Eastern Slovenia (Vzhodna Slovenija) is one of the two NUTS-2 Regions of Slovenia. The region forms the eastern part of the country and includes the cities of Maribor, Celje and Velenje. It is the poorer of the two regions of Slovenia and its GDP per capita is 72.5% of the European Union average (€17,100 per year).
Eastern Slovenia (SI01) is divided into the following statistical regions:
Photo Source: www.slovenia.info, (Jost Gantar, Nina Kurnik, Luka Ploj)
Slovenia has officially established a two-level territorial administrative division at national and local level (municipal) self-government. State level is statistically monitored by NUTS 1 indicators, municipal by NUTS 3 indicators. Regional level (NUTS 2), Cohesion region East Slovenia, is unfortunately not formally regulated. It indirectly carries out joint tasks related to regional development, which is determined by agreement between the municipalities and the state. The region (Development Council) is thus involved in decision making and gives prior consent to the content and implementation of EU cohesion programs, takes care of the most coherent regional development with determining the orientation of the preparation of projects of regional significance. To achieve that it cooperates with regional development agencies as well as state administrative units and municipalities which have policy competences to fully implement national social policies, part of which is also covered by EU-SPI.
As Cohesion Region East Slovenia lacks of some basic infrastructure (especially in remote and border areas), as well as public transport and transport infrastructure, which is often recognised as limiting factor for better economic and social progress, we are interested to discuss two dimensions of social progress: Foundation of Wellbeing as well as Opportunities. Namely, with years of EU Cohesion Policy implementation, officially GDP index still shows huge differences between East and West Slovenia, and they are not being decreased. On the other hand, EU-SPI does not show this, in fact deviations on social progress are barely seen and measurable.