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Glossary

Acts Issued by Ministers

These are rules, orders and instructions issued by a minister as the head of an administrative body with the intention of regulating the mode of the body’s activity in general or in its particular fields of activity.


Administrative Bodies of a Ministry

These include: administrations - established for a selected administrative area or to perform particular functions of a ministry; directorates - to perform certain organisational or specialised technical administrative tasks within the scope of work of a ministry; inspectorates - to supervise implementation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions in the area of competence of a ministry.


Administrative Organisations of a Ministry

These include: administrations - to perform individual technical, expert, organisational and control administrative tasks concerning activities of the public administration; agencies - to perform development and promotion activities at the Government level.


Budget Memorandum

A Government act which is submitted by the Government to the National Assembly together with the national budget proposal. The budget memorandum sets out the basic goals and tasks of economic, social and budget policy of the Government and the overall frameworks for public financing in the following year. The budget memorandum also contains the overall goals of public finance policy for the following years as a basis for the composition of the national budget proposal.


Composition of the Government

The Government consists of the Prime Minister and other ministers. The Government and the ministers are independent within the framework of their jurisdiction, and responsible to the National Assembly.


Control Function of the Government

The Government controls the work of the public administration.


Coordinative Function of the Government

The Government directs and coordinates the work of the public administration.


Dismissal of a Minister

The Prime Minister can propose dismissal of a minister. The National Assembly decides on the proposal for dismissal of a minister. The decision on dismissal is adopted by the majority of votes of all deputies, present and voting. However, the minister in question continues to perform his official duties until the appointment of a new minister. If the President of the National Assembly proposes a candidate for a new minister together with the dismissal proposal for the minister in question, the National Assembly first votes on the proposal for dismissal of the minister in question. The dismissal of the minister is the prerequisite for nomination of a new minister.


Executive Decision

By decisions the Government decides on appointments and dismissals and in the administrative matters of its competence, as well as on other concrete cases within its competence.


Executive Decree

By decrees the Government regulates in greater detail particular relations or adopts individual measures of general interest or other decisions, determined by statute or regulation to be regulated by an executive decree.


Executive Regulation

By regulations the Government regulates and details general relations determined by statute or by any other act of the National Assembly, in accordance with statutory intentions and criteria. The Government may enact a regulation concerning exercising the rights and duties of citizens and other persons solely on the basis of its statutory authority.


Forming a Government

The President of the Republic, after consultations with the leaders of parliamentary groups, nominates a candidate for the position of the Prime Minister to the National Assembly, at the latest 30 days after the formation of the National Assembly. The vote for the position of Prime Minister has to take place at the earliest 48 hours and at the latest 7 days after receiving the candidate’s nomination. The nominated candidate presents the programme for the foundation of the Government at a session of the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is elected in a secret ballot and has to get a majority of the votes of all the deputies (at least 46).

 

If the candidate is not successfully elected in the first ballot, another election for Prime Minister can be held, involving new candidates. New candidates have to be nominated at the latest 14 days after the session at which the first ballot took place. A candidate (a new one or the same one) can be nominated by the President of the Republic, a parliamentary group or by at least 10 deputies. If there is more than one nomination, there is a separate ballot for each one. The first ballot is for the candidate nominated by the President of the Republic. If this candidate is not elected, further ballots take place according to the order of nominations. Once a nominated candidate is elected, there are no more ballots for candidates nominated at a later date. If no candidate is elected, the President of the Republic dissolves the National Assembly and calls a new general election unless, within 48 hours, the National Assembly, with a majority of the decided votes of those deputies who are present, decides to hold a new vote for Prime Minister. To be elected, it is enough to get the majority of the decided votes of the deputies who are present. The order of this new round of ballots is determined by the number of votes the candidates received in the previous elections, followed by the new candidates nominated up to the moment of the elections, among which the candidate nominated by the President of the Republic has precedence over the others. If no candidate gets a majority in these votes, the President of the Republic dissolves the National Assembly and calls for a new general election.

