Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Best practice database

This database intends to be a collection of best practices and avoidable mistakes related to EU funding. Any interested citizen or organisation can submit here best practices or examples with lessons learnt after a simple registration. The input will be made public only after an approval and editing by the relevant partner organisation. Only interesting, educational and valid submissions will be accepted, any only those which meet the aim of presenting a positive message. Bad practices can also be submitted but in this case, the submitter must elaborate on lessons learnt and describe how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future. Any measure can be submitted that has an effect on EU funding, including policies, legislations as well as programmes and projects.

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Currently there are 30 best practices in our database:

Municipal and regional sustainable urban mobility plans as prerequisite for national subsidies

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Transport

Sustainable mobility planning at regional and local level constitutes an integrated approach to transport planning and is well established in Slovenia. Sustainable urban mobility plans are strategic documents which outline municipalities´ objectives in the field of sustainable mobility and include lists of necessary actions which help...

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Research center for zero emission technologies in the coal transition region Zasavje

Country: Slovenia Area: Regional Thematic area: R&D

In collaboration with the Slovenian Chemical Institute the Regional Development Agency of the just transition region Zasavje made a plan for a Center for Development, Demonstrations and Training for Carbon Free Technologies. The center will be established in an existing building, which furtherunderlines its positive environmental impact. It will...

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LIFE IP RESTART- Boosting waste recycling into valuable products by setting the environment for a circular economy in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Waste management

Slovenia has made commendable progress in waste management, surpassing the 2020 EU waste recycling target by achieving 71% in municipal waste recycling. However, challenges persist, especially with recycling Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) which holds a significant proportion of waste generated in the nation. The LIFE IP RESTART project...

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Restoration of river ecosystems: example of river Mura in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: Regional Thematic area: Biodiversity protection

Despite the fact that the state of ecosystems in Slovenia is deteriorating - in particular aquatic ecosystems - there is a significant lack of nature restoration, rehabilitation and rewilding projects in Slovenia. The project Natura Mura is one of the few bright exceptions. It addresses some of the key challenges for nature conservation and the...

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Mistake to avoid: incomplete communication of upcoming and past public tenders and their main selection criteria on the central web portal for EU funds

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Administration

Article 49 of the Common Provision Regulation 2021-2027 requires Member States to adopt a single web portal that enables free access to both a timetable of upcoming calls under various EU funds (updated at least three times per year) and list of operations (beneficiaries and contractors) that were selected for support from EU funds (updated at...

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Supporting energy and climate adaptation policies at the local level in Slovenia and Italy

Country: Slovenia Area: Regional Thematic area: Administration

The project "SECAP - Supporting energy and climate adaptation policies" offered practical support to the municipalities of the partner areas in Slovenia and Italy for the implementation of sustainable energy and climate adaptation policies. The project accompanied the transition from outdated local Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP)...

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Mistake to avoid: assessing environmental impacts of parts of a larger (wastewater) project but not of the whole project

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Water/wastewater management

It is common practice to split large infrastructure projects into several sections, phases or parts. As a consequence environmental impacts are often not assessd systematically for the overall project but only for its elements one by one, or they are not even assessed at all. In Slovenia a controversial example for such a practice is the waste...

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Making the absorption of EU funding from the RRF conditional on reaching binding environmental milestones (reforms)

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Administration

The introduction of mandatory milestones in the national Slovenian recovery and resilience plan (RRP) enabled reforms that otherwise would not have been implemented or only at a later time. By making the disbursement of funds conditional on achieving such milestones, the EC created strong incentives for national governments to quickly push...

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Improving living conditions while reducing energy consumption and emissions: example of complete energy renovation of multi-apartment buildings in Velenje

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Energy efficiency

In the coal-mining town of Velenje in Savinjsko-Šaleška region, three municipality owned multi-apartment buildings that required the installation of energy efficiency features, were subject to complete energy renovation. By reducing thermal energy consumption (savings of 48 to 64 kwh per m2 of conditioned building area) and...

