Slovenia

   

Quality of Democracy

#18
Key Findings
With fair and inclusive electoral procedures, Slovenia falls into the middle ranks (rank 18) with respect to democracy quality. Its score on this measure has fallen by 0.2 points relative to its 2014 level.

Political parties receive public and private funding, but recently passed campaign-financing laws prohibit donations from private companies or organizations. Monitoring provisions are robust, with the largest opposition party sanctioned for violations in 2018. Public-media journalists are occasionally subject to political pressure.

A controversial referendum over railway construction had to be held a second time after the Supreme Court declared that the government had impermissibly used taxpayer money for campaign purposes the first time. While the second vote opposed the project, turnout was too low to make it binding. Civil rights are largely respected, but same-sex couples and Roma individuals face discrimination.

Legal certainty suffers as a result of contradictory provisions and the use of fast-track legislative procedures. However, the government and the administration generally act in accordance with the law. Courts are largely independent despite politicians’ attempts at influence. Corruption remains a serious concern, with prosecutors unable to win convictions against several politicians accused on the issue.

Electoral Processes

#4

How fair are procedures for registering candidates and parties?

10
 9

Legal regulations provide for a fair registration procedure for all elections; candidates and parties are not discriminated against.
 8
 7
 6


A few restrictions on election procedures discriminate against a small number of candidates and parties.
 5
 4
 3


Some unreasonable restrictions on election procedures exist that discriminate against many candidates and parties.
 2
 1

Discriminating registration procedures for elections are widespread and prevent a large number of potential candidates or parties from participating.
Candidacy Procedures
10
In Slovenia, the legal provisions for registering candidates and parties provide for a fair registration procedure for both national (parliamentary, presidential), local (mayoral, council) and sub-local (village or city district council) elections. Registration requirements are straightforward and not very demanding. Establishing a party requires only 200 signatures. The registration requirements for national parliamentary elections favor parties represented in parliament. Unlike non-parliamentary parties or non-party lists, they are not required to collect voter signatures. Candidates for the presidency must document support from at least ten members of parliament or 5,000 voters. When they are backed by at least one political party, three members of parliament or 3,000 signatures are sufficient. At local elections, a candidate for mayor and candidate or list of candidates for a municipal council can be proposed either by political parties or by a specified number of voters, which is dependent on the size of a municipality. Candidate lists both for national parliamentary elections and municipal assembly elections must respect a gender quota. On each list of candidates, neither gender should be represented by less than 40% of the total number of candidates on the list. Nine candidates ran for office in the presidential elections in October and November 2017, 25 political parties and lists competed in the parliamentary elections in June 2018.

Citations:
OSCE/ OHDIR (2017): Republic of Slovenia: Presidential Election, 22 October 2017. Final Report. Warsaw (https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/slovenia/363561?download=true).

OSCE/ OHDIR (2018): Republic of Slovenia: Early Parliamentary Elections, 3 June 2018. Final Report. Warsaw (https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/slovenia/394106?download=true).

To what extent do candidates and parties have fair access to the media and other means of communication?

10
 9

All candidates and parties have equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. All major media outlets provide a fair and balanced coverage of the range of different political positions.
 8
 7
 6


Candidates and parties have largely equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. The major media outlets provide a fair and balanced coverage of different political positions.
 5
 4
 3


Candidates and parties often do not have equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. While the major media outlets represent a partisan political bias, the media system as a whole provides fair coverage of different political positions.
 2
 1

Candidates and parties lack equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communications. The major media outlets are biased in favor of certain political groups or views and discriminate against others.
Media Access
7
While both the public and private media tend to focus on the parliamentary political parties, Slovenia’s public-media regulatory system and pluralist media environment ensure that all candidates and parties have access to the media. The public TV and radio stations are legally obliged to set aside some airtime for parties to present their messages and their candidates. Since a third public TV channel (mainly covering parliamentary debates) was established in 2014, airtime for political parties and candidate lists has increased. But neither the regulatory body nor civil society organizations systematically monitor media coverage during a campaign. Before the 2018 early parliamentary elections, there were numerous televised debates with representatives of all 22 political parties that had candidates in all eight electoral units. Compared to previous elections, however, media bias in favor of the governing coalition and its potential political allies increased, and the debates were separated into debates including only political parties represented in parliament between 2014 and 2018 (including the party of Marjan Šarec) and debates including all other non-parliamentary parties. Furthermore, during televised debates, anchors did not allow or tried to limit debate between representatives of the political parties and debate on certain sensitive issues (e.g., migrant crisis).