 

Once the Prime Minister has been elected, he has, within 15 days of the election, to propose a candidate list of ministers to the President of the National Assembly. If the Prime Minister fails to submit the proposal for the composition of the Government within the prescribed time, the National Assembly can give a deadline by which it has to be submitted. If he fails to submit a proposal even by this date, the National Assembly determines that the Prime Minister’s functions have ceased.

 

The candidate list of ministers has to contain the prescribed information; otherwise the ballot takes place only for those ministers whose candidatures are in accordance with the rules of procedure of the National Assembly. Nominated candidates have to present themselves to the relevant working body of the National Assembly within 3 days at the earliest and 7 days at the latest after the submission of the proposal of their candidature. The candidate has to answer any questions put by the members of the working body. The president of the working body immediately, or within 48 hours at the latest after the presentation of the ministerial candidate, sends an opinion about the suitability of the candidate for the position of minister to the President of the National Assembly and to the Prime Minister. This opinion is not binding on the National Assembly. The Prime Minister can, within 3 days at the latest after receiving the opinion, withdraw the candidature proposal and, at the same time, propose a new candidate. The presentation of the newly proposed candidates has to be carried out at the latest 3 days after the President of the National Assembly receives the new candidature proposal.

 

The deputies vote for the ministers by voting for the list as a whole. The ballot is secret. The list is elected if it receives a majority of yes votes of those taking part. If the list is not elected, there is a new ministerial election on the basis of a new list of candidates. The Prime Minister has to submit a new list of candidates at the latest 10 days after the first election. If this new list is not elected either, the Prime Minister can propose that there should be a ballot for each individual candidate. Deputies vote by putting a circle around the number in front of the name of each candidate they are voting for.

 

The Government is considered to be functioning if more than two thirds of the ministers have been approved, not counting the ministers without portfolio. The Prime Minister has, within 10 days of assuming his function, to propose the candidates for the remaining ministers or inform the National Assembly which portfolios he will handle temporarily, for a maximum of three months, or which he will entrust to another minister. If the National Assembly does not elect the other ministers within three months of the Government taking up its functions, the National Assembly determines that the functions of the Prime Minister and the other ministers have ceased.

 

The Prime Minister and individual ministers can resign, and the Prime Minister can also relieve a minister of his duties. The Government’s mandate ends automatically together with the mandate of the National Assembly, whilst in the interim it is possible to change the Government by means of a constructive vote of no confidence (when, following a proposal by ten deputies, a new Prime Minister is elected), by a confidence vote for the Government (the Government itself proposes a confidence vote) or by a motion for dismissal (‘interpellation’). A motion for dismissal can be used to replace the Government as whole or just individual ministers, if the National Assembly uses it as a basis for a vote of no confidence.


Government Offices

The Government sets up Government services for organisational, professional and other assistance in the functioning of the Government and in coordinating the work of ministries. The Prime Minister may also empower a line minister for these duties. Government services are headed by a minister without portfolio, state secretary or director, who reports to the Prime Minister, minister or Government Secretary-General.

 

The Secretariat-General of the Government also functions as a Government office. It is headed by the Secretary-General, who is appointed and dismissed by the Government on the proposal of the Prime Minister. Under instruction from the Prime Minister, the Secretary-General attends to the preparation of Government sessions and the implementation of its decisions, and performs other tasks in connection with the organisation of work in the Government and its services. His function ceases through dismissal, resignation or upon termination of the function of the Prime Minister.

 

The Office of the Prime Minister also functions as a Government office. The Head of the Office of the Prime Minister is appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister; his position ceases through dismissal, resignation or through cessation of the Prime Minister’s function. The provisions of the Civil Servants Act do not apply to the procedure for his selection.


Government Programme

The Government determines its priorities for a particular period through a programme and budget documents, and the successful fulfilment of these self-assigned tasks is set out in the report on the work of the Government.

