specific objective. Enabling conditions are the necessary prerequisites for the effective and efficient use of Union support granted by the Funds. It is also important to ensure that operations selected for support are implemented consistently with the strategies and planning documents in place underlying the fulfilled enabling conditions, thus ensuring that all co-financed operations are in line with the Union policy framework.

Annex IV of the Common Provisions Regulation lays down thematic enabling conditions which are identified for the ERDF, the Cohesion Fund and the ESF+ and the criteria necessary for the assessment of their fulfilment. Strategic documents which represent enabling conditions and the Cohesion Policy programme thus form the implementing framework serving as a basis for Cohesion Policy investments. The development and/or update of the documents/strategies which will facilitate the achievement of enabling conditions have to be carried out before the preparation of the programme. Current review shows that most of the relevant documents have been prepared for the period up until 2020.

Furthermore, the Cohesion Policy programme has to be appropriately supported by an entire implementation system, which means that the national implementing decree has to be drawn up, description of the management and control system prepared, and information system put in place and functioning well once the programme is finalised and launched. The work ahead includes the relevant adjustments of Slovenian systemic requirements to allow for the roll-out of simplifications outlined in the relevant EU regulations. Thus for example, simplified cost options will have to be proposed, and the methodologies used for such options agreed with the Commission.