To what extent do all citizens have the opportunity to exercise their right of participation in national elections?

10
 9

All adult citizens can participate in national elections. All eligible voters are registered if they wish to be. There are no discriminations observable in the exercise of the right to vote. There are no disincentives to voting.
 8
 7
 6


The procedures for the registration of voters and voting are for the most part effective, impartial and nondiscriminatory. Citizens can appeal to courts if they feel being discriminated. Disincentives to voting generally do not constitute genuine obstacles.
 5
 4
 3


While the procedures for the registration of voters and voting are de jure non-discriminatory, isolated cases of discrimination occur in practice. For some citizens, disincentives to voting constitute significant obstacles.
 2
 1

The procedures for the registration of voters or voting have systemic discriminatory effects. De facto, a substantial number of adult citizens are excluded from national elections.
Voting and Registration Rights
10
The electoral process is largely inclusive at both national and local levels. All adult citizens, including convicted prisoners, can participate in elections and no cases of voting irregularities have occurred in the period under review. Voters that will not be in their place of residence on election day can ask for a special voter’s pass that allows voting at any polling station in the country. While no general postal vote exists, Slovenian citizens who live abroad as well citizens unable to make it to the polling stations for health reasons or because of disabilities can exercise their voting rights by mail. In another attempt at making voting more inclusive, a 2017 amendment to the electoral code called for making all polling stations accessible for persons with disabilities. This amendment was for the first time implemented during the parliamentary elections in June 2018 and led to the closure of some polling stations that were not accessible for persons with disabilities. One Slovenian peculiarity are the special voting rights for the Hungarian and Italian minorities and the Roma population. Members of the Hungarian and Italian minorities can cast an additional vote for a member of parliament representing each minority in the national parliament. In the case of local elections, a similar provision exists for the Roma population in all municipalities with a substantial Roma minority.

Citations:
OSCE/ OHDIR (2018): Republic of Slovenia: Early Parliamentary Elections, 3 June 2018. Final Report. Warsaw (https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/slovenia/394106?download=true).

To what extent is private and public party financing and electoral campaign financing transparent, effectively monitored and in case of infringement of rules subject to proportionate and dissuasive sanction?

10
 9

The state enforces that donations to political parties are made public and provides for independent monitoring to that respect. Effective measures to prevent evasion are effectively in place and infringements subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
 8
 7
 6


The state enforces that donations to political parties are made public and provides for independent monitoring. Although infringements are subject to proportionate sanctions, some, although few, loopholes and options for circumvention still exist.
 5
 4
 3


The state provides that donations to political parties shall be published. Party financing is subject to some degree of independent monitoring but monitoring either proves regularly ineffective or proportionate sanctions in case of infringement do not follow.
 2
 1

The rules for party and campaign financing do not effectively enforce the obligation to make the donations public. Party and campaign financing is neither monitored independently nor, in case of infringements, subject to proportionate sanctions.
Party Financing
7
According to the Act on Political Parties, parties can be financed by membership fees, donations, estate revenues, the profits of their companies’ revenues and public subsidies. If a political party wins at least 1% of all votes in the previous parliamentary elections, it is entitled to financial resources from the national budget: 25% of the total budget amount is divided equally between all eligible parties. The remaining 75% is divided among the parties represented in the National Assembly according to their vote share. In addition, parliamentary party groups can obtain additional support from the national budget for their parliamentarians’ education purposes, and for organizational and administrative support. All political parties must prepare annual reports and submit them to the National Assembly. The reports, which are submitted to the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services, must disclose aggregate revenues and expenditures, detail any property owned by the party, and list the origins of all donations that exceed the amount of five times Slovenia’s average gross monthly salary (i.e., around €8,200). Parties are also required to submit post-electoral reports to the Court of Audit, which holds official responsibility for monitoring party financing. Following many calls to further increase transparency and strengthen the monitoring and sanctioning of party financing, legislation on the issue was finally amended in January 2014, barring donations from private companies and organizations. In March 2018, the largest opposition party, Janez Janša’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), was indicted by the Court of Audit over two loans it took from Bosnian citizen Dijana Đuđić, which totaled €450,000, as the law puts the annual ceiling for party loans from individuals at ten times the value of the average gross monthly salary (i.e., about €16,500). SDS admitted the mistake, returned the money and canceled the loans. During local elections, municipalities autonomously set campaign financing for political parties.