 

The Government programme includes a list of proposals for laws and other acts the Government intends to put forward to the National Assembly. The report on the work of the Government contains a list of completed tasks, which has been set out in the programme or budget documents. There is also a list and description of completed tasks that have not been previously planned. The Government adopts the report on its work over the previous year and submits it to the National Assembly, together with the national budget proposal.


Government Services

Government services are set up to carry out specialist government tasks. Services are headed by a minister without portfolio or by a director.

 

The General Secretariat, which carries out coordination and specialist tasks for the Government and is headed by the secretary-general, and the Office of the Prime Minister, which carries out specialist and other tasks for the Prime Minister, are both Government services.


Government Sessions

In line with the Constitution, the legislation and the procedural rules, the Prime Minister leads and directs the work of the Government, is responsible for the unity of the Government and represents the Government. He leads the Government’s sessions, gives instructions to ministers, requests reports from ministers on their work, represents the Government at other branches of the state administration and presents the Government’s standpoints to the media.

 

The Government works and takes decisions during regular and correspondence sessions.

 

At regular sessions, the Prime Minister and ministers discuss issues and make decisions directly. At correspondence sessions, Government members discuss issues and make decisions using information technology and communication services within the information system designed to support the Government decision-making procedure (the Government information system).

 

The Government forms working bodies – committees and commissions – that deal with specific issues within the Government’s responsibility prior to Government debate on these issues. They also deal with specific minor, less important issues.

 

The Government also (co) founds Government councils to aid communication with civil society organisations and non-governmental professional institutions in individual areas.

  

The Government can appoint a working group to carry out duties the Government has entrusted to a number of ministries and Government offices. The working group ceases to function when its task has been completed or after the deadline for completion has expired. When the activities of a working group cease, its leader has to immediately present to the Government a report on the executed task.

 

Issues to be dealt with by the Government can be put forward by the Prime Minister, ministers, the Secretary-General, directors of Government offices and others authorised to make proposals. These proposals have to be harmonised among the ministries and Government offices involved, unless this is not possible because of the urgency of the matter. Those proposing laws, regulations and other matters of a legal nature have to work in consultation with the Government Office for Legislation. The proposals must, among other things, contain an assessment of the financial consequences of adoption, an explanation of how they conform to regulations, an evaluation of whether they will increase or decrease the burden on the legislative system or public administration, and must also meet requirements set out in the National Assembly’s procedural rules.

  

The Government deals only with materials, which have been sent to the Secretariat-General of the Government via electronic mail. The material has to be signed with the secure electronic signature of the proposer, or it has to be made perfectly clear in some other way, determined by the Secretary-General, that the material has really been sent by the party in question. In exceptional cases, when it is impossible to deliver the material electronically for technical or other justifiable reasons, the Secretary-General can propose to the Prime Minister or the leader of a working body that this material should be included in the agenda for a Government session.

 

The Secretary-General publishes Government proposals, summonses to Government sessions, minutes and other documents relating to the sessions of the Government and its working bodies via the Government information system.

 

Members of the Government, the Secretary-General, the Head of the Office of the Prime Minister, heads of Government offices and those they have authorised all have access to the system. In exceptional cases, other leaders of bodies and organisations and authorised representatives of the parliamentary parties in the Government coalition may also have access.

 

Members of the Government can post their comments relating to the published documents and state their opposition to the discussion of the issues in question within three working days. Within this time, ministries responsible for finance, justice and administration and the Government Office for Legislation can request an extension of this deadline to nine working days in those cases where materials are extensive or if the adoption of the proposals would have significant financial implications, would place additional burdens on the judicial system and the public administration, or if the legal system would have to be changed as a consequence. If members of the Government have commented on the proposals, the procedure for dealing with the issue in question continues following the receipt of a notice from the proposer, either that the proposal has been harmonised, or that the harmonisation process has been unsuccessful and that he or she requests that the proposal be dealt with in spite of it not being harmonised. Proposals, which have not been harmonised within a month of their publication, are removed from governmental procedure.