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Mistake to avoid: Climate change adaptation projects that unnecessarily harm nature - example of flood protection measures

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Water/wastewater management

The highest financial allocation in Slovenian Recovery and resilience plan (RRP), €310 million, is for implementation of flood-protection measures. Another €132 million for this purpose are planned under Slovenian programme for cohesion funding 2021-2027. It has been stated at the declarative level by the autorities that the measures...

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Commuting to work by public transport: improving railway links between Ljubljana and its surroundings

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Transport

Most railway lines in Ljubljana region have not been upgraded for a very long time and consequently cannot offer an attractive alternative to car use to those who migrate to Ljubljana for work. In this context the rail infrastructure project between Ljubljana and Borovnica is important as it will address the problem of concentrated road traffic...

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Decarbonizing the glass industry with renewable hydrogen - the case of Hrastnik1860 in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Industry

The glass industry is a major source of GHG emissions in Europe. Glass production is an energy-intensive process and carbon emissions from the production of glass come to a large extent from the combustion of natural gas. Glass is an inert packaging that can be recycled many times so it potentially is sustainable packaging. Ideally, glass is...

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Increasing the uptake of renewables via energy storage at historical urban sites (the case of Lendava library in Slovenia)

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Buildings, construction

As part of the larger Interreg project Store4HUC, the main objective of the pilot project was to replace the existing oil boiler in the Lendava municipal library with a renewable energy source. The building was connected to the existing geothermal district heating network. The Lendava library building is the last connection in the geothermal...

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Mistake to avoid: Combining brown and (uncertain) green measures in order to pass the DNSH test for new road infrastructure

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Transport

The funding of new road infrastructure projects with EU funds is highly controversial and only possible if various mitigating measures are implemented. In Slovenia one such project is the Third Development Axis, which will create another road transport link between the Austrian border in the north and the Croatian border in the south. Some legs...

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PlanB for Slovenia - A network of environmental NGOs working for environmental and nature protection

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Administration

Plan B is a network of Slovenian environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and experts, forming a broad civil society platform for sustainable development in Slovenia, along with other interested stakeholders. The primary objective of the NGO network within Plan B is to support long-term sustainable operation of environmental NGOs and...

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Nature protection and reducing human impact in the vulnerable Classical Karst region

Country: Slovenia Area: Regional Thematic area: Biodiversity protection

Despite the fact that Slovenia is a biodiversity hotspot, there are only few EU projects that fund nature conservation and restoration in Slovenia. The purpose of the "Za Kras" project was to improve the condition of three Natura 2000 habitat types and 21 species in the entire Natura 2000 Karst (Slovenian "Kras") area in the...

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Sustainable mobility in kindergartens and primary schools in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Education

This project had the aim to change travel habits and plan appropriate infrastructure for a safe journey to school and kindergarten. This included a comprehensive concept of promoting sustainable ways of getting to kindergartens and primary schools for children, parents, teachers, educators, school and kindergarten management and municipal...

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Heat recovery and use in steel plants: the example of SIJ in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Industry

By participating in two different Horizon 2020 projects, the Slovenian steel producer SIJ managed to decrease GHG emissions through the recovery and use of excess process heat. At its location in Jesenice SIJ, in collaboration with the CREATORS project consortium, recovers process heat and feeds it into the local district heating network. At...

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Gallery Cukrarna - Renovation of a run-down historic building in the centre of Ljubljana

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Energy efficiency

With the opening of Cukrarna Gallery in September 2021, the Slovenian capital has gained a new venue for exhibiting contemporary art and organizing art events. Cukrarna began life in 1828 as a sugar refinery, burnt down only 30 years later. In the 150 years after that it was used as a home for soldiers, factory workers poor people and artists. In...

