Consolidated Democracy
DEMOCRACY-PERCENTAGE Democracy Percentage 79.17 100
DEMOCRACY-SCORE Democracy Score 5.75 7
Last Year's Democracy Percentage & Status
79 100 Consolidated Democracy
The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 1 the lowest. The Democracy Score is an average of ratings for the categories tracked in a given year. The Democracy Percentage, introduced in 2020, is a translation of the Democracy Score to the 0-100 scale, where 0 equals least democratic and 100 equals most democratic. See the methodology.

header1 Authors

Meta Novak

header2 Score changes in 2023

  • Electoral Process rating improved from 6.25 to 6.50 due to the absence of administrative irregularities in the country’s first super elections and in three referendums at the end of the year.

As a result, Slovenia's Democracy Score improved from 5.71 to 5.75.

header3 Executive Summary

In 2022, Slovenes went to the nation’s polling stations at least five times. This “super election year” began in April with elections to the National Assembly (lower chamber of Parliament) and finished with runoff local elections in early December. Besides these, Slovenes also voted for the president, mayors, and city councils, and decided on three legislative proposals via referendums. Members of the National Council (upper chamber of Parliament) were also elected in November. The entire year was marked by a heated political climate.

National Assembly elections were won by the liberal Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda, GS), led by Robert Golob, taking a record 41 of 90 seats. This result marked a pause in Slovenia’s era of populist, right-wing leadership. Despite increased voter participation (highest since 2000), the outcome was mostly seen as a vote against the old government and conservative politics of ousted prime minister Janez Janša (Slovenian Democratic Party, SDS) rather than as an endorsement for Golob and his new party. Over the next four years, with politically inexperienced lawmakers on the floor, GS will need to define its identity and clarify its program in order to sufficiently mobilize left-leaning voters. The first disputes within the party had already appeared by the end of the year with the resignation of the interior minister,1 which could impact support for the government and GS. In the presidential elections, a majority of voters supported nonpartisan candidate Nataša Pirc Musar, Slovenia’s first female president. Urška Klakočar Zupančič (GS) became the National Assembly’s first female president.2

The biggest losers in the national elections failed to reenter Parliament, namely, the List of Marjan Šarec (LMŠ) and Party of Alenka Bratušek (SAB). Robert Golob immediately invited both constituencies into his GS party. These leaders were included in the government,3 while their parties also officially merged with GS.4 Since GS is a new party with no political experience, collaborating with LMŠ and SAB could offer expertise and staffing solutions for the new governing formation.

The opposition had no formal avenue to vote against the government’s proposals due to the allocation of parliamentary seats. As a result, it had to rely on other means, such as proposing a consultative referendum to slow down establishing a new government and, when that failed, to challenge the government’s policies. In November, three referendums were organized;5 however, these reinforced voters’ current preference for center-left leadership since all of the new government’s proposals were supported.6 This trend is ongoing since 2021, when public polling found that 29.1 percent of Slovenian respondents view themselves as left-leaning. Yet this is not substantially more than the share of Slovenians who position themselves as right-leaning (22.6 percent).7

The civic sector remained vivid and active in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. Friday protests, ongoing since 2021, continued calls for the resignation of the government and new elections. With the establishment of Voice of the People (Glas ljudstva), a coalition of over 100 civil society organizations, the focus of the protests shifted to mobilizing citizens to participate in the 2022 parliamentary elections. Their activities mainly ceased after the elections, but the movement promised to continue its watchdog function and monitor whether the new government adheres to its campaign pledges. According to civil society representatives, most of these commitments have yet to be fulfilled, and some observers claim that civil society remains too favorable to the new government.8

Slovenes’ interest in local elections has decreased, as evidenced by the lower number of candidates running in 2022.9 While in the previous (2018) elections, 36 out of the country’s 212 municipalities had only one candidate running for mayor, in 2022, the number of unopposed races was up to 51 municipalities. Still, almost every hundredth Slovene ran in local elections due to the high number of open positions: nationwide, more than 600 citizens ran for mayor, and more than 18,000 individuals ran for municipal or city councils.10