 

If no comments have been made on the proposal, the Secretary-General determines the procedure for dealing with it after at least three working days following its publication.

 

Proposals can be dealt with in the following ways:

  • at a regular or correspondence session after having been previously discussed by the relevant working bodies;
  • at a regular or correspondence session of the Government without having been discussed by the relevant working bodies;
  • at the relevant working body, which can deal fully with the issue.

  

Proposals rejected by the relevant working body cannot be dealt with at a Government session.

 

At regular Government sessions discussions are held on: demanding issues that propose the adoption of important resolutions or policy directions of either a political or an economic nature; related proposals for debate by the National Assembly; and issues transferred from the agenda of a Government correspondence session following a request by one or more members of the Government.

 

All other matters are dealt with at correspondence sessions.

 

Government proposals can be dealt with at a session of a relevant working body or at a correspondence or regular session of the Government if at least four working days have passed since the publication of the proposal.

   

Proposals, which have been debated by a working body and on which no comments have been made, are usually put forward to the Government within the same week.

 

Regular Government Sessions

  

The Prime Minister calls sessions of the Government, usually on the same day each week. In the Prime Minister’s absence, a minister nominated by the Prime Minister leads sessions. The session begins with the setting of the agenda. Following a proposal, the Government can in exceptional cases extend the agenda with a debate on proposals, which have not been published in advance.

 

After each item on the agenda has been debated, the Government either passes a resolution with which it accepts the proposals with the original or changed wording, or decides to reject the proposals. The adoption of a resolution can also be delayed, and the proposer asked to supplement the proposal, or a working group founded, which then amends the proposal in an appropriate way.

 

Any member of the Government can request that it be determined whether the session is quorate. If there is a quorum during the setting of the agenda and no-one requests that the quorum be checked again during the session, the record says that there was a quorum throughout the session.

 

A complete transcription is made of every session based on an audio, video or other type of recording. These transcriptions have the highest level of secrecy.

 

Correspondence Sessions

 

Under instruction from the Prime Minister, the Secretary-General, via the information system, calls the correspondence session and distributes the material, together with a report from the relevant working body or the opinion of a council of the Government in cases when the material has been previously dealt with. The deadline for conveying messages, which may be determined separately for each point on the agenda, cannot be less than four hours or more than three days. If a correspondence session has been called immediately prior to or after the end of a working day the deadline, as a rule, cannot be earlier than 10 a.m. the following day.

 

At any time during a correspondence session the Prime Minister can halt the debate on a particular issue, or halt the session itself, and decide how the matter is going to be dealt with.

 

Votes for and against adoption of proposals, standpoints and justifications, withdrawals of no votes, requests for proposals to be dealt with prior to being debated by the Government and requests that proposals be dealt with at a regular session of the Government, are all input into pre-prepared forms in the information system.

A member of the Government can request that prior to a final resolution the relevant working body deals with the matter. If three or more Government members put forward such a request, the item must be withdrawn from the agenda of the correspondence session. The relevant working body then deals it with at its first session.

 

A member of the Government can also request that an issue is dealt with at a regular session. If three or more Government members request this, the item is withdrawn from the agenda of the correspondence session. It is then debated at the first regular Government session.

 

If the adoption of certain proposals would place a considerable additional financial burden on the state budget, considerably increase the workload of the judiciary or public administration, or would lead to changes in legislation, the item, in accordance with the previous two paragraphs, can be withdrawn from the agenda of the correspondence session on the basis of a request from the relevant minister responsible either for finance, justice or public administration, or the director of the Office for Legislation.