Do citizens have the opportunity to take binding political decisions when they want to do so?

10
 9

Citizens have the effective opportunity to actively propose and take binding decisions on issues of importance to them through popular initiatives and referendums. The set of eligible issues is extensive, and includes national, regional, and local issues.
 8
 7
 6


Citizens have the effective opportunity to take binding decisions on issues of importance to them through either popular initiatives or referendums. The set of eligible issues covers at least two levels of government.
 5
 4
 3


Citizens have the effective opportunity to vote on issues of importance to them through a legally binding measure. The set of eligible issues is limited to one level of government.
 2
 1

Citizens have no effective opportunity to vote on issues of importance to them through a legally binding measure.
Popular Decision-Making
8
Slovenia has a strong tradition of direct democracy. Until a constitutional amendment in May 2013, referendums on all issues could be called by parliament, the National Council (a body representing major interest groups) as well as by citizens themselves. As a result, many referendums were called and, in a number of cases, controversial government initiatives were rejected. A May 2013 constitutional amendment, which was adopted by the legislature with an overwhelming majority, kept the relatively low threshold of signatures required for calling a referendum (40,000), but ruled out the calling of referendums by parliament and by the National Council. Moreover, the set of eligible issues was reduced so as to exclude the public budget, taxes, human rights and international agreements, the majority requirements for the validity of referendums were tightened and the period for which parliament is bound to the results of a referendum was reduced. As a result, the number of referendums has fallen. In the period under review, only one national referendum was held. On 13 May 2018, citizens had the chance to vote for the second time on the construction of a second track along the railway line connecting Koper (Slovenia’s only seaport) to the Divača logistics hub. The referendum, originally conducted in September 2017, was repeated because of irregularities identified by the Supreme Court, which mostly concerned the government’s unacceptable use of taxpayer money during the referendum campaign. The referendum had originally been initiated by an organization of local citizens, the Taxpayers Standing Our Ground, which claimed that the government’s finance model was prone to corruption and inflated payouts. However, voter turnout in the second referendum was again very low (15%). While 50.1% of voters opposed the act, voter turnout was too low to make the result binding on the government.

Access to Information

#24

To what extent are the media independent from government?

10
 9

Public and private media are independent from government influence; their independence is institutionally protected and fully respected by the incumbent government.
 8
 7
 6


The incumbent government largely respects the independence of media. However, there are occasional attempts to exert influence.
 5
 4
 3


The incumbent government seeks to ensure its political objectives indirectly by influencing the personnel policies, organizational framework or financial resources of public media, and/or the licensing regime/market access for private media.
 2
 1

Major media outlets are frequently influenced by the incumbent government promoting its partisan political objectives. To ensure pro-government media reporting, governmental actors exert direct political pressure and violate existing rules of media regulation or change them to benefit their interests.
Media Freedom
5
Slovenia’s constitution and legal system guarantee freedom of the press, and the media, for the most part, operate without direct political interference. The laws regulating public television and radio broadcasting reflect the strong corporatist element of Slovenian political culture. The Council of Radio-Television of Slovenia (Radiotelevizija Slovenija, RTVS) has 29 members, who are appointed by the National Assembly, but proposed by a broad variety of political and social actors. Changes to the rules and procedures in the previous years strengthened the independence of the public media by reducing the scope for discretionary cuts in public funding, and by requiring an absolute rather than relative majority for the election of the director-general of the Council of Radio-Television of Slovenia. An amendment of Article 260 of the Slovenian Criminal Code, which entered into force on October 2015, strengthened media freedom by making clear that an individual disclosing classified information no longer incurs a criminal liability. In the period under review, however, there have been some cases of political pressure on public media journalists covering sensitive issues, such as the Magna corporation investment in Maribor, killings after the Second World War or the second referendum on the new railway line in May 2018. Some private media outlets are owned by companies from other economic sectors (e.g., construction) and reporting sometimes seems to be biased toward the ruling coalition as a means of securing public sector procurement contracts. Another problem is that a lot of local newspapers and publications are owned and funded by the municipalities and exploited by mayors for political purposes.

To what extent are the media characterized by an ownership structure that ensures a pluralism of opinions?

