Slovenia*
Voluntary National Review 2020

MAIN MESSAGES FROM SLOVENIA'S SECOND VOLUNTARY NATIONAL REVIEW OF PROGRESS TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 

Slovenia recognizes the importance of sustainable development both locally and globally and reaffirms its commitment to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2017, Slovenia adopted Slovenian Development Strategy 2030. With the overarching objective of ensuring ‘’a high quality of life for all’’, the document builds around five strategic orientations and 12 interlinked development goals and incorporates into this framework the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Strategy strives to balance economic, societal and environmental development.

Slovenia’s commitment to balanced and fair development across the globe is reflected through its contribution to development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Slovenia shares global responsibility for eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and achieving the SDGs. National Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Strategy by 2030 puts two cross-cutting themes at the heart of Slovenia's action: environmental protection and gender equality.

In 2018, Slovenia committed itself to conducting the second voluntary national review in 2020 and reporting on the progress towards SDGs. An all-inclusive process bringing together government departments, public institutions, NGOs, academic institutions, private sector, youth organizations and local stakeholders kicked off. Majority of vulnerable groups were included in the report development. A series of regional consultations and thematic workshops helped stakeholders identify Slovenia's challenges and best practices in achieving SDGs at the national and regional level.  

At risk of poverty and social exclusion rates have seen a steady, persistent drop as many integration and social activation programs are provided to vulnerable groups. Besides supporting disease prevention programs, Slovenia advocates health promotion, raising awareness about health risk factors such as lifestyle choices and diet. This contributes to improved health outcomes for alcohol use, unhealthy eating habits and communicable diseases. Mental health programs are among key priorities of public health due to high suicide and self-harm rates. Educational institutions record high participation rate and extremely low early school leaving rate. According to PISA, Slovenia ranks as a high-performing education system. Nevertheless, gaps still exist between knowledge and skills, particularly in people with low education and older citizens who participate less often in lifelong learning. 

Between 2017 and 2020, Slovenia recorded stable economic growth coupled with steady reduction in long-term unemployment and involuntary temporary employment. Quality of life of all citizens and stable economic development depend on how well the labor market mechanisms are adjusted to the demographic change. Helping youth find quality jobs early and adopting strategic migration policies are essential in this context. Slovenia needs to improve its flexicurity systems to increase employment levels, reduce labor market segmentation and optimize workforce allocation. It is important that catching up with most advanced economies takes place in a sustainable and steady manner. Slovenia recognizes that shift to low-carbon economy is key but acknowledges that the latter is a systemic challenge requiring well-thought-out action. Transition to circular economy will ride on RDI, which can open up countless opportunities in industry, infrastructure, mobility etc. Digitalization and available technological solutions will help accelerate the shift to circular economy.        

Slovenia prides itself on abundant water resources providing clean and safe water. In 2017, groundwater provided drinking water for most of Slovenian population. The right to drinking water was enshrined in the Slovenian Constitution in 2016. In the sector of clean and available energy, Slovenian Government adopted the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 which paves the way towards climate neutrality by 2050. A set of carefully planned measures ensures balance between the three pillars of energy policy: sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness. Slovenia must take more action in the transport sector to reach the national emission reduction targets. Green procurement, which aims to promote local and organic food production, is another crucial mechanism underlying the shift to climate neutrality. Slovenia has put in place measures to preserve sustainable farming practices and family farms, to protect and promote traditional cuisine, to foster sustainable forest management and to preserve farmed landscape.  

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Slovenia is facing challenges that call for a coordinated action of all stakeholders in healthcare, economy, social care and humanitarian protection. Well-thought-out measures will mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis, ensuring that it does not disproportionately affect the most vulnerable population groups. 