 

Proposals are adopted when fewer than half of the Government members vote against its adoption as a whole or against individual parts or, in other words, when more than half the members of the Government vote in favour. If the total number of the members of the Government is an even number and there are an equal number of votes against and in favour, the vote of the Prime Minister is decisive. When more than half the members of the Government vote against adoption of only specific parts of a proposal, the proposal is then adopted without the contentious parts.

  

Debate and voting on an individual proposal is concluded prematurely when more than half the members of the Government vote in favour of its adoption prior to the deadline.


Government Working Bodies

Working bodies are set up by the Government either on the basis of the Government’s procedural rules or on the basis of a particular law relating to the area in question, which determines that a working body needs to be founded and its composition.

   

Government working bodies (committees, commissions etc.) consist of a president, a deputy president and an appropriate number of members, nominated by the Government. Resolutions are passed by the majority vote of those present at a session. A report is prepared following discussion of particular issues and approaches containing an evaluation of the topic under discussion, standpoints relating to key issues, possible proposals for change or supplementation of proposed approaches, the standpoint of the working body on the opinions and proposals put forward, as well as proposed resolutions for Government approval.

  

In order to ensure that the work of the Government and Go¬vernment bodies is technically well founded, the Government sets up appropriate expert or technical councils to advise it in particular areas.

  

Permanent working bodies of the Slovenian Government 

Committee for State Order and Public Affairs

Committee for the Economy

Commission for Personnel and Administrative Affairs 

  

Working groups of the Slovenian Government 

Committees and commissions that deal with particular issue within their competency prior to the Government and fully handle certain narrow and less important proposals.

  

Government Council

The Government (co) founds Government Councils for specific areas in order to maintain a dialogue between the Government and civil society organisations and non-governmental specialist institutions.


High-Ranking Civil Servants

Administrative and professional work in the comprehensive working area within ministries is headed by director-generals. These are appointed by the Government on the proposal of the competent minister following a previously conducted public competition procedure pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Servants Act.

 

Ministries may also have a secretary-general, who heads the professional work in the area of managing personnel, financial, information technology and other resources, and assists the minister in coordinating the internal organisational units of the ministry.

 

Secretary-generals report to their respective minister.


Impeachment (Charges Against the Prime Minister or Against any Minister of State)

The National Assembly may bring the Prime Minister or any minister of the state before the Constitutional Court to answer charges relating to breaches of the constitution or of a statute committed during the performance of his office. The impeachment proposal must be submitted by at least ten deputies. The impeachment proposal is to be submitted to the President of the National Assembly in writing and signed by the proposers. The impeachment proposal should include the description of evident breaches of the constitution or the statute, and have all respective evidence enclosed. The impeachment proposal is to be deliberated at the first session of the National Assembly, provided it was received at least 30 days before the session. The National Assembly must decide on the impeachment proposal no later than within 60 days from receipt of the proposal. If the National Assembly does not make the decision in the given time limit, it is deemed that the impeachment is rejected. The Government Office for Legislation states its opinion on legal aspects of the impeachment proposal. If impeachment of the Prime Minister is proposed, the President of the Republic must, at the request of the National Assembly, state his opinion on the proposal, and the Prime Minister must state his opinion on the impeachment of a minister. A representative of the proposer has the right to explain the proposal at a session of the National Assembly before decisions on the impeachment are made. The Prime Minister or a minister has the right to reply to the impeachment at a session of the National Assembly in writing or orally. The proposer can withdraw the proposal up until the end of the debate. In this case it is deemed that the proposal was not submitted. The National Assembly decides on the impeachment of the Prime Minister or a minister by decision. The decision is passed by the majority of all elected deputies (i.e. at least 46).


Incompatibility of Functions

The office of a member of the Government is incompatible with office in any other state body, court, local Government body and other public office, and also with all the other activities specified by statute as incompatible with the office of a member of the Government. Therefore, a member of the Government cannot be simultaneously a deputy of the National Assembly or a councillor of the National Council.