10
 9

Diversified ownership structures characterize both the electronic and print media market, providing a well-balanced pluralism of opinions. Effective anti-monopoly policies and impartial, open public media guarantee a pluralism of opinions.
 8
 7
 6


Diversified ownership structures prevail in the electronic and print media market. Public media compensate for deficiencies or biases in private media reporting by representing a wider range of opinions.
 5
 4
 3


Oligopolistic ownership structures characterize either the electronic or the print media market. Important opinions are represented but there are no or only weak institutional guarantees against the predominance of certain opinions.
 2
 1

Oligopolistic ownership structures characterize both the electronic and the print media market. Few companies dominate the media, most programs are biased, and there is evidence that certain opinions are not published or are marginalized.
Media Pluralism
5
Slovenia currently has about 1,400 different media outlets, including more than 80 radio and 50 television broadcasters (both local and cable operators). However, the public-media market share is still substantial, with Radio-Television of Slovenia (Radiotelevizija Slovenija, RTVS) running seven out of 10 national TV and radio channels (for TV: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3; for radio: Program A, Program Ars, Val 202 and Radio Slovenia International).

Recent ownership changes have raised concerns about media pluralism. in the print media, the controversial sale in July 2014 of Večer, a prominent daily newspaper (primarily serving the northeastern part of the country), was followed by the auctioning of Slovenia’s biggest newspaper publisher Delo in June 2015. The new owner, the financial management company FMR, has little to no media experience and is run by Stojan Petrič, a businessman who is believed to be politically well connected. Several prominent journalists were fired. As a result of these changes, sales of Delo newspaper dropped to the lowest level so far in late 2017 (26,884 issues sold daily). In response, FMR made the seasoned journalist and former editor-in-chief of Siol.net news portal Uroš Urbas editor-in-chief of Delo, replacing Gregor Knafelc who had little journalistic experience. In August 2018, the publishers of Dnevnik and Večer, the second and the third largest daily newspapers in Slovenia, announced a merger, which has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Culture and the Competition Protection Agency.

In the electronic media, the U.S. media conglomerate, United Media received the green light from the Ministry of Culture in October 2017 and from Competition Protection Agency in early 2018 to take over Pro Plus, the operator of the largest commercial TV channels in Slovenia, POP TV and Kanal A. As a result, United Media, which also provides telecommunication services and is a big player in the Balkan countries, will control a huge slice of Slovenian media.

Media pluralism has further suffered from the growing involvement of political parties in the media business. In February 2016, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which has long complained about an alleged media bias, launched its own private news TV station, Nova24TV. Nova24TV got new owners in early 2017 with three Hungarian companies taking over, reported to be connected to the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán. In September 2017, the SDS also started to publish the new weekly Scandal24. There were some reports of additional investments from Hungarian companies in Nova24TV during the electoral campaign.

To what extent can citizens obtain official information?

10
 9

Legal regulations guarantee free and easy access to official information, contain few, reasonable restrictions, and there are effective mechanisms of appeal and oversight enabling citizens to access information.
 8
 7
 6


Access to official information is regulated by law. Most restrictions are justified, but access is sometimes complicated by bureaucratic procedures. Existing appeal and oversight mechanisms permit citizens to enforce their right of access.
 5
 4
 3


Access to official information is partially regulated by law, but complicated by bureaucratic procedures and some poorly justified restrictions. Existing appeal and oversight mechanisms are often ineffective.
 2
 1

Access to official information is not regulated by law; there are many restrictions of access, bureaucratic procedures and no or ineffective mechanisms of enforcement.
Access to Government Information
9
Slovenian law guarantees free and quite easy access to official information. Restrictions are few and reasonable (covering mostly national security and secret data issues), and there are effective mechanisms of appeal and oversight enabling citizens to access information. When access to official information is obstructed or denied, the Information Commissioner, an autonomous body that supervises both the protection of personal data as well as access to public information, can be called upon and intervene. In a number of cases, the Information Commissioner has helped citizens and journalists enforce their right of access. The new online application “Supervisor,” set up by the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) as a means of enhancing transparency in the country, has helped the public and the media access some previously restricted financial information. In July 2016 Supervisor was upgraded and integrated into the new web application Erar, also developed by the CPC. The Ministry of Public Administration has developed a publicly available web-based public procurement portal and online statistical tool.

