Opposition wants national recovery and resilience plan to be discussed in parliament

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Ljubljana/Brussels – The opposition will request a plenary session to discuss Slovenia’s national recovery and resilience plan, a document required to draw EUR 5.2 billion in EU recovery funds. Unofficial information meanwhile suggests the European Commission expects the country to make a number of changes to its draft plan.

The Social Democrats (SD) said on Thursday the opposition was planning to file a proposal for an extraordinary session of the National Assembly early next week.

They would like to see a broad debate on the draft plan and on the country’s development with clearly planned investments and reforms.

What is more, the opposition wants the government to make the document public.

The debate on the country’s future course of development should involve regions, local communities, social partners, businesses, universities and NGOs.

The opposition has urged lifting the “internal” label on several occasions, while the governments intends to lift it only once it has adopted the plan.

“Last week we asked the government to do so in a procedure set down in the freedom of information act, because there is no argument to support the secrecy of the government’s plans, which also does not have any ground in the law on classified information,” the SD’s press release reads.

The draft plan to draw the EUR 5.2 billion was discussed behind closed doors by the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee in January, while the European Commission expects member states to send their national plans to Brussels in April.

The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy stressed today the Commission had not discussed any of the countries’ plans. Talks are under way and the plans will be either confirmed or rejected, it said.

Slovenia’s plans are among the 18 plans considered comprehensive in terms of contents and to which countries are now receiving recommendations for improvements, the office said.

“Neither Slovenia nor any other country has received any kind of grade about its plans for recovery and resilience.”

The office said it was convinced that the efforts which are under way would result in plans by all countries being confirmed.

Slovenia will be entitled to EUR 1.6 billion in grants and up to EUR 3.6 billion in loans from the EUR 672.5 billion recovery and resilience facility, which the European Parliament endorsed on Wednesday.

But unofficial information indicates that Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan needs to be supplemented by clearly defining and arguing the planned measures.

Brussels has also advised Slovenia not to rush with the document, which is said not to take sufficiently into account the EU’s fiscal, investment and reform recommendations. The recommendations for Slovenia have so far largely focussed on pension and health reforms and on long-term care.

The draft plan also does not take into account that 37% of the funds should go for green goals and 20% for digital goals, neither the general principle that no measure should harm the environment.

Sources at the EU have recently said that all national plans will have to be improved, while unofficial information indicates Slovenia’s are among the poorest.