Initiatives and Questions from Deputies

All ministers, or state secretaries authorised by ministers, have to be present when the National Assembly debates special agenda items relating to initiatives and questions from the deputies. If a minister is justifiably absent, a state secretary can deputise. A National Assembly deputy has a right to put a question to the Government or an individual minister. The Prime Minister answers the first three questions from opposition deputies connected with the work of the Government.

 

A deputy can pose questions orally or in written form. An oral question has to be answered by the Government or a minister at the same session, and a written question at the latest three days prior to the start of the next session. A deputy has a right to propose to the Government or an individual minister a way of dealing with specific issues or the adoption of specific measures.


Initiative Function of the Government

The right of the Government to propose enactment of statutes and other legal acts to the National Assembly.


Initiative of the Government to Amend the Constitution

The right of the Government to initiate the proposal to amend the constitution.


Interpellation

An interpellation is a special form of enforcement of the responsibilities of the Government or a minister. It takes the form of a public question, which must be submitted by at least 10 National Assembly deputies. It is submitted in writing. The question, which is the subject of the interpellation, must be clearly defined and explained. An interpellation is submitted to the President of the National Assembly, who immediately acquaints deputies with it. The National Assembly President immediately forwards the interpellation to the Prime Minister or the minister in question. The time limit set for the Prime Minister or the minister to reply should be no less than 15 days and no more than 30 days. The President of the National Assembly immediately acquaints the deputies with the reply of the Government or the minister. A decision on the interpellation is made no later than at the first session of the National Assembly after the President of the National Assembly receives the reply to the interpellation, provided that the reply was received at least 15 days before the session in question. A representative of the deputies who have submitted the interpellation has the right to give an explanation of the interpellation before the debate. An interpellation can be withdrawn before a vote is taken. The debate on an interpellation may be concluded by a resolution giving an opinion on the work of the Government or a minister. The deputies who have submitted the interpellation or another group of at least 10 deputies can propose the resolution. After the debate on the interpellation is concluded, at least 10 deputies can request that a vote of no confidence in the Government be taken (provided that a proposal for a new Prime Minister is submitted together with the request), or a vote of no confidence in the minister in question. The vote of no confidence in the Government is passed if a new Prime Minister is elected - this happens if the majority of all deputies (at least 46) vote in favour. The vote of no confidence is decided by the majority of votes (again at least 46), and it is deemed that by such a vote the minister is relieved of office.


Ministers

The Government comprises ministers appointed for the following areas: finance; the economy; higher education, science and technology; health; internal affairs; foreign affairs; justice; public administration; labour, family and social affairs; transport; agriculture, forestry and food; environment and spatial planning; culture; education and sports and defence.

 

The Government may also have ministers without portfolio. A minister without portfolio assists the Prime Minister in coordinating the work of ministries within the scope of powers granted to him by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister may also empower a line minister to assist in coordinating the work of ministers and ministries.

  

Ministers are responsible for Government decisions and standpoints, and for policy implementation. Each minister leads and represents a ministry in accordance with accepted policies. Each is responsible for decisions relating to the direction of the ministry, as well as for the dropping of measures, which should have been approved. 

  

Each minister, in accordance with accepted policies, leads and represents his or her ministry, sets the political direction for the work of the ministry and the bodies within it, supervises the work of the ministry, issues regulations and other acts within the jurisdiction of the ministry and its bodies, and carries out other tasks within the framework of the ministry which have been determined by law or by some other regulation.


Minority (Technical, Expert) Government

A Government without a majority in the parliament. It usually consists of experts and is of a temporary nature.


National Budget

A special Government act, which does not have the nature of a statute. It accounts for all revenues and all expenditures for public purposes by the state. The Government must submit the proposal for the budget no later than 1 October of the current year. The Government submits an overall report on its work during the previous year together with the national budget.

