The following strategic documents that will importantly shape Slovenian (and thus regional) social and economical development in the forthcoming period:  

  1.  Smart specialization strategy and implementing a strategic plan for the restructuring and development of the Slovenian economy and society with the support of EU funds in the period 2014-2020

  2.  Development Report 2013

  3. Regional Development Strategy for Podravje 2014-2020 (in drafting)

  4. Regional NGO Development Strategy for Podravje 2014-2020

  5. Slovenian Development Strategy (in drafting) 2014-2020

To be a realistic and successful Terra Parzival - European Model of Regional Development 2014-2020 in Slovenia through Co-creation of the Macro-violin was developed in line with the main findings and key points of the listed documents with the added value deriving from its innovative cultural and historical dimensions.   

Smart specialization strategy and implementing a strategic plan for the restructuring and development of the Slovenian economy and society with the support of EU funds in the period 2014-2020 

  In the EU 2014-2020 financial mechanism Slovenia has secured 3,3 billion EUR of cohesion resources that will be mainly used for fostering so called “Smart Specialisation” in economic sector. The key points of Smart specialization strategies are: 

-         Should be focused and based on the existing strengths and potentials Slovenia has. Therefore the accumulated knowledge (competence) and performance (capacity) on the basis of past investments and natural resources in Slovenia will be taken in account. In the 2014-2020 period € 3.3 billion (in current prices) of EU funds will be available for start-up and development restructuring of the economy, employment and sustainable development. 

-         Should be focused on the effects and impacts that the implementation of the identified measures would have on the economic development and social challenges.  

-         Should include a critical mass of potentials.

-         It must be based on the corporate approach (so called Entrepreneurial Discovery Process) detecting market opportunities by companies and in cooperation with research and educational institutions, and other stakeholders to identify development opportunities (i.e. bottom-up approach).

Smart specialization means also focused investment (e.g. public incentives), on activities (and not sectors per se), which reflect the existing areas where the country has certain comparative advantages (capacities, competencies) or new areas where marketing opportunities (e.g. trends) are detected.

Source: “Smart specialization strategy and implementing a strategic plan for the restructuring and development of the Slovenian economy and society with the support of EU funds in the period 2014-2020. Public debate draft” Ljubljana, 26.7.2013, Slovenian Ministry for economic development and technology.(6.8.2013)    

The Development Report 2013

The Development Report is an annual report that monitors the realisation of Slovenia's Development Strategy (SDS), which was adopted in 2005. It is divided into two parts. The first part comprises a concise overview of the realisation of SDS in the area of five development priorities:

  • a competitive economy and faster economic growth

  • efficient use of knowledge for economic development and high-quality jobs

  • more efficient and cheaper government

  • a modern welfare state and higher employment

  • integration of measures to achieve sustainable development

and brings a detailed presentation of Slovenia's progress by way of development indicators. The time frame of the analysis covers the period since 2000. Slovenia's progress is discussed largely in the light of comparison with other EU countries.

Some main findings in 2013 report are:

Since the outbreak of the crisis Slovenia has been moving away from the EU average in terms of economic development, and there has been no visible progress in exploiting synergies between environmental and economic development. The decline in economic activity in Slovenia during the crisis was among the largest in the EU. Several years of unfavourable economic conditions have brought a significant deterioration in the situation on the labour market, which alongside the cuts in pensions and social transfers in 2012 has deepened the decline in disposable income seen in the last few years, and hence the material welfare of households. Environmental pressures are mostly not increasing in the adverse economic situation, but there have also been no major shifts towards their sustainable reduction.«

»The setback in development is the result of the structural weaknesses in the economy, which have been a major factor in Slovenia’s difficulties in accessing financing during the crisis«

»In order to revive the economy and halt the decline in household welfare, further structural changes will be necessary. The efforts should focus on:

Increasing the added value of goods and services by boosting the innovative capacity of the economy and adjusting the system and structure of education.

