Slovenia

   

Policy Performance

#22

Economic Policies

#36
Despite an improving economic picture, Slovenia receives a relatively low overall ranking (rank 34) with regard to economic policies. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.5 points relative to 2014.

Strong economic growth continued in 2015, driven by exports and increasingly by private consumption. EU-funded investment has helped pave the way for the return of private investment. A relatively large number of enterprises remain state-owned.

Unemployment rates are falling, but remain high. Budget cuts have undermined labor-market policies. Tax revenues are relatively high relative to GDP, with corporate tax rates below the EU average, but high by regional comparison. A comprehensive review of the tax system is underway.

Deficits have fallen below 3% of GDP, but fiscal adjustment has relied on one-off measures. The public debt remains at worrisome levels. The R&D sector is underdeveloped, and absorption of EU funds in this area has lagged.

Social Policies

#17
Showing a mixed record, Slovenia falls into the upper-middle ranks (rank 17) with regard to social policies. After a slight decline last year, its score on this measure now represents a gain of 0.1 point relative to 2014.

Education-system outcomes are generally good, though the tertiary sector is underfunded. Income inequality is low. Crisis-era spending cuts reduced social-benefit payments, though some have since been restored. Affordable housing has become a growing problem.

A compulsory public health care system, supplemented by private providers, offers generally good care but is financially troubled. Doctors have repeatedly struck for higher salaries. Child care and parental-leave provisions are strong, and the employment rate for women is high.

Increased retirement ages have improved pension-system sustainability, but more reform is necessary. Bureaucratic hurdles have been lowered and protections strengthened for foreign workers. The police acted professionally and effectively during the refugee crisis.

Environmental Policies

#11
With a rich natural landscape, Slovenia receives a high overall ranking (rank 11) in terms of environmental policies. After notable gains last year, its score on this measure has fallen back to within 0.1 point of its 2014 level.

The country has established a comprehensive environmental legislative framework in the last decade, introducing risk-based inspections and improving compliance monitoring. Emissions-reduction, disaster-assessment, drinking-water and waste-management plans are under development.

Financial support is given to individuals for energy efficiency and renewable-energy use. Well-managed forests cover more than 60% of the country’s area.

Slovenia works closely with its immediate neighbors on water management and biodiversity issues, and maintains informal professional contacts with countries of the western Balkans.

Democracy

#17

Quality of Democracy

#15
With fair and inclusive electoral procedures, Slovenia falls into the upper-middle ranks (rank 15) with respect to democracy quality. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.1 point since 2014

Political parties receive public and private funding, but new campaign-financing laws prohibit donations from private companies or organizations. Monitoring provisions are robust. Referendums are common, but declining in frequency. Public-media independence has been strengthened, but private-media ownership transfers have raised pluralism concerns.

New online tools have greatly improved access to official information. Civil rights are largely respected, though problems with judicial integrity have emerged. While anti-discrimination measures are wide-ranging, foreign workers and women earn lower average wages than Slovenian men, and same-sex couples and Roma individuals face discrimination.

Legal certainty suffers from legislative contradictions and the use of fast-track legislative procedures. Courts are largely independent despite politicians’ attempts at influence. Corruption remains a serious issue.

Governance

#34

Executive Capacity

#37
With a number of a significant gaps, Slovenia’s executive capacity score falls into the bottom ranks (rank 37). Its score on this measure has improved by 0.3 points since 2014.

Institutional strategic-planning capacities are generally weak. The Government Office (GO) reviews bills from a legal and technical perspective but lacks sectoral expertise. Legislative projects depend largely on coalition-party negotiations, and are drafted by line ministries with little GO participation.

RIA quality is uneven, and much legislation is exempt. Consultation with external groups is frequent, but in some cases fails to produce results. Government communication coherency has improved. While the government’s agenda has sharpened, a number of policy goals have remained unmet.

Municipal governments are underfunded. Creation of a new ministry has helped increase the EU-fund absorption rate. Self-monitoring is not well developed. Successive governments have repeatedly changed institutional arrangements.

Executive Accountability

#24
With a public increasingly distrustful of the government and politicians, Slovenia falls into the lower-middle ranks internationally (rank 24) with regard to executive accountability. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.4 points since 2014.

Parliamentarians have adequate resources and executive-oversight powers. The Court of Audit is independent and well-regarded, but underfunded. The independent ombudsman is well regarded, but often has limited impact.

Citizens’ knowledge about government policymaking is limited, with trust in parties and government extraordinarily low. The private media offers largely superficial content, but the public broadcast media provide high-quality policy information.

Political-party decision-making is fairly centralized. Economic-interest organizations cooperate with academics, and have good analytical capacities. Other interest organizations are often sophisticated as well.
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