 

Within five days at the latest, the President of the National Assembly has to submit the budget proposal and all the other documents to the deputies and call a session at which the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance present the budget memorandum and the budget proposal. This session has to be called within 10 days after the budget proposal has been submitted. After the presentation there is no debate. Deputies, groups of deputies, working bodies and the original working body can submit amendments to the budget proposal no later than 10 days after the proposed budget was presented to them. Each body can submit amendments to those parts of the budget, which are within their area of work. An amendment is submitted in written form and has to be accompanied by an explanation. Amendments relate to individual parts of the budget. When submitting an amendment, the rule concerning the balance between budget revenue and expenditure has to be considered. The submitted amendment cannot be a burden to the budget reserves or a cause for additional loans. The original working body has to adopt a position on the submitted amendments no later than 15 days after the budget proposal has been submitted and on the basis of these positions and the latest analyses of economic trends and the realisation of the national budget in the current year, an amended budget proposal is drawn up, which is then sent to the President of the National Assembly no later than 15 days prior to the session of the Assembly. The amended proposal is a new integrated document in which the Government has included the amendments it agrees with and in which it has made any changes necessary. In its explanation, the Government describes how it has included the amendments proposed by the relevant bodies and which additional changes and supplements it has adopted. The Government can propose an increase of the scope of the budget or an increase in the amount of loans. No later than at the time of putting forward the amended budget proposal, the Government has to submit a proposal for the law on the realisation of the budget. Only the Government can propose this law. The law is dealt with and adopted following the provisions in the procedural rules of the National Assembly on the fast-track passing of laws. The law on the realisation of the budget has to be harmonised with the adopted national budget. If this is not the case, the Government has to propose a harmonising amendment. Amendments to the amended budget proposal can be put forward by the original working body or at least a quarter of the deputies. Again, amendments relate to individual parts of the amended budget proposal. The original working body and at least a quarter of deputies can submit the amendments no later than 5 days before the session of the National Assembly. The original working body then takes a position on the submitted amendments and prepares a report presenting its position on these amendments and on the amendments of the original working body.

 

Prior to the debate on individual parts of the amended budget proposal at the National Assembly session, a Government representative can give an explanation of the amendments. Representatives of the groups of deputies may present their opinion on the budget, but their presentation cannot be longer than 20 minutes. The amendments to the amended budget proposal are decided upon by the National Assembly at the end of the debate on the amended part of the budget proposal, to which an amendment has been submitted. The proposer of an amendment can change, supplement or withdraw the amendment prior to the start of voting on the amendments to a particular part of the amended budget proposal to which the proposer has submitted the amendment in question. The National Assembly votes first on the amendments, which have been submitted by at least a quarter of the deputies, and then on the amendments of the original working body. When the voting on the parts of the amended proposal is completed, the president determines whether the revenues and expenditures are in balance. When in doubt, he or she can request the Government’s opinion and the opinion of the original working body. If the national budget is balanced, the National Assembly votes on the whole budget. If the proposed budget is not balanced, the National Assembly requests that the Government submits an amendment to balance it. The original working body can submit such an amendment, too. The original working body also has to give its opinion on the balancing amendment submitted by the Government. Representatives of the groups of deputies are also entitled to give their view.

 

After the completed debate, the National Assembly votes on the balancing amendment. If the Government and the original working body have submitted separate amendments, the National Assembly votes on the Government’s amendment first. If it is accepted, voting on the whole of the budget proposal follows. If the balancing amendment is not accepted, the national budget is not adopted either. In this case, the National Assembly sets a deadline by which the Government has to submit a new proposal.


National Security Council

It is a consulting and coordinating body of the Government in the area of national defence, security system, emergency response system and other issues of national security. It is headed by the Prime Minister; other members are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance, Secretary-General of the Government and the Director of the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency.


Office of the Prime Minister

The Office of the Prime Minister also functions as a Government office. The Head of the Office of the Prime Minister is appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister; his position ceases through dismissal, resignation or through cessation of the Prime Minister’s function. The provisions of the Civil Servants Act do not apply to the procedure for his selection.