Civil Rights and Political Liberties

#19

To what extent does the state respect and protect civil rights and how effectively are citizens protected by courts against infringements of their rights?

10
 9

All state institutions respect and effectively protect civil rights. Citizens are effectively protected by courts against infringements of their rights. Infringements present an extreme exception.
 8
 7
 6


The state respects and protects rights, with few infringements. Courts provide protection.
 5
 4
 3


Despite formal protection, frequent infringements of civil rights occur and court protection often proves ineffective.
 2
 1

State institutions respect civil rights only formally, and civil rights are frequently violated. Court protection is not effective.
Civil Rights
6
In Slovenia, civil rights are largely respected. Citizens are effectively protected by courts and by independent institutions like the ombudsman against infringements of their rights. Some problems exist with regard to the integrity of the judiciary. By contrast, the duration of court proceedings, which was very long in the past, has been reduced.

To what extent does the state concede and protect political liberties?

10
 9

All state institutions concede and effectively protect political liberties.
 8
 7
 6


All state institutions for the most part concede and protect political liberties. There are only few infringements.
 5
 4
 3


State institutions concede political liberties but infringements occur regularly in practice.
 2
 1

Political liberties are unsatisfactory codified and frequently violated.
Political Liberties
9
In Slovenia, political liberties are constitutionally protected and guaranteed and are respected by government institutions. The rights to assembly and association, for instance, are guaranteed in Article 42 of the Slovenian constitution and can only be restricted in special cases. The fact that Slovenia has more civil society organizations per capita than most other countries testifies to the protection of the freedom of association. Infringements on political liberties are rare.

How effectively does the state protect against different forms of discrimination?

10
 9

State institutions effectively protect against and actively prevent discrimination. Cases of discrimination are extremely rare.
 8
 7
 6


State anti-discrimination protections are moderately successful. Few cases of discrimination are observed.
 5
 4
 3


State anti-discrimination efforts show limited success. Many cases of discrimination can be observed.
 2
 1

The state does not offer effective protection against discrimination. Discrimination is widespread in the public sector and in society.
Non-discrimination
7
Slovenian law guarantees equal rights to all citizens and protects against discrimination based on prescribed criteria. There are also various forms of positive discrimination, including a gender quota in electoral law and special voting rights for the officially recognized national minorities as well as for the Roma population. Despite the legal framework, foreign workers and women are still at times paid somewhat less for the same work than Slovenian and male workers, and there have been cases of discrimination against same-sex couples. Amnesty International and others have criticized the government for not doing enough to counter discrimination toward the Roma. Media rights for minorities other than the Hungarian, Italian and Roma are underdeveloped. The annual report of the Human Rights Ombudsman for 2017 addressed several persistent discrimination issues, such as the difficult living conditions of some Roma families, the lack of infrastructure and sanitation in non-regularized Roma settlements, and the fact that the responsibility for resolving Roma settlements issues should not rest exclusively with municipalities.

Citations:
Human Rights Ombudsman (2018): Annual Report for 2017. Ljubljana (http://www.varuh-rs.si/index.php?id=54&L=6).

Rule of Law

#23

To what extent do government and administration act on the basis of and in accordance with legal provisions to provide legal certainty?

10
 9

Government and administration act predictably, on the basis of and in accordance with legal provisions. Legal regulations are consistent and transparent, ensuring legal certainty.
 8
 7
 6


Government and administration rarely make unpredictable decisions. Legal regulations are consistent, but leave a large scope of discretion to the government or administration.
 5
 4
 3


Government and administration sometimes make unpredictable decisions that go beyond given legal bases or do not conform to existing legal regulations. Some legal regulations are inconsistent and contradictory.
 2
 1

Government and administration often make unpredictable decisions that lack a legal basis or ignore existing legal regulations. Legal regulations are inconsistent, full of loopholes and contradict each other.
Legal Certainty
7
Legal certainty in Slovenia has suffered from contradictory legal provisions and frequent changes in legislation. The number of newly adopted regulations increased from 1,360 in 1991 to almost 20,000, including 800 laws, in December 2017. Many crucial laws are amended on a regular basis, and contradictions in legislation are frequently tested in front of the Constitutional Court. The procedures of rule-making are misused or side-stepped by making heavy use of the fast-track legislation procedure. In 2017, 48.4% of the 111 adopted legislative acts in the National Assembly were subjected to the fast-track or shortened legislation procedure (compared with 39.5% in 2016). In the vast majority of cases, however, government and administration act on the basis of and in accordance with the law, thereby ensuring legal certainty.

