The Slovenia Times

Parliamentary committees endorse development minister candidate


Purič was put forward as the candidate by the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) after Marko Bandelli was forced out of office after two months for inappropriate communication.

He told the committees that data on drawing EU funds were not inspiring, which makes one thing certain: "We will not run out of things to do."

Slovenia has EUR 3.1bn available in EU funds in the 2014-2020 period, with EUR 2.1bn having been distributed and contracts signed with project managers. Projects are under way and payments have been made from the Slovenian budget.

However, there is a jam in reclaiming the funds from the EU; claims have been prepared for only 30% of the available EU funds, Purič said.

He said the problems was in the complex and not yet entirely functioning information system of the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. "This will be one of the most arduous tasks," Purič added.

Nevertheless, Purič believes that the office will be able to turn things around and enable Slovenia to come out of the period having successfully drawn all the available funds, just as it did in the previous period.

Purič pointed out another priority, determining Slovenia's path in the 2021-2027 EU budgeting period. "All of us, the coalition, opposition, government, parliament, ministries and the Government Office for Development and EU Cohesion Policy will have to determine and show the path we want to follow," he said and added that EU funds were practically the only development funds in Slovenia and had to be used.

Slovenia is to get 9% less in EU funds in the coming period, but Purič believes that this sum would still be okay. However, because talks at the EU level will likely not end before the data for 2018 come out, Slovenia will likely lose more funds because of its progress.

As minister, he bets on the team at the ministry, because he cannot do anything alone: "Everything I have achieved in life I have achieved with a team." His team will have to work as an efficient coordinator among the EU cohesion policy stakeholders.

Purič is a retired director of the state-owned institution managing the Brdo pri Kranju Estate who just two weeks ago unsuccessfully bid for the Kranj mayorship.

His candidacy was endorsed in a 16:7 vote, with the opposition calling him out for lacking ambition. However, Purič said he was not a man to make grand promises: "My way of doing things is not like that, I'm a serious realist."


More from Nekategorizirano