Kemijska politika

Chemical Industry

Leading European and Slovenian manufacturing sector > 

The Slovenian chemical industry is part of the large European chemical industry and has a paramount role for the Slovenian economy and country.

The European chemical industry is one of the leading manufacturing sectors in the European Union, generating 16% of total value added of all manufacturing industries. European strategic documents and strategies mention its key role in enabling European society to be transformed, especially in the implementation of the European Green Deal. It is a front-runner and central actor in the development of green technologies.

The Slovenian chemical industry in total contributes as much as 25 % of the value added of the entire Slovenian manufacturing industry – it is the leading manufacturing sector in Slovenia. It is the leading Slovenian manufacturing industry in terms of productivity as well: its employees (representing 17% of employees in all manufacturing industries in Slovenia) create the highest value added per employee.  

The Slovenian chemical industry is highly export oriented: 81% of its sales are generated abroad, mostly in Europe. This shows international competitiveness of the Slovenian industry. It is a reliable partner, known for its expertise and flexibility. But it also significantly contributes to keeping the country in the main global economic trends and networks.

Chemical industry has a key role in green and circular transition >

The chemical industry is one of the key and most important drivers, enablers and accelerators of the green and circular transformation of the European industry, economies and societies in general. Without it, the vision of a climate-neutral and secure future cannot be pursued both from the perspective of Slovenia and the European area as a whole.

Why? The answer is simple: 

  • because it is part of a huge number of value chains with materials, products and solutions it offers;
  • because it develops, produces and also uses basic and new materials, products and solutions to meet modern needs. These for example include lighter materials (important for transport), better building insulation (lower energy consumption), coatings (longer product life), sustainably designed products that are easier to recycle (e.g. plastic packaging). The recycling of many materials is also primarily in the domain of the chemical industry (mechanical or chemical);
  • because it provides vital products that are also important for ensuring national and European strategic autonomy: the significance of certain chemical products (medicines, disinfectants, soaps, etc.) has also been demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chemical industry needs suitable support for realization of its crucial role  >

The society’s expectations and demands on the chemical industry are enormous. In order to provide benefits for the society, it must therefore produce and continue to develop the necessary products and solutions. At the same time, it also needs to undertake its own quadruple transformation (green, digital, circular and sustainable). A special challenge is to adapt to the growing number of recent and forthcoming legislative and other requirements, which are particularly extensive and complex for the chemical industry (arising for example from the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the Plastics Strategy, etc.). 

Despite the enormous efforts invested in the above, it must remain competitive, both from the point of view of the Slovenian and European chemical industry, to ensure its future operation.

The before-mentioned challenge is multiplied in countries which are not among the biggest. Slovenia is one of such examples: relatively small industry with large proportion of SMEs and relatively small administration with limited resources seem very vulnerable in such circumstances. Thus, Slovenia’s chemical industry invites European and Slovenian legislators to consider the fact that these different circumstances and capabilities need to be taken into account by European and national legislators. Complex and intensive legislative changes with numerous new requirements in the recovery period after global corona virus pandemic might introduce further difficulties to the industry and EU Member States that have been already battered by the corona crisis, and uncertainties on the market (e.g. availability and price of (green) energy and raw materials). Will the countries and the Union ensure that the declared principle “no one shall be left behind” is taken into account when implementing the sustainable development agenda?

The European chemical has already made big changes. For example, our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have fallen by nearly 50% since 1990 even as production increased by 95%. Not only due to the legislative requirements but also because of its own voluntary initiatives going beyond standard levels and legislative requirements (e.g. international Responsible Care® programme, in Slovenia led by the Association of Chemical Industries of Slovenia on behalf of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Therefore, not only revision and upgrading, but also a sensible overhaul and simplification of chemical and environmental legislation are expected as a matter of urgency, taking into account the sector-specific roadmap - agreement with industry on the realistic intensity of introducing changes.

In numbers


Slovenian Chemical Industry >>


European Chemical Industry >>