Citations:
Haček, M., S. Kukovič, M. Brezovšek (2017): Slovenian Politics and the State. Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books.

To what extent do independent courts control whether government and administration act in conformity with the law?

10
 9

Independent courts effectively review executive action and ensure that the government and administration act in conformity with the law.
 8
 7
 6


Independent courts usually manage to control whether the government and administration act in conformity with the law.
 5
 4
 3


Courts are independent, but often fail to ensure legal compliance.
 2
 1

Courts are biased for or against the incumbent government and lack effective control.
Judicial Review
8
While politicians try to influence court decisions and often publicly comment on the performance of particular courts and justices, Slovenian courts act largely independently. Independence is facilitated by the fact that judges enjoy tenure. The Cerar government has preserved the independence of the Prosecutor’s Office and strengthened the independence of the judiciary by expanding its funding. The Constitutional Court has repeatedly demonstrated its independence by annulling controversial decisions by the governing coalition, for instance on the candidacy rights of former Prime Minister Janša and the referendum on same-sex marriages. However, the lower courts have sometimes been criticized for letting influential people off the hook. In a spectacular case, Zoran Janković, the incumbent mayor of Ljubljana which has faced a dozen corruption charges, avoided conviction in 2018. The same applies to the former mayor of Maribor, Franc Kangler, who was indicted in 21 cases, but has been acquitted in 16 cases and is yet to be convicted in any of the cases.

To what extent does the process of appointing (supreme or constitutional court) justices guarantee the independence of the judiciary?

10
 9

Justices are appointed in a cooperative appointment process with special majority requirements.
 8
 7
 6


Justices are exclusively appointed by different bodies with special majority requirements or in a cooperative selection process without special majority requirements.
 5
 4
 3


Justices are exclusively appointed by different bodies without special majority requirements.
 2
 1

All judges are appointed exclusively by a single body irrespective of other institutions.
Appointment of Justices
8
In Slovenia, both Supreme and Constitutional Court justices are appointed in a cooperative selection process. The Slovenian Constitutional Court is composed of nine justices who are proposed by the president of the republic and approved by the parliament by absolute majority. The justices are appointed for a term of nine years and select the president of the Constitutional Court themselves. Supreme Court justices are appointed by parliament by a relative majority of votes based on proposals put forward by the Judicial Council, a body of 11 justices or other legal experts partly appointed by parliament and partly elected by the justices themselves. The Ministry of Justice can only propose candidates for the president of the Supreme Court. Candidates for both courts must meet stringent merit criteria and show a long and successful career in the judiciary to be eligible for appointment. In March 2017, four new Constitutional Court justices were appointed by the National Assembly, all with an overwhelming majority of votes, a rare example of party cooperation, and another Constitutional Court judge will be appointed in late 2018 to replace the current president of the court, Jadranka Sovdat.

To what extent are public officeholders prevented from abusing their position for private interests?

10
 9

Legal, political and public integrity mechanisms effectively prevent public officeholders from abusing their positions.
 8
 7
 6


Most integrity mechanisms function effectively and provide disincentives for public officeholders willing to abuse their positions.
 5
 4
 3


Some integrity mechanisms function, but do not effectively prevent public officeholders from abusing their positions.
 2
 1

Public officeholders can exploit their offices for private gain as they see fit without fear of legal consequences or adverse publicity.
Corruption Prevention
5
Corruption has been publicly perceived as one of the most serious problems in Slovenia since 2011. While the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC), the central anti-corruption body, managed to upgrade its Supervisor web platform and launch its successor Erar in July 2016, it has remained under fire for its lack of determination and professionalism, especially after the resignation of Alma Sedlar, one of the three-strong CPC leadership in September 2017, which was eventually replaced by Uroš Novak in March 2018. Allegations of corruption have featured prominently in the debates about the investment by Magna, the construction of the second railway line from Divača to the port of Koper and the health care system. The continuing failure of parliament to adopt an ethical code for members of parliament and the inability of the prosecution to present strong cases, which would enable courts to convict some major political players (e.g., Zoran Janković, mayor of Ljubljana), have further raised the doubts about the political elite’s commitment to fighting corruption.
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