On 8th of March, Prime Minister Janez Janša was on a working visit in the northern part of the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region. The Government paid a visit to 11 municipalities, namely Kamnik, Komenda, Vodice, Medvode, Mengeš, Trzin, Domžale, Dol pri Ljubljani, Moravče, Lukovica and Ljubljana.
The region’s advantages are its geostrategic position, solid support environment for economic development, favourable education structure, good natural conditions and rich natural and cultural landscapes, relatively high quality of life and good conditions for integration on various levels.
The region’s opportunities include a stimulating environment for development, the integration of innovative sectors with businesses to increase added value, the sustainable development of the region, the efficient integration of spatial and transport planning, and better social inclusion of the population.
According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia for November 2021, the northern part of the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region had an active population of 285,692 people (by job location), which is 7,165 persons or 2.6% more than in November 2020. The registered unemployment rate in the region in November 2021 was 6.4%. Compared to November 2020, the registered unemployment rate in this area decreased by 1.6 percentage point.
According to the records of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) for 2020, the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region had 29,272 companies, 12,572 sole traders and 98 cooperatives that are obliged to submit annual reports. In terms of the 2020 company performance statistics at the national level, companies in the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region represented 43.0% of all companies and had 38.5% of all employees and created 46.6% of all revenue and 42.1% of net added value. Compared to the 2020 sole proprietor performance at the national level, sole proprietors in the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region represented 24.7% of all sole proprietors who had 21.4% of all sole proprietor employees, created 22.9% of all revenue and 24.0% of the sole proprietor income.
The municipalities of Kamnik, Komenda, Vodice, Medvode, Mengeš, Trzin, Domžale, Dol pri Ljubljani, Moravče, Lukovica and Ljubljana represent the more developed part of the Osrednjeslovenska region. According AJPES data, 34,624 enterprises (including 25,450 companies and 9,174 sole traders), or 83% of all enterprises in the Osrednjeslovenska region, operated in these municipalities in 2020. These enterprises employed a total of 182,143 persons (of whom 175,942 persons were employed in companies and 6,201 persons by sole traders), or 89% of all persons employed in enterprises in the Osrednjeslovenska region.
In the morning, the members of the Government met for a working consultation in the Municipality of Medvode, where the ministerial team was welcomed by the Mayor of Medvode, Nejc Smole, who in his greeting pointed out that he was pleased that the Government had decided to visit the Municipality of Medvode, where they are aware that “the greatest wealth is in our people.” The Mayor of Medvode also thanked the ministerial team for all that has been done recently in the area of local communities. “A big step forward has been made,” stressed Mayor Smole, adding that progress in local communities is visible to all those who follow this area. He recalled several well-known and famous Medvode residents (among them Jakob Aljaž) and described the cooperation between the Government and the municipalities as cooperation between colleagues. “We are in the same boat and I am grateful for the work and contribution that has brought us even closer together as a community,” stressed the Mayor.
At the working consultation, the ministers discussed a number of outstanding issues, in particular investment projects in the region, the absorption of cohesion and EU funds, economic opportunities, the functioning of administrative units and customer satisfaction, education, investments in the field of culture, the operation of the police and home affairs in the region, healthcare and health investments, the labour market, and the functioning of the judicial system. The ministers also took note of the most important statistics and indicators for the northern part of the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region.
Before the meeting of the entire ministerial team, the Prime Minister met with the Mayor of Medvode, Nejc Smole. They discussed the future EU perspective and the opportunities for medium-sized municipalities in the Osrednjeslovenska region.
Following a joint photo, Prime Minister Janša and the ministers proceeded with their separate schedules.
After the working consultation, the Prime Minister, together with the State Secretary at the Government Office for Digital Transformation, Peter Geršak, visited Cosylab, Control System Laboratory, d.d., the world leader in control systems for large research infrastructures and proton therapy for cancer. Over the 20 years of its existence, Cosylab has grown at an average annual rate of 20% and is one of the largest employers of engineers and software developers in Slovenia. The Prime Minister and the State Secretary met with the company’s management, who presented the company’s global activities and the success of Slovenia’s participation in the large international research infrastructure project FAIR in Darmstadt, where the Slovenian diplomacy also played an important part. Dr Mark Pleško, the cofounder and Director of Cosylab, presented the future joint plans for a breakthrough project in the field of cancer treatment with radiotherapy in the presence of the guests, Prof. Dr Gregor Majdič, the Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Prof. Dr Boštjan Zalar, the Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute, and Igor Zorko, the Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Prime Minister Janša also discussed with his interlocutors at Cosylab the integration of business and high-tech companies with educational institutions and the use of artificial intelligence for medical purposes.
After the meeting at the CosyLab company, the Prime Minister visited the Jožef Stefan Institute, where, together with the Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, he met with representatives of the Institute’s management. In talks with the Prime Minister, they spoke about the provision of scientific and professional support offered by researchers from the Jožef Stefan Institute for the safe operation of the nuclear power plant in Krško and that they will also play a key role in the possible construction of its second block. In the planned centre for the development of carbon-free energy technologies in the Podgorica reactor centre, they prepare direct support for international industrial research and development projects, including demonstration of the feasibility of new technologies. The Jožef Stefan Institute, with its superior research infrastructure, especially modern laboratories and most advanced research equipment, attracts the most promising researchers of the younger generation also in the field of quantum technologies and artificial intelligence.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Janez Janša visited the Pekarna Pečjak company in Trzin, where he was given a guided tour to the company’s production line and met with the management of the company. The topics discussed with the management of the Pekarna Pečjak company included a number of challenges confronted by the bakery industry, the situation of young bakers, energy prices and its impact on production, and self-sufficiency and the importance of promoting Slovenian food.
In the evening, the Prime Minister met with Matej Slapar, the mayor of Kamnik Municipality, and the regional visit ended with a public debate about the development of the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region, which took place in the Kamnik Culture Home.