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Commission adopted several decisions regarding Slovenia

The European Commission has adopted several decisions that directly affect Slovenia. Regarding state aid the Commission found that the restructuring plan for Banka Celje d.d. and its merger with Abanka Vipa d.d. is in line with EU rules on state aid. Slovenia has recapitalized Abanka Vipa d.d. with state funds in December 2013 and January 2014 and committed itself to a restructuring plan which includes the merger of the above mentioned banks. Also according to the restructuring plan and commitments adopted by Slovenia, Banka Celje and then the merged entity will limit its activities on core business.

Margrethe VESTAGER, Commissioner responsible for competition policy, said: “The restructuring plan indicates that the merged entity will be sustainable. We have also verified that the taxpayers’ money is spent only to the extent necessary and that the load is properly distributed. I believe that today’s decision will further strengthen confidence in the Slovenian banking sector.

The European Commission has approved the Operational Programme for Slovenia for the implementation of cohesion policy for 2014-2020. Slovenia is in the period entitled to 3.011 billion euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). ERDF investments will strengthen the Slovenian infrastructure for research and innovation and improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. Cohesion funds will be spend, inter alia, for the development of environmental infrastructure in the water sector, improve energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources, while the European Social Fund will help to improve the employment of long-term unemployed, young people and older people and people with lower education.

The total allocation of the funds and the regions is as follows: 882 million euros from the ERDF for Eastern Slovenia, 508 million from the ERDF for Western Slovenia, 895 million from the CF, 378 million from the ESF for Eastern Slovenia, 339 million from the ESF for Western Slovenia and 9 million of incentives for youth employment.

Commissioner for Regional Development Corine Cretuhas said: “I’m delighted that Slovenia will strategically use the funds of the European cohesion policy to promote innovation, economic competitiveness and social inclusion. People and businesses will feel concrete results.”

Furthermore, the European Commission approved the Interreg program, which encourages cross-border cooperation between cities and regions from nine Central European countries. The key focus of the program is primarily on regional competitiveness, energy saving, low carbon economy and green transport and better management of cultural heritage and natural resources. The program comprises nine Central European countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia, which joined the program as a new member this year. In 2014-2020, the program will provided 246 million euros.

Sources:

European Commission

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-2700_sl.htm

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