In Slovenia, public consultations on the Recovery plan are open only to a handful of selected businesses and local authorities.
In a nutshell:
- Currently available draft lacks climate ambition
- Civil society sidelined in the consultations process
Slovenia is set to receive €1.6 billion in grants and another €3.6 billions in loans from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. These record-high amounts are crucial for the transition to a climate-neutral society. However, Slovenia cannot adequately plan and spend those funds if it continues side-lining civil society.
The first draft Recovery plan, presented in December 2020, was only made public once it had already been leaked by Mladina, a Slovenian weekly journal. That first draft was unambitious in addressing climate issues such as the high carbon intensity of the industrial and transport sector as well as the delay in the development of wind and solar energy use.
A short presentation of the Recovery plan took place in February 2021. While not adding much on content, it claimed that more than 2000 stakeholders had been involved in the process of the preparation of the Recovery plan. However, most consultative activities were only short presentations of the plan and included only businesses and local authorities. Civil society organisations were not involved.
Representatives from public institutions say there is nothing to worry about, and that new drafts exclude many environmentally controversial projects. But there is no way to know for sure until the latest version of the plan is published. Currently, it is not known when, and if at all, an updated version will be made public.
Transparency remains the underlying problem in the development of this plan: without it, there is little chance for Slovenia to build back better.