The national public radio and television, RTV Slovenia, had an especially challenging year. After the resignations of editors and changes to its programming in 2021, the public television underwent further changes in 2022 due to politics infiltrating its work. Employees went on strike several times, warned about bullying by management, and complained about party interference in reporting the news. Additionally, the appointment of individuals affiliated with former prime minister Janša and journalists who previously worked at SDS-friendly outlets raised concerns about the independence of RTV journalists. This also led to a decline in the quality of news reporting and an increase in ideological bias.11

Due to increasing inflation, especially in the energy sector, the policies of the new government were mostly directed towards managing high prices. Officials introduced an online portal where citizens could compare prices for basic foods from among Slovenian retailers.12 13 In May, the government reintroduced the regulation of fuel prices at pumps off the main highways.14 It was approved that families with children receiving benefits would get additional money.15 The government froze prices for school lunches, boarding fees, and accommodations in student dormitories.16 A ceiling on electricity prices for household customers and small businesses was also determined.17 Additionally, the government increased capital investment by €200 million to Geoplin to reduce business risks and ensure the reliability of the country’s natural gas supply.18 This injection of capital was viewed as a sign of poor management and corruption, particularly since individuals close to Prime Minister Golob were nominated to top positions at energy companies.19

In foreign policy, Slovenia continued to support Ukraine with humanitarian and military aid.20 Slovenia also applied for membership in the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024–25.21 22

header4 At-A-Glance

In a super electoral year, Slovenian voters demonstrated higher political participation and voted for center-left political options. This further strengthened a robust democracy in which Parliament is representative and public administration is broadly accountable. Elections are generally free despite lower rates of turnout for local elections. Protests against the government largely ceased following the formation of a new government that promises closer cooperation with a variety of stakeholders. The introduction of a new public media act may finally depoliticize RTV. Local elections showed a decrease in citizens’ running for public office. The new government has followed decisions by the Constitutional Court and adjusted legislation accordingly. No major corruption cases were disclosed in 2022, and an act protecting whistleblowers was adopted.

