Jul 30, 2021

CEF's Transformation through the Lens of Ministry of Finance, Slovenia

Ms. Irena Ferkulj, International Organizations Relations Manager at the Ministry of Finance and a long-time friend of our organization, shared her views on the journey we have made so far and the challenges presiding the Council of the European Union brings to the teams working on such project.

This year, both Slovenia and the CEF celebrate their anniversaries. How would you describe the journeys both of our institutions have made so far?

These twenty years have given us the opportunity and privilege to observe, learn and draw on good practices from the CEF. In the two decades since the Slovenian government established the institution, we have witnessed an organic growth and successful operation of the CEF that also led to its transformation from a regional to an international organization.

Close partnership and cooperation with its members and partners have been crucial elements of the CEF’s development. Through being a consistent and reliable donor to the CEF’s program and the host of its premises, as well as an investor to the CEF’s knowledge base through experts in taxation, budgeting, and auditing, the Slovenian Ministry of Finance has been importantly contributing to the CEF’s success.

On July 1, Slovenia took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union. What challenges does such a project pose to the teams working on it, especially from the human resources perspective (teamwork, knowledge sharing), and how did you tackle them?

Projects like the EU presidency change regular operation parameters of teams. Internal organizational borders blur, and smaller teams grow by transforming from departmental to institutional units. To make a team efficient, barriers need to be erased.

Thinking about the CEF, it must have had similar circumstances during last year’s swift transition to an online approach due to the pandemic. The effort of the whole CEF team towards a common goal has been comprehensive and outstanding.

You have been working with the CEF for many years now. If you were to choose five words to describe our team, what would they be?

The CEF has proven many times, especially in the Covid-19 circumstances, to be flexible and resilient, while also being connecting, creative and growth-focused. Hopefully, by enduring its mission for the first 20 years, it will continue to prosper in the years to come.