The government adopted at its session on Thursday, 14 September a draft report on the Reform Programme for the Implementation of the Lisbon Strategy in Slovenia, which presents the first yearly review of the progress made since the programme was adopted in October 2005
The Government PR and Media Office stressed that the draft was intended for public debate and that final document will be adopted in October.
The measures aimed at implementing the Lisbon Strategy goals were broken down into five groups that incorporate all the basic guidelines for growth and job creation recommended by the EU.
Examining the priority development tasks laid down in the first group - a competitive economy and an increase in economic growth - the report says that "harmonised economic policies after Slovenia's EU accession and the ERM II enabled Slovenia to meet the criteria for the euro changeover as planned.
The stable macroeconomic environment - a stable currency and low inflation - was also reflected on a microeconomic level, bolstering entrepreneurship and encouraging development-oriented home and foreign investment, the report says. It also notes that activities for a withdrawal of the state from the economy have been stepped up.
Slovenia is also fairly successfully implementing measures defined in the programme's second group, which aim at making Slovenia a knowledge-based society. Funds for research and development are increasing, future state budgets will however need to allocate more funds for this purpose, the report finds.
The third priority task defined by the report - making Slovenia more effective and cheaper - has been addressed in the past year with a number of measures that have also helped curb court backlogs.
As regards the fourth aim of a modern welfare state and higher employment rates, the reports notes that "labour market trends have been positive with the employment rate increasing and approaching 66% and the unemployment rate remaining relatively low".
While social security remains relatively high and sustainable, according to the report, structural unemployment, especially among older persons, rigid employment legislation and a lack of lifelong learning initiatives are subjects that still need too be tackled.
The report also issues a mixed evaluation of the measures aimed at securing sustainable development. While there have been several initiatives in the field of spatial planning, Slovenia is still faced with a lack of construction land equipped with public utilities.
Author: STA, Slovenian National Press Agency