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OECD Territorial Reviews: Slovenia 2011

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Slovenia 2011

Despite its relatively small size, Slovenia is a good illustration of the potential of regional development policy. Its internal diversity, openness and experience of rapid structural change all reinforce the need for efficient reallocation of resources, while underscoring the need to take account of the potential positive and negative externalities associated with the shifting structure of economic activity.  

With 36% of the national territory falling under Natura 2000 protection, spatial planning is particularly challenging and yet also particularly important. Given the absence of a regional tier of government and the extreme fragmentation of the municipal level of authority, Slovenia needs to develop capacity at intermediate levels, to address policy problems that are best tackled at a scale in between the local and the national. 

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Making the Most of Regional Policy Through Reforms in Multi-Level Governance

Slovenia is shifting the focus of regional policy from “passive” redistribution to a more pro-active emphasis on enhancing sustainable growth in all regions. However, much remains to be done in terms of translating this shift into policy instruments and institutional arrangements. Many of these challenges have become more acute as a result of the crisis and the need to balance fiscal consolidation against support for a still-fragile recovery. The recently adopted Law on Balanced Regional Development addresses some of these issues, but much will depends on how the law is actually implemented. This chapter starts by identifying three key challenges to effective multi-level governance: capacities for regional policy, municipal fragmentation and relevant scale for regional policy, and the lack of information for regional growth. Section 3.2 assesses how Slovenia should address these challenges and proposes concrete steps to be taken in a number of areas.

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