European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia
New Delhi: The European Commission has today disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8 billion in grants and €705 million in loans, over the lifetime of its plan.
Today’s disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to Member States under NextGenerationEU.
The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
Supporting transformative investments and reform projects
The RRF in Slovenia finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on Slovenia’s economy and society. Here are some of these projects:
Securing the green transition: The Slovenian plan provides €230 million to finance large-scale renovation programmes to increase the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools. It also supports the decarbonisation of transport through €292 million investments in railway infrastructure aimed at upgrading congested railway lines, refurbishing railway stations, increasing capacity, speed and safety of rail transport and digitalising rail infrastructure to reduce travel time.
Supporting the digital transition: The plan invests €114 million in strengthening digital literacy through education and life-long learning by updating curricula with digital skills throughout the education system and by organising training for 20,000 teachers, by improving connectivity of schools, and increasing training in digital skills for employees and public servants. The plan also provides €83 million to accelerate the digital transformation of the health sector.
Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The Slovenian plan has a strong focus on increasing the resilience of key social systems. In addition to reforms on modernising the healthcare and pension systems, €110 million will be invested in new medical facilities and equipment, including the reconstruction of two hospitals for infectious diseases in Ljubljana and Maribor. Moreover, the plan will help setting-up a long-term care system for all age groups and increase the accessibility of long-term care across the country.
Members of the College said
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to see Slovenia receive its first disbursement of €231 million under NextGenerationEU. This is an important step towards delivering the ambitious programme of measures contained in Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan. The plan combines investments for the green and digital transitions, with reforms of long-term care, healthcare, and pension systems for the benefit of all Slovenian citizens. NextGenerationEU will provide a total of €2.5 billion in financing to make all of this possible.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration said: “I am glad that following intense cooperation we could swiftly deliver also on Slovenia’s pre-financing needs. The money will give the initial boost in implementing the numerous green and digital projects included in Slovenia’s national plan.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “This prefinancing payment is the first part of €2.5 billion in NextGenerationEU funding that will support the renewal of the Slovenian economy in the coming years. Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan contains an extensive programme of investments and reforms that will deliver real benefits for Slovenian citizens and businesses. The plan contains no fewer than 50 initiatives ranging from building renovations to the improvement of water systems and from upgraded rail infrastructure to the digitalisation of public services. I particularly welcome the commitments to strengthen the health system and boost the supply of affordable housing in Slovenia.”