Slovenia Generally Happy With EU’s Post-Brexit Budget, Less So With Rural Development Cuts

By , 04 May 2018, 10:27 AM Business
Brexit, wallpainting by Banksy 1 Brexit, wallpainting by Banksy 1 Wikimedia - Paul Bissegger CC by 4.0

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STA, 4 May 2018 - The Slovenian government has assessed the EU Commission's proposal for the 2021-2027 EU budget framework as ambitious, noting that the overall amount is comparable to the current multi-year budget despite Brexit. It has, however, warned about what it believes are excessive cuts of rural development funds. 

Slovenia has been pushing for an ambitious proposal, as this is the right way to address the key challenges the Union is currently facing, the Government Communication Office said in a press release on Thursday.

The budget for the 2021-2027 period amounts to 1.135 trillion euro as expressed in 2018 prices, which is equivalent to 1.11% of the EU's gross national product.

Slovenia has welcomed the proposed increase in funds for migration and security policies, as these issues can only be addressed with a joint EU approach, as argued by Slovenian representatives at the peak of the migrant crisis at the end of 2015.

The Slovenian government has also welcomed an increase in funds for research, innovation, digitalisation, environmental protection and mobility of young people, while reiterating its position regarding cohesion policy and rural development.

When it comes to cohesion policy, Slovenia is against drastic cuts in funds for development of regions and states.

"Since it is not possible to tell from the Commission's proposal what impact the proposed changes will have on individual states and regions, Slovenia will be paying particular attention to this issues in further negotiations."

The same applies to agriculture and rural development, where the European Commission has proposed cuts in funding. "Because of the importance and role of rural development policy, we think that the proposed reduction in this field is excessive."

The government said that it would examine the proposal in detail in the coming weeks and prepare a more extensive response. The focus will be on the importance of cohesion funds and rural development funds for the future development of the country.

As the proposal was unveiled on Wednesday, several member states, including large net contributors such as Germany and France, were critical of certain aspects of the budget.

The proposal will now undergo intensive negotiations, which are expected to be concluded by next spring.

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