National Democratic Governance 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Considers the democratic character of the governmental system; and the independence, effectiveness, and accountability of the legislative and executive branches. 5.506 7.007
  • Regular elections to the National Assembly (lower chamber of Parliament) took place in April 2022. Much attention was placed on new parties formulated just prior to the elections, and as many as 21 parliamentarian lists competed.1
  • Already in December 2021, the Modern Center Party had renamed itself Concretely (Konkretno)2 and decided to compete as part of the coalition Let’s Connect Slovenia (Povežimo Slovenijo). This bloc also included Greens of Slovenia, Slovenian People’s Party, New People’s Party, and New Social Democracy.3
  • Former minister of agriculture, forestry and food, Aleksandra Pivec, who resigned in late 2020 due to corruption accusations, established her own party, Our Country (Naša dežela).4
  • A new green party, Vesna, was established by activists Urška Zgojznik of Ecologists Without Borders (Ekologi brez meja) and Uroš Macerl of Eco Circle (Eko krog).5 (Truth), led by Zoran Stevanović,6 also emerged from civil society where it organized protests against COVID prevention measures in the fall of 2021.7
  • Among the new parties, the most highly anticipated was the establishment of Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda, GS) by former Gen-I chairman Robert Golob.8 Golob made the successful move to confront Janez Janša in the elections after he was not reappointed at the energy trading company .9 Consequently, GS won a record 34.45 percent of votes and 41 of 90 seats in the National Assembly.10
  • As leader of the winning party, Golob received the mandate to compose the fifteenth government of the Republic of Slovenia. He included all parties falling on the center-left spectrum, from the Social Democrats (SD) with seven mandates to The Left (Levica) with five.11 Marjan Šarec (LMŠ) and Alenka Bratušek (SAB) were included as ministers,12 even though their eponymous parties were unsuccessful in reentering Parliament.
  • For his ministerial team, Prime Minister Golob nominated individuals who were experts and professionals in their fields yet had little political experience.13 The new leaders initially struggled with certain rules and practices, exposing their lack of political acumen. For instance, Golob proposed Robert Pavšič, a former LMŠ parliamentarian, for General Secretary of the National Assembly, even though the position has traditionally been professional and not politically assigned, and the proposal was eventually withdrawn.14 With 53 votes in Parliament, the government was able to approve all legislative proposals submitted by the governing party, as well as reject interpellations against Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar. The oppositional SDS had accused Fajon of abusing the diplomatic-consular network in favoring presidential candidate Nataša Pirc Musar and mishandling the recall of the Ambassador to the United States, Tone Kajzer.15 SDS also criticized Bobnar for endangering national security by removing fencing along Slovenia’s southern border.16
  • At the end of the year, Bobnar resigned due to disagreements with Golob over police personnel changes, demonstrating continuing government interference in law enforcement. Golob accepted her resignation,17 while other coalition parties expressed support for Bobnar.18 Later, GS vice-president Marta Kos resigned from the party due to this incident, leading to public suspicions that Golob had undue control over government ministers.19 In August, the director of the Government Communication Office also resigned due to disagreements in GS.20
  • The opposition relied on proposing referendums and submitting legislative proposals in order to block certain policy suggestions. On the initiative of SDS, in November, citizens decided on three referendums related to the Long-Term Care Act, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia Act, and the RTV Act. Voters decided in alignment with the positions of the new government21 rather than choosing options proposed by the opposition, which created distance among right-leaning parties.22 The leader of New Slovenia–Christian Democrats (NSi) declared that the party would not participate in another government led by Janša (SDS).23 Meanwhile, public support for the new government grew, reaching 60 percent in November, the highest level since the beginning of its mandate.24
Electoral Process 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Examines national executive and legislative elections, the electoral framework, the functioning of multiparty systems, and popular participation in the political process. 6.507 7.007
  • In November 2021, former president Borut Pahor had called for National Assembly elections to be held on the earliest Sunday possible, which was April 24, 2022. This date was problematic since it fell on the weekend before the May 1 vacations for many Slovenians. Civil society actors thus called on citizens to vote early or via postal voting, resulting in a record share of early voter turnout (7.7 percent) for the parliamentary elections.1 There were some problems with voting from abroad connected with delays in sending out the ballots.2