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Project Sinica – air pollution monitoring in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Air quality

By upgrading the system for monitoring air pollution, identifying the causes for abnormal air pollution burdens and analysing the impacts of improvement measures, the project SINICA of the Slovenian Environment Agency ARSO contributes to cleaner air and less health impacts from air pollution in Slovenia. Having precise data available is the basis...

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Solar powered e-mobility for the elderly, run by a local energy coop and the municipality

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Transport

With the purchase of a solar power plant and an EV, the small municipality of Loški Potok, already a frontrunner in renewable energy, increased its energy self-sufficiency and now provides a service for the elederly population to get a free locally powered ride. Besides the municipality also the local wood cooperative, which was formed to...

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A renewable energy community that strengthens the weak power grid in a remote Slovenian village

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Energy production

Financed by the Horizon 2020 program, in the Slovenian municipality of Luče a renewable energy community was established to increase the local self sufficiency with clean energy and increase the security of supply in this remote mountain valley. Before the project, Luče was a typical case of a rural low voltage network with a weak and unstable...

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Mistake to avoid: mix up road and cycling infrastructure projects

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Transport

Road and cycling infrastructure are often strongly connected, especially when cycling paths are not physically seperated from roads. In these cases it is important to clearly separate investments into cycling infrastructure and safety from investments into road renewal and expansion in order to avoid the greenwashing of EU funds. One illustrative...

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Good for people and the environment: example of the eco-social farm Korenika

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Agriculture, forestry

Sustainable development goes beyond the reduction of environmental impacts and should always include a social dimension. One example where both dimensions can be combined is organic farming. At the Korenika farm in eastern Slovenia organic food production and processing is combined with social entrepreneurship, as the farm employs people with...

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Energy service contracting (ESCO) of public buildings in the capital Ljubljana

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Energy efficiency

In a collaboration of the City of Ljubljana, an energy and an engineering company energy retrofits of 48 public buildings were carried out using the energy performance contracting model. The project helped to generate annual savings of over EUR 1 million. Furthermore, annual CO2 emissions were reduced by approximately 3000 tonnes. The retrofitted...

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Co-financing of small (<10MW) solar power plants on business objects

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Energy production

Eu funds are used to provide co-financing of new solar power plants on business objects. This programme includes commercial solar power plans, solar power for self-consumption of electricity and energy storage devices. The financial incentives, which are granted as state aid, are limited to installations with a power of up to 10 MW. Beneficiaries...

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Energy efficiency and renewable energy in mountain facilities

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Energy efficiency

Slovenia is an Alpine country where mountaineering and outdoor recreation are of high importance. These activities are enabled by a network of mountain huts, shelters, bivouacs and mountain training centers. These non for profit facilities are especially suitable for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures as they are often off-grid,...

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ZERO500: Subsidising measures to reduce energy use in 500 low-income households to solve energy poverty

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Energy efficiency

Through its public environmental fund Eko Sklad, Slovenia supports the energy renovation of old buildings to benefit energy-poor inhabitants. The fund pays 100% of costs (up to EUR 10,000) for investments in thermal insulation, installation of energy-efficient windows and doors, and installation of solar hot-water panels or heat pumps.

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A mistake to avoid: setting weak decarbonisation criteria for subsidies to investment in SME productivity improvements

Country: Slovenia Area: National Thematic area: Industry

Topic: Subsidies for SMEs that invest in new machinery to improve productivtiy and competitiveness, as well as energy and material efficiency. While this public tender at first glance seems to be a good practice and has the potential to contribute to decarbonisation, the environmental criteria are vastly insufficient and only represent 25% of the...

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Wastewater treatment in Slovenia

Country: Slovenia Area: Local (e.g. city, village) Thematic area: Waste management

Based on available funding from the Recovery & Resilience Programme, Slovenia's Ministry of Environment issued a tender on wastewater treatment for settlements with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. The primary aim of this effort is to address the fact these small settlements did not formerly qualify for programme support in previous years...

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European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.