The Slovenia Times

Slovenia appeals against cuts in cohesion funds


Apart from Slovenia, the group emerging as part of the negotiations on the EU's next multi-annual budget (2014-2020) features Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Croatia as an observer.

The summit is hosted by President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, in co-organisation with the prime ministers of Poland and Portugal, Donald Tusk and Pedro Passos Coelho. Janša will travel to Brussels straight from Moscow, where he is currently on a two-day visit.

The Friends of Cohesion Policy will look to enhance their negotiating position ahead of the EU budget summit after they already called for a continuation of transfer of funds from the more developed to the less developed EU member states at the summit in Bratislava on 5 October.

The group argues that a strong EU cohesion policy is vital for the whole of the EU as an irreplaceable and key investment in growth and new jobs.

The European Commission has proposed EUR 379bn for cohesion funds, while the Cypriot presidency proposed the funds should not exceed EUR 326.5bn. The net contributors, who call themselves "Friends of Better Spending", meanwhile advocate an even 10% cut in the Commission's budget proposal.

The 2007-2013 financial plan earmarked EUR 347bn for cohesion funds, EUR 4.2bn was allocated for Slovenia.

The country has also been advocating the preservation of the "safety net" for the regions which have in the current financial period exceeded the reference level of development at 75% of GDP of the EU as proposed by the Commission.

The Commission proposes for the regions to remain eligible for at least two-thirds of the funds they got in the current financial framework. Under that solution West Slovenia would be eligible to EUR 500m over the next seven years.

Slovenia is divided into two regions; while the eastern region will remain below 75% of average GDP in the future and will as such remain eligible for all aid, the west has already exceeded the ceiling.

At the summit in Bratislava, PM Janša said the funds were vital to restoring economic growth in Slovenia and to create jobs. The goal is to keep funds for both regions and to use them more effectively than so far.


More from Nekategorizirano