Creating a business environment that fosters entrepreneurship, with special emphasis on reducing the administrative burden and creating an encouraging tax environment and a flexible labour market.

  • Improving labour market efficiency by strengthening other flexicurity components alongside flexibility (active employment policy, lifelong learning), building a system to monitor the needs of employers and tailoring the education system to meet labour market needs.

  • Reducing environmental pressures by designing a legislative framework and a system of incentives (both positive and negative) aimed at reducing pollution and improving efficiency in the use of resources while encouraging the development of environmentally friendly products, services and technologies.

  • Improving the institutional framework in a way to enable developmental changes and their implementation, and ensure effective functioning of the legal, economic and political system.«

Source: “Development Report 2013”, UMAR, p.8. Ljubljana 19.7.2013

Regional Development Strategy for Podravje 2014-2020

The Draft Development Strategy we have so far it is stated, that the region will work towards: “Subsistence region of green development, innovative and creative economy, and happy people." as put in the simple words by Boris Keuc, the head of Maribor development agency, at governmental media event on 17. May 2013. (Source... (6.8.2013)

The objectives intended shall be achieved in Regional development strategy of Podravje via the following key development activities:

-         through establishing an effective network of support institutions that will connect and engage with a variety of developmental and innovative operators in the region and beyond;

-         by establishing a network of educational institutions in connection with the revised tech and innovative firms;

-         with creative and responsible sharing of the natural potential of the region;

-         with better transport connectivity and accessibility;

-         by introducing sustainable forms and methods of spatial interventions and for improvement living conditions.

In the draft Development Goals is stated that the region key players (municipalities) will seek to achieve a breakthrough:

-         by increased entrepreneurship and competitiveness of the regional economy and society

-         by the increased level of knowledge and innovation for rapid development of both urban centers and rural areas,

-         by promoting social inclusion,

-         by making tourism more competitive and

-         by improving quality of life with regard to the principles of sustainable development.

As Slovenia is divided in two cohesive regions the more developed Western Slovenia will get a bit less that 860 mio EUR from EU Structural Funds while underdeveloped Eastern Slovenia (including Podravje) will be able to receive over 1.260 mio EUR in the 2014-2020 period.

The main priority will be given to the possible synergy effects and those projects that will be able to connect more funds. During negotiations at the EU level 11 thematic objectives have been identified. Out of them 50 to 60 per cent of funding from the European Regional Development Fund will have to be delegated to:

-         strengthening of research,

-         technological development and innovation,

-         ICT and increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and

-         to low-carbon economy.

Another novelty is that the state will need to invest more in social inclusion - for this purpose will least 20 percent of the European Social Fund will have to be used.

Source: Ministry for economical development and technology,  (6.8.2013)  

Regional NGO Development Strategy for Podravje 2014-2020

Non-governmental sector is an important development partner in the region and its umbrella organization Stičišče nevladnih organizacij Podravja  strives that this role will be recognized as such by the public and private sectors as well as works for the implementation of the partnership principle involved in major development activities at the level of local communities and regions.  

The umbrella organisation was involved in preparation of development documents for a period of the next multi-annual financial framework 2014 - 2020, which represents the opportunities for development of the region as an opportunity for the development of NGOs.

  While the Regional Development Agencies (e.g. in Maribor, Ptuj…), established and financed by municipalities, are responsible for preparation and coordination of the Regional development strategy, the Board of Mayors is the one who has the voting majority over all other votes (NGOs, representatives from economic sector) in the Regional Development Council and is deciding how the Strategy will look like and for what and to whom the funds will be allocated in 2014-2020 period.  

From previous experience the last two development strategies up to 2013 were distributed among over 4000 project, of which a vast majority was in infrastructure (roads, waterlines, sewage) and building various community objects. NGO sector is worried that inspite of EU priorities in fostering social inclusion and civil society the mayors might decide against that.

Source: Guidlines for Regional NGO Development Strategy for Podravje 2014-2020, Nevladno stičišče Maribor, 2013. (6.8.2013)