  • Only five parties were able to gather enough votes to enter Parliament due to the 4-percent threshold.3 Typically, there are at least seven parliamentary parties since the Slovenian proportional electoral system often leads to party fragmentation.4 In 2022, the electorate split mostly between the two leading parties, GS and SDS. Almost half of voters made the strategic choice to vote not for their closer ideological match but rather for the leading party based on their political option (left or right).5
  • More women managed to enter Parliament, and the gender quota system performed better in the 2022 contests than previously. Among the 90 members of the National Assembly (lower chamber of Parliament), 54 male and 36 female members were elected. Approximately one-third of parliamentarians were reelected, and two thirds are new members.6
  • The biggest losers were parties that failed to reenter Parliament, namely, the Party of Alenka Bratušek (SAB), List of Marjan Šarec (LMŠ), Slovenian National Party (SNS), and the Democratic Party of Pensioners (DeSUS).7 Ten parties received from 1 to less than 4 percent of votes and will receive state budget funding for the following four years.
  • After the polls closed, the State Election Commission, due to a software error, incorrectly determined six parliamentary mandates. This error was soon detected and had no major consequences.8
  • Seven candidates ran for President of the Republic. Nataša Pirc Musar, a lawyer, entrepreneur, and former journalist, announced her candidacy in June; she ran as an independent with the support of former presidents Milan Kučan and Danilo Türk.9 Pirc Musar won in a runoff with 54 percent of the vote against Anže Logar, who got 46 percent. Although Logar is a member of SDS, he ran as an independent with the aim to distance himself from the party and its politics. He won a plurality of votes in the first round (34 percent) whereas Pirc Musar got 27 percent.10
  • Although the powers of the Slovenian presidency are limited, political parties were heavily involved in the 2022 presidential elections. SD and GS supported the same candidate, Milan Brglez, who came in third. This could be seen as a defeat for the coalition partners and confirmation that the electorate of the current largest parliamentary party is not stable. Both parties supported Pirc Musar in the runoff, recognizing her as a left-wing candidate and framing the presidential elections again as a competition between left and right. Logar, although he ran as an independent, was recognized as an SD member and representative of voters on the political right. Surprisingly, the candidates of NSi and The Left (Levica) finished last. Meanwhile, the two independent presidential candidates—Kočevje mayor and university professor Vladimir Prebilič, and gynecologist Sabina Senčar—both garnered unexpectedly high levels of voter support.11
  • In October, PM Golob announced the possibility of changing the electoral law, including shortening the procedure for appointing the prime minister and the ministerial team.12
  • 1STA, “Na predčasnem glasovanju rekordna volilna udeležba” [Early voting record turnout], Primorski dnevnik, 22 April 2022,…
  • 2STA and M.R., “Za težave z glasovnicami v tujini kriva tudi malomarna delavka DVK” [A negligent DVK employee is also to blame for problems with ballot papers abroad], 24ur, 20 April 2022,…
  • 3On the left, political option Freedom Movement (GS) gained 34.45% and 41 seats, the Social Democrats (SD) gained 6.69% and 7 seats, and the Left gained 4.46% and 5 seats. On the right, political option Slovenian democratic party (SDS) won 23.48% and 27 seats while New Slovenia Christian democrats (NSi) won 6.68% and 8 seats. Two seats are reserved for representatives of Hungarian and Italian national minorities (see: “Volitve v DZ 2022” [Parliamentary elections in 2022], Državna volilna komisija, 2022,…).
  • 4Danica Fink-Hafner and Meta Novak, “Party fragmentation, the proportional system and democracy in Slovenia”, Political studies review, November 2022, vol. 20, no. 4, doi: 10.1177/14789299211059450.
  • 5Meta Novak and Damjan Lajh, “Parliamentary elections in Slovenia: strategic vote for left-wing politics and against the right-wing government”, Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen: Vierteljahresschrift der Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 2022.
  • 6Ta. L., “Kje bodo sedeli poslanci: znan je sedežni red” [Where MPs will sit: the seating order is known], N1 info, 9 May 2022,…
  • 7Meta Novak and Damjan Lajh, “Parliamentary elections in Slovenia: strategic vote for left-wing politics and against the right-wing government”, Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen: Vierteljahresschrift der Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 2022.
  • 8M. P. V., “DVK je napačno določila šest poslanskih mandatov” [DVK incorrectly determined six parliamentary mandates], Delo, 7 May 2022,…
  • 9Pija Kapitanovič, “Nataša Pirc Musar bo kandidirala za predsednico države” [Nataša Pirc Musar will run for president], Delo, 23 June 2022,…
  • 10Milan Brglez, official candidate of Freedom Movement and SD party received 15.5%, Miha Kordiš, candidate of the governmental Left party received less than 3% of votes. Independent candidate, mayor and university professor Vladimir Prebilič received more than 10% of votes and candidate of anti-vaccination party received almost 6% of votes. Right wing candidate and member of NSi party, Janez Cigler Kralj lost his votes to Logar and received 4% of votes. (see: “Predsednik Republike” [President of Republic], Državna volilna komisija, 2022,
