Maribor: The first Slovenian municipality with an approved circular economy strategy
Ladeja Godina Košir, Director and Founder of the Circular Change platform, presented the pan-Slovenian strategic plan. The document which took one year to develop, is titled Roadmap towards the Circular Economy in Slovenia. Shedding light on the national efforts, it defines the circular economy as a response to the challenges faced by the 21st century consumer society. The distinctive feature of the Roadmap is the "circular triangle", which emphasises the significance of a systemic transition from a linear to a circular economic model, and is defined by a strong correlation between three constituents - circular economy (business models), circular change (government policies) and circular culture (the citizens).
While Peter Bossman, the Mayor of Piran, discussed migration and mobility, emphasising that Europe needs a strong leader who is capable of firmly determining the future guidelines, Dragica Marinič from the Styrian Economic Chamber, presented their smart specialisation strategy and the importance of linking development to companies. Draško Veselinovič from the Slovenian Business and Research Association (SBRA), warned that European project co-funding is not to be taken for granted and that good applications are not written overnight. With respect to this, he praised local experts who have managed to acquire approximately EUR 5m of European funds. Interlocutors agree that Slovenia harbours extensive knowledge and implements many projects. What Slovenians lack, however, is the ability for self-promotion and confidence - here, the latter is scarce when compared to other EU member states.
In the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, which will take place in Brussels from 8 - 11 October 2018, the above projects and comprehensive circular economy strategy will be presented to the European public. Maribor made its first appearance at this event in 2016 with their innovative Wcycle economic model, which sparked a lot of interest among fellow EU Member States and the former Slovenian Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik.