According to the programme planned for the Prime Minister, State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jelka Godec, was on a visit to the Primorsko-notranjska statistical region, comprising the municipalities of Bloke, Cerknica, Ilirska Bistrica, Loška dolina, Pivka and Postojna.
While this is one of the smaller regions in terms of population, it is a popular tourist destination for one-day trips and excursions. Its natural sites, cultural attractions and cultural heritage attract many daily visitors. The region has the highest labour participation in the country and the largest share of self-employed persons (13.5%), as well as the largest share of permanent grassland and pastures constituting agricultural land. It also shows progress in developing a support environment for business and entrepreneurship, which has been significantly strengthened in recent years. Wood industry remains a sector with high potential mainly due to the area’s natural features. The region is rich in forests, but the exploitation of this raw material needs to be improved, particularly in terms of the added value of the final product.
Today, members of the Government first met for a working consultation in the Municipality of Cerknica, where the ministerial delegation was welcomed by Mayor Marko Rupar. In his introductory greeting, he expressed his great pleasure to see the Government visiting the local community, discussing the work to be done with local representatives and delivering on the agreement. Under previous governments, the Mayor of Cerknica has not seen such interest in working with the local government. “An increase in lump-sum payments has been a large step towards a balanced development of the Municipality of Cerknica as a whole,” added Mr Rupar, pointing out that, since the beginning of his term, he has been striving for a balanced development of the municipality and is pleased to see that the Government, through its measures and actions, also promotes a balanced development of Slovenia.
At the working consultation, the ministers discussed a number of outstanding issues and also resolved a number of long-standing problems. In particular, the ministerial delegation discussed regional projects funded by cohesion and EU funds, business opportunities, the region’s tourist capacities, education, long-term care, cultural and architectural heritage, internal affairs and problems with illegal migrants, digitalisation and internet coverage, as well as the functioning of the justice system in the region. The ministers devoted a great deal of attention to the issues of regional infrastructure and connectivity, the problem of large carnivores, and the Poček training facility. They also discussed the functioning of the local self-government.
Following a family photo of the Government, State Secretary Jelka Godec, and the ministers proceeded with their separate schedules. During the visit, they met with representatives of businesses, institutions, municipalities and other stakeholders in the region.
Before the working consultation in the morning, State Secretary Godec met with the Mayor of Cerknica, Marko Rupar. They discussed in particular municipal projects and infrastructure investment in Cerknica. They also spoke about maintaining and preserving cultural heritage.
Afterwards, State Secretary Godec met with the management of the company Hidravlik servis d.o.o. and toured its facility. The company has initially specialised in after-sales service of cranes, platforms and hydraulic components, and in manufacturing upgraded goods vehicles. They then expanded their activities to include the sale of cranes, aerial platforms and new hydraulic components. In 2002, the company became a sales agent for the Italian manufacturer of hydraulic cranes FASSI. Hidravlik servis builds its competitive advantage on high-tech equipment. Today, the company from Postojna is the general sales agent for FASSI cranes in Slovenia and Croatia. The company’s managers talked about jobs for young people, apprenticeship, and cooperation between businesses and education institutions. Talks also covered the taxation of labour costs.
State Secretary Jelka Godec, together with Zdravko Počivalšek, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Matej Tonin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Cveto Uršič, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Jernej Vrtovec, the Minister of Infrastructure, Vasko Simoniti, the Minister of Culture, Andrej Vizjak, the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, and Zvonko Černač, the Minister without Portfolio for Development and EU Cohesion Policy, met with the mayors of the Primorsko-notranjska region at a working lunch. With Jože Doles, the Mayor of Bloke, Marko Rupar, the Mayor of Cerknica, Emil Rojc, the Mayor of Ilirska Bistrica, Janez Komidar, the Mayor of Loška dolina, and Robert Smrdelj, the Mayor of Pivka, they discussed the rehabilitation of the Javor degraded site, the modernisation of regional roads across the region, long-term care, development and security in Ilirska Bistrica, and the Poček training facility of the Slovenian Armed Forces.
After the working lunch, State Secretary Godec visited the Slavec farm in Knežak and talked to the owner of the farm, Gregor Slavec, who, nine years ago, started to revive the farm which had been managed by his grandfather until 1991. He has brought the farm back to life, introduced innovative products and opened its doors to visitors, who can see for themselves what life on a farm is like. Furthermore, Gregor Slavec was awarded the 2021 title of Innovative Young Farmer. The farm is a registered educational holding, where raspberries are grown, goat’s milk is produced, and animals native to Slovenia are bred, namely the Carniolan honey bee, the Brežice goat, the Bovec sheep, the Capra Aegagrus Hircus, the Styrian hen, the Cika cattle, and donkeys.
Supplementary farm activities include the production of fruit and vegetable juices, ice cream and cheese, apitourism, honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and wax, and traditional pasta.
Before the public debate in the evening, State Secretary Godec visited the exhibition of large carnivores at the Dina Centre. The DINA Centre of Large Carnivores in Pivka works in a sustainable way to raise awareness and enhance knowledge about large carnivores among residents and visitors, thus making a long-term contribution to reducing conflicts and improving the status of large carnivore populations in the cross-border area of Slovenia and Croatia.
On tis occasion, State Secretary Godec also held a meeting with the Mayor of Pivka, Robert Smrdelj. Their discussion focused on the plans for the future development of the Park of Military History and the Dina Centre, both located in Pivka.
The visit to the region ended with a public debate about the development of the Primorsko-notranjska region organised in Pivka and attended by mayors, entrepreneurs, directors of institutions and actors of regional development.