  • 11“Predsednik Republike” [President of Republic], Državna volilna komisija, 2022,
  • 12G. K., “Golob: Razmere za spremembo ustave so v DZ-ju idealne, strank je malo” [Golob: The conditions for amending the constitution are ideal in the DZ, there are few parties], RTV MMC SLO, 24 October 2022,…
Civil Society 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Assesses the organizational capacity and financial sustainability of the civic sector; the legal and political environment in which it operates; the functioning of trade unions; interest group participation in the policy process; and the threat posed by antidemocratic extremist groups. 5.756 7.007
  • The Friday protests that started in 2021 continued in 2022, with a focus on mobilizing citizens to participate in the April parliamentary elections. Voice of the People (Glas Ljudstva),1 a coalition of over 100 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) established in 2021, had a particularly important role. The group created “Volitvomat,” an online tool with questionnaires for citizens to check which party was closest to their views in the national, presidential, and local elections.2 It also organized preelection debates with the competing parties.3 4 The last Friday protest on April 22, just before the national elections, featured a concert in front of the National Assembly with well-known Slovenian musicians and civil society representatives.5
  • In a departure from the previous leadership, the new government appeared more open to suggestions from the civic sector. For example, in June, coalition parties supported an omnibus law proposed by the NGO 8th of March Institute that overturned 11 controversial provisions adopted by the previous government and widely opposed by experts, beneficiaries, and the general public.6 Additionally, the adopted Act on Infectious Diseases was prepared by the NGO Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy (Pravna mreža za varstvo demokracije). The opposition quickly characterized these instances of cooperation as “Slovenia being governed by civil society.” The Interior Ministry decided to rectify fines imposed on civil society during the COVID-19 lockdowns.7 8
  • Although protest activities decreased after the national elections, civil society representatives vowed to monitor the new government on whether it upholds its electoral promises. In October, the civil initiative “Where Will We Sleep Tomorrow” (Kje bomo pa jutri spali) symbolically occupied Republic Square in front of the National Assembly to warn of the government’s inaction on housing issues.9 In December, Voice of the People launched the campaign “Let’s Stop the Destruction of Public Healthcare” to respond to the nation’s lack of doctors, especially critical in the capital Ljubljana.10 11
  • There have also been criticisms that the civic sector has been too lenient on the new government given that its commitments to civil society have largely gone unfulfilled.12 In October, a man attacked the director of the 8th of March Institute, Nika Kovač, allegedly for her critical views of SDS. Most of the public and politicians condemned the attack.13 Although such attacks against civil society and political figures are rare in Slovenia, a few days later, a different man attacked an SDS parliamentarian, Branko Grims, also allegedly politically motivated.14 These events confirm the deep ideological polarization in Slovenian society, with the cleavage between left and right becoming even more pronounced in the past year.
Independent Media 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Examines the current state of press freedom, including libel laws, harassment of journalists, and editorial independence; the operation of a financially viable and independent private press; and the functioning of the public media. 5.255 7.007
  • The media continued to play an instrumental role in Slovenia in 2022 despite ownership issues and opaque funding on the various political sides. For example, the conservative Nova24TV is close to SDS, while the news portal Necenzurirano is close to the center-left parties.
  • In January, Igor Kadunc took over leadership of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) that for months had been unable to reach an agreement with the Government Communication Office on payment for public services, which put the agency’s independence at risk.
  • After extensive political interference in the media under the previous government, which was able to replace numerous members of the program council at the public television (RTV), employee dissatisfaction became even more evident during the year with three strikes1 in which RTV leadership avoided negotiations.2
  • In 2022, staff close to former prime minister Janez Janša (SDS) received positions at RTV. Uroš Urbanija, the former director of the Government Communication Office under Janša who was responsible for withholding STA payments in 2021,3 became director of RTV in July.4 Ksenija Koren, a former journalist and PR consultant in Janša’s cabinet, became RTV’s new editor of daily news in October.5 A number of reporters from Nova24TV, close to the conservative SDS party, also joined RTV.
  • Journalists from RTV raised concerns about irregularities and violations of the journalist codebook. In August, daily news reporter Sašo Kranjc called attention to the influence of RTV leadership and editors on news content and the work of journalists. As a result, he was penalized with fewer TV news appearances in the following months. Employees who supported Kranjc were threatened with layoffs.6
