STA, 17 September 2021 - The European Commission paid out the first, EUR 231 million batch of EU funds to Slovenia on Friday as part of the recovery and resilience plan, which is 13% of the total amount Slovenia is to receive. The money will be allocated for sustainable mobility and digital transformation projects.
"Good news for Slovenia. The first disbursement of funds under #NextGenerationEU kick-starts the green and digital transition in the country," President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
The NextGenerationEU instrument will also invest in better healthcare, for the benefit of all Slovenians, she added.
Slovenian Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj welcomed the news. "I'm happy that after signing the contract we have received the first funds from the recovery and resilience facility. I announced this in July and the expectation was fulfilled.
"This is an important achievement for Slovenia and a big step forward in the implementation of the goals set," he was quoted as saying by the Finance Ministry.
The Commission endorsed Slovenia's plan for recovery and resilience at the start of the country's six-month stint at the helm of the EU at the beginning of July. The plan, worth EUR 2.5 billion, was endorsed by EU member states at the end of July.
In line with the plan, Slovenia is to receive EUR 1.8 billion in grants and EUR 705 million in loans for projects promoting the country's post-pandemic recovery and resilience to future crises.
The projects will support 33 reforms and 55 investments envisaged by the plan. Further payments will be approved based on the implementation of these projects.
Member states had to commit in their national plans to allocate 37% of the funds for the implementation of the EU's green goals and 20% for digital goals. They also had to commit to the principle that no measure must cause significant damage to the environment.
Slovenia plans to allocate 43% of the funds to green projects and over 20% to digital ones, the Finance Ministry said.
The key investments will be EUR 310 million for adjusting to climate change, especially anti-flooding measures, EUR 292 million for upgrading and digitalisation of the railway infrastructure, EUR 264 million for education, EUR 230 million for digitalisation of the public administration, EUR 189 million for healthcare and long-term care infrastructure, EUR 130 million for renewable energy sources and EUR 86 million for energy efficiency of buildings.
So far 12 other countries have already received first funding from the EU in the total amount of over EUR 49 billion, sources in Brussels said today.