Slovenian politicians debate creation of regions in bid to win EU funds

22-07-2005

Slovenia is classified as only one region under the European Union's NUTS 2 region system, which stands for nomenclature of territorial units for statistics. For those regions a minimum of 800.000 and a maximum of 3 million people applies as a classification standard. Despite those requirements, there are more than 56 exceptions in the EU, with some of the regions reaching only 400.000 inhabitants.

The EU structural development funds, which are given to those regions, are distributed according to a 75% per capita GDP of the EU average threshold. As a whole, Slovenia already reaches to about the 75% limit and in the capital, Ljubljana, it is already exceeding it.

The law concerning the establishment of multiple cohesive regions in Slovenia was the topic of an emergency discussion because of Slovenia status as a net recipient in the EU.

In the discussions, many different standpoints were taken on how many regions would be set up. The main notion went for two regions; while the opposition defended the division into three cohesive regions. Other proposals included a five-region split.

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission After the last consultation on this issue, Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Jansa, said in a statement that:

"There was unanimous support that Slovenia should persist with only one cohesive region until that is better for the negotiations for the next financial perspective. For now it is clear that we can persist at this position until the end of the year. This means that the urgent grounds for an adoption of the law in July are no longer existent."

"We all hope that there is enough time for us to carry out the internal political partition, decentralization beforehand, and use it as a basis for making cohesive regions at which the approach is a bit unusual, improper, as compared to the EU. We hope that the negotiations for the next financial perspective will be over as soon as possible.

"If an agreement won't be reached during Great Britain's presidency, then we hope that it would be adopted during Austria's presidency. In this time, we can defend Slovenia from the standpoint of one cohesive region; but a division into multiple cohesive regions will be necessary later on. It would be substantially less traumatic if that would take effect from 2013 on."

22-07-2005