  • In December, the public media workers’ council disclosed that RTV had made last-minute changes to its collective bargaining agreement, including an annex that stipulates extremely high severance pay and contractual penalties. These modifications could cause further damage to public funds and be considered a violation of the criminal code.7
  • The government also looked for an opportunity to change the RTV law, which provides the legal foundation and basic operational parameters for public media. The amendment would reconfigure the leadership, management, and oversight of RTV. Opponents of the changes warned that appointments to the newly established program council would lack openness and transparency, and criticized the amendment for being hastily adopted.8 Meanwhile, Slovenes voted against further politicization of RTV in November.9
  • In March, the television program Studio City, known for its opinionated views on the government, was temporarily canceled. The official reason cited was the airing of preelection debates, but rumors suggested it was to prevent critical political content about the ruling parties before the elections. Civil society groups organized a petition to demand the return of Studio City to the airwaves. Although it gained more than 40,000 signatures, the petition was unsuccessful.10
Local Democratic Governance 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Considers the decentralization of power; the responsibilities, election, and capacity of local governmental bodies; and the transparency and accountability of local authorities. 6.507 7.007
  • In the fall local elections, voters selected mayors of municipalities and city municipalities; members of city or municipality councils; and members of local communities, village communities, and city quarters. Five times more male than female candidates ran for mayoral positions.1 Only 29 (or 13 percent) of Slovenia’s elected mayors are female.2
  • Voter turnout on Sunday, November 20, for the local elections reached just over 47 percent in the first round, the second-lowest rate in the country’s history after 2014.3 More than half of the elected mayors were nonpartisan, independent candidates. The Slovenian People’s Party (SLS) won the greatest number of mayoral posts, but their count was significantly lower than in previous elections; currently a non-parliamentary party, SLS supported 34 candidates, and 15 were elected.4 The Social Democrats (SD) followed with 14 elected mayors. GS secured only three mayoral seats.5 SDS gained the highest number of councilors, while GS came in second.6
  • Council of Europe observers monitoring the local elections praised their exemplary conduct. Among possible improvements, however, they recommended to consider limiting mayoral mandates to a maximum of two consecutive terms.7 Many Slovenian municipalities have been led by the same mayor for several terms, in nine cases for 28 years.8 9 10
  • The second round of mayoral elections took place on Sunday, December 4, in 47 municipalities, including in the city municipalities of Maribor, Kanj, Celje, Nova Gorica, Murska Sobota, and Krško.11 The most surprising victory was Matija Kovač in Celje over longtime mayor Bojan Šrot.12 In Maribor, Saša Arsenovič gained more votes than Franc Kangler,13 a former mayor who resigned after protests against him in 2012. In Ljubljana and Koper, Zoran Janković14 and Aleš Bržan,15 respectively, were reelected in the first round.
  • The Association of Municipalities called for a significant increase in average taxes, citing the exclusion of the annual inflation rate from the calculations.16 In October, after lengthy negotiations between government representatives and the association, an agreement was reached on the average amount of taxes for years 2023–24, or €700 per resident, which the association endorsed.17
  • In July, the National Council (upper chamber of Parliament) prepared three initiatives for regional legislation. This culminated a three-year process in which the State Council, by agreement with the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, and the Prime Minister, coordinated the legislative package. The creation of a regional system would bring about the largest political and organizational changes yet to Slovenia.18
  • In 2022, the government revisited the idea of establishing regions and abolishing the National Council, which represents regional interests. However, reaching consensus on the issue again proved challenging as in previous years.19 These changes are mainly aimed at improving the efficiency of state administrations and local authorities, and aligning them with the constitution.
Judicial Framework and Independence 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Assesses constitutional and human rights protections, judicial independence, the status of ethnic minority rights, guarantees of equality before the law, treatment of suspects and prisoners, and compliance with judicial decisions. 5.756 7.007
  • In January, following a scandal over the credentials of Supreme Court judge Branko Masleša, the parliamentary judiciary committee called on the Judicial Council to determine a protocol for appointing judges who pass the judicial examination in other republics of the former SFRY.1 The Judicial Council informed the committee that it had no legal basis for this request.