 

Voluntary National Review 2017
Contribution to eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world

Slovenia considers the 2030 Agenda to be the most comprehensive development action plan thus far. It is global and universal. It is people- and planet-oriented. It promises to leave no one behind and to build a life of dignity for each and every individual. Furthermore, it includes a vision that – through collective action – we can ensure well-being for all. Agenda 2030 is aligned with the Vision of Slovenia, which foresees Slovenia in the future as a country where, “…in harmony with our environment and our era, we have achieved a balanced, high-quality standard of living. By learning throughout our lives, we are well-equipped to take on the biggest challenges. We are innovative and translate ideas into actions. We create positive relationships based on trust and are building a society of solidarity and tolerance. With confidence, we open Slovenia to partners willing to cooperate. We are proud that our cultural uniqueness makes a difference around the world.”

Slovenia has a strong tradition of promoting sustainable development. Policies and measurements in the last decade have significantly contributed to the fact that in many areas Slovenia's current SDG performance is strong, notably in aspects of the environment, health, and sustainable tourism. Moreover, inequality has fallen and is among the lowest in OECD, as measured by income redistribution and income growth for the bottom 40% of the population.

However, the need to develop more agile and adaptable policies that take into account unpredictable, faster paced and more fundamental shifts in the world as well as addressing the challenges in Slovene society called upon the Government to develop a new approach towards planning for the future, which includes designing and implementing coherent policies for sustainable development. A clear commitment has been set to prepare a new long-term national development strategy and continue our development path towards sustainable, inclusive, and responsible development. Slovenia has started its nation-wide process of preparing a national development strategy that will be forward-looking, close to the people, for the people and with a clear vision of what Slovenia as a country and a nation wants to be in the future.

We decided in the early days of this process that Slovenia will implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a national level by embedding them into our own National Development Strategy 2030, rather than designing a separate process in parallel. The main goal and strategic direction that drives the preparation of the national development strategy is a better quality of life for all.

Our national development strategy will set ambitious objectives across the three dimensions of sustainable development and will seek balance between a resilient, inclusive and responsible society, a highly productive economy that provides value for all, economic growth that must be inclusive and green, learning for and through life as a value and driver of development, efficient and competent governance driven by cooperation, and a well-preserved natural environment.

Slovenia wants to be a responsible global citizen; while we are setting our own path towards well-being, we are acutely aware of our shared responsibility for global peace and prosperity. Therefore, our national development strategy will also address our commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda globally. At the regional and global levels, Slovenia will continue to contribute to the poverty eradication and sustainable development on the basis of updated legal and strategic documents on International Development Cooperation. Our goal for the future is clear – to further strengthen our international development cooperation and demonstrate that the efforts of small countries can be a significant contribution to the realization of global development objectives.

The Slovenian voluntary national report (VNR) on implementation of the Agenda 2030 provides information on the progress and status of the SDGs in Slovenia as well as describing the unique approach of transforming the 17 SDGs into Slovenian development strategy. The main plans and next steps in the implementation process are also described. Participation at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and the process of preparing VNR in 2017 gave additional impetus to build partnerships among ministries, civil society, business sector, parliamentarians, and academia, to work diligently in building a whole-of-a-government approach and breaking apart silos. The report presents an overview of the Slovenian institutional framework for the coordination of sustainable development issues. A preliminary gap analysis of government’s policies and existing measurements and the SDGs and their 169 targets was initiated in spring 2017 and was used as a relevant input for the review as well as the mapping of the new goals and objectives of the new national development strategy with the SDGs and their targets. With a high awareness that the future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands and in the hands of today’s younger generation, the report includes the inputs of the representatives of the National Youth Council of Slovenia.

The theme of the HLPF in 2017 calls upon as all to work together in eradicating poverty and promote prosperity in a changing world. It is within the power of us all, individuals, governments, business, civil society, young and old, to make the world a happier, better, and more prosperous place. Today, we are planning for the future, but let us not forget that we not only need to prepare to act. We need to act to be prepared and to provide the opportunities for all to flourish.
Focal point
Mr. Timotej Šooš
National Development Strategy Lead
Government Office for Development
Slovenia
timotej.soos[at]gov.si
Documents & Reports

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Slovenia* is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
Statements
19 Jul 2017
19 Jul 2017
17 Jul 2017
9 Jun 2017
21 Jun 2012
12 May 2011
4 May 2010
22 Apr 2005
United Nations