The Slovenia Times

Slovenia warns against two-tier EU in green transition


The session discussed the European green deal, the bloc's transition to a carbon-neutral circular economy and measures to prevent manufacturing from moving outside the EU. The new industrial strategy is expected to be presented by the EU Commission in the next two weeks.

Energy-intensive industries are one of the pillars of Slovenia's economy and will greatly contribute to meeting the European green deal targets, said the ministry, adding that such industries employed 15% of all industrial workers in Slovenia and accounted for almost 25% of total industrial exports.

Cantarutti thus called for using a comprehensive approach when tackling the issue of energy-intensive industries, highlighting the importance of swift restructuring of those industrial branches.

The EU Commission proposed on Wednesday a hundred EU regions eligible for financing from the Just Transition Fund. Some EUR 7.5 billion have been set aside for the EU fund in the next multi-annual EU financial framework, of which EUR 92 million have been allocated to Slovenia.

Two Slovenian regions, Savinjska in the east and the central Zasavska region are among the hundred regions.

Asked whether he agreed with this proposal, the state secretary replied that the related talks had not yet been wrapped up. Moreover, he highlighted that Slovenia needed to be firm on getting the funds for such regions to prevent any two-speed Europe scenarios.

As part of the winter package, the Commission also released on Wednesday a report on the progress member states are making in tackling key socio-economic challenges, saying that Slovenia still did not have a comprehensive climate transition strategy.

Commenting on this, Cantarutti said that the first step was the National Energy and Climate Plan, endorsed today by the outgoing government, followed by the new industrial policy. Regarding the plan, he conceded that it was likely there was still room for improvement to meet the Commission's expectations.


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