  • In January, Ljutomer District Court judge Gorazd Tivadar was once again the victim of an attack. While such attacks against the judiciary are rare in Slovenia, this incident was widely condemned by the Slovenian Association of Judges, the Justice Minister, and the Supreme Court.2
  • In May, a European Union judicial report revealed that the trend of declining new court cases persists in Slovenia. In 2022, the country’s justice system solved almost as many civil and economic cases as it received while also managing more administrative cases. Similar to the previous year, the data indicate that court operations remained stable despite obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trust in the independence of the judiciary is gradually improving in Slovenia.3
  • In June, the Constitutional Court ruled that the regulation allowing only two persons of a different gender to enter into a marriage was discriminatory and unconstitutional. It also approved adoption by same-sex partners who are living in a formal partnership.4 In October, the National Assembly adopted amendments to the family code in line with these court decisions.5 The National Council subsequently vetoed the amendments,6 but the governing parties supported the act once again.7 Due to the opposition’s intent to propose a referendum on the family code, the National Assembly voted to declare the decision to call the referendum inadmissible.8
  • In October, PM Golob announced possible constitutional changes to lower the workload of the Constitutional Court and to ease the process of appointing judges without Parliament.9 The governing parties proposed transferring the power to appoint judges (on the proposal of the Judicial Council) from the National Assembly to the President of the Republic. The aim is to adapt the regulation towards that of comparable democratic countries, allowing for a permanent judicial mandate for qualified judges and to depoliticize the judge appointment process.10 The Slovenian Association of Judges and the Judicial Council supported these constitutional changes.11
  • In November, the Supreme Court requested a review of the constitutionality of a section of the criminal procedure code governing extradition procedures due to a perceived legal gap in safeguarding human rights.12
Corruption 1.00-7.00 pts0-7 pts
Looks at public perceptions of corruption, the business interests of top policymakers, laws on financial disclosure and conflict of interest, and the efficacy of anticorruption initiatives. 5.005 7.007
  • According to estimates, as much as €3.5 billion, or 7.5 percent of Slovenia’s GDP, is lost annually to corruption.1 Offenders brought to light in corruption scandals are seldom punished, and a lack of political will prevents progress in corruption prevention.
  • In April 2022, just before the parliamentary elections, the agriculture minister resigned amid controversy over an unpaid bill for a hotel stay with his wife in Bled.2
  • In October, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) identified corruption risks in the employment of officials “on trust” after the expiration of their government mandates. The analysis showed that the Alenka Bratušek–led government had 65 individuals employed on trust, the Miro Cerar government had 137 individuals, the Marjan Šarec government had 106, and the Janez Janša government had 183.3
  • In October, the government adopted a Whistleblower Act that regulates the protection of those who report workplace violations in both the public and private sectors.4 While the act is a positive step in the fight against corruption, Transparency International Slovenia warned that in order for the new law to work, civil servants should be educated about its importance.5 Only SDS opposed the act, considering it too broad and extending beyond areas of public interest.6
  • In September, the CPC, Interior Ministry, police, and the Inspectorate of Internal Affairs updated their 2019 cooperation agreement, which includes information-sharing, providing professional assistance, conducting regular meetings, and appointing contact persons, all aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of corruption investigations.7 Similarly, in October, the CPC cooperated with local municipalities and associations to create a governance code for greater transparency among local companies, which will be implemented in 2023.8
  • The CPC’s Integrity Assessment Report from October found that officials at the local and national level still do not understand how to comply with provisions of the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act, such as incompatibility of functions and reporting of property status.9 For example, Robert Golob, while still chairman of Gen-I, submitted an incomplete report on his property status, for which he received a written warning from the CPC. He subsequently reported his assets, as the current prime minister, in May 2022.10
  • In November, with updates to the Slovenian Sovereign Holding Act, the CPC gained important recognition of its powers in dealing with violations of integrity and conflicts of interest (as defined in the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act) by members of management and control bodies in major companies.11 These changes have the potential to improve transparency and anticorruption efforts.

Author: Meta Novak is an associate professor and researcher at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences. Her main areas of research are interest groups and civil society.

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