Brussels, 24 July 2003
EU Cohesion Policy in Slovenia: Negotiation of the Single Programming Document will start on 25 July in Ljubljana
The European Commission today announced the launch of the first round of negotiations with Slovenia on future Structural Funds assistance. Negotiations will start tomorrow in Ljubljana. They will aim at finding an agreement on the Single Programming Document (SPD), the document containing the strategy and priorities for action under Objective 1 of the Structural Funds for the years 2004 to 2006. In a letter of 22 July addressed to Zdenka Kovac, Minister without Portfolio, responsible for Regional Development, Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, set out the main lines of the Commission position on the draft Single Programming Document submitted by Slovenia.
In his letter, Michel Barnier wrote: “The draft Single Programming Document represents a good basis for the negotiations that lie ahead. It is very important that its implementation is a success. This not only because of the country's evident needs, which is the most important consideration, but also because its success would demonstrate the added value of the European Union's interventions. It is very important that we reach an early agreement in order to facilitate the implementation of the activities as soon as possible, given that expenditure under this programme is eligible from 1 January 2004."
More than euro 457 million for the promotion of the productive sector, competitiveness and measures for generating growth and creating jobs.
On the basis of the decisions of the Copenhagen European Council last December, about euro 267 million will be allocated to Slovenia under the EU Structural Funds and some euro190 million under the Cohesion Fund.
Objective 1 of the Structural Funds is devoted to promoting the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind. The Single Programming Document for Slovenia will mainly concentrate on promoting the productive sector and competitiveness, as well as on human resources development. In addition, the Cohesion Fund will co-finance major transport and environmental infrastructure projects.
Slovenia as a whole is eligible under the Objective 1 of the Structural Funds for the period 2004-06. The entire territory of the country is also eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund.
The Structural Funds comprise four individual Funds: The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), Guidance Section, and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). All of them should contribute to the financing of the Single Programming Document (SPD) in Slovenia. In addition, the Cohesion Fund will support projects in the fields of environment and transport infrastructure projects of common interest (trans-European networks).
The SPD describes the socio-economic context of the country, defines and justifies the strategy, priorities and objectives to be achieved and outlines the system for the management, monitoring, evaluation, financial management and control of the programmes.
During the negotiations, the Commission will seek to ensure a high level of coherence and co-ordination between the priorities, taking into account absorption capacity in the various areas concerned. Clarification will also be sought on the delivery structure for the programmes as a whole and on the individual measures.
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