Openness of the Work of the Government

The work of the Government is public. The openness of the Government’s work is ensured by means of press conferences, internet presentations and reports sent via other information-telecommunications media. The Government responds to all queries, initiatives and suggestions via ministries and Government offices. The relevant office, in cooperation with the relevant ministries and Government offices, answers complaints directed at the Prime Minister.

 

The Prime Minister, the Secretary-General and the Government spokesman inform the public about the work carried out and the resolutions adopted by the Government. Ministries inform the public about Government resolutions that fall within their area of responsibility. Following an authorisation by the Government or the ministers, state secretaries and heads of Government offices can inform the public about resolutions within their area of responsibility. All the above have to represent the standpoints of the Government in all their public appearances. Government resolutions have to be defended in public even by those members who voted against them or abstained from voting. How a Government member voted is classified information of the highest level of secrecy.

 

Journalists and other representatives of the general public are usually not present at Government sessions. Comments during discussion by Government members and other participants at Government sessions count as an official secret, unless the Government decides otherwise.


Organisation of a Ministry

Within the scope of a ministry administrative bodies and organisations are established. 


Political Responsibility

All members of the Government (ministers) are collectively responsible for the work of the Government, and each minister is individually responsible for his own ministry.


Prime Minister

The Prime Minister leads and directs the work of the Government, ensures the unity of its political and administrative direction, co-ordinates the work of the ministries, represents the Government and calls for and presides over its sessions. The Prime Minister can give binding instructions connected to tasks, which are in line with Government policy, but the minister who is of an opinion that the binding instructions of the Prime Minister are not in line with Government policy, can request that the Government discusses the disputed questions.

 

The Prime Minister can nominate a minister who deputises for him when he is absent or otherwise detained. But he cannot deputise for the Prime Minister when there is a vote of no confidence and he cannot propose the appointment of new ministers or relieve them of their duties.


Relations with EU Institutions

The adopting, recording, classifying and publishing of EU documents and the adopting of positions are performed via the EU portal, which is a constituent part of the Government information technology system. Prior to the publication of a document also furnished with a Slovenian translation, the Government determines the ministry or Government office, which, on the basis of the prescribed area of responsibility, is competent to deal with the EU document, and determines the bodies that must be notified of the document. It also determines the deadline by which the competent ministry or Government office must submit a position regarding the EU document for publication on the EU portal.

 

The sessions of the Government or the Government working body serve for deliberation over positions which Government representatives will present in the EU Council at the ministerial level, positions on which harmonisation has not been successful, and positions for which the proposer or other member of the Government requests deliberation in a session of the Government or the Government working body.

  

Amendments and supplements to a position already adopted regarding a proposed legislative act are drafted only where this is demanded by the substance of the amendment or supplement to a proposed EU act or by other new circumstances.

 

Where the head of the Permanent Representation of the RS to the EU, his deputy or a member of the Government, in respect of the progress of negotiations in EU institutions, takes the view that, on the basis of decisive facts which the Government could not have known, the advancement of Slovenian positions adopted by the Government or the National Assembly would clearly not be in the interest of the RS, he must propose to the competent ministry or Government office an amendment of such position in accordance with the preceding and inform the Government of this. If owing to time or any other limitations the Slovenian representative cannot obtain a position from the RS, he may support the adoption of the EU document or oppose it, if on the basis of decisive facts which the Government could not have known this would clearly be in the interest of the RS. Where the working procedure of the EU institution so allows, the Slovenian representative advises that the position presented must also be confirmed by the competent authority.

 

The Permanent Representation of the RS to the EU and any other body receiving European Commission documents in pre-judicial procedures must immediately forward such documents to the competent Government service, which determines the competent ministry or Government office for the drafting of a proposed position. The competent ministry or Government office is responsible for drafting a proposed position in connection with the formal communication from the European Commission. The competent ministry or Government service sends the drafted proposed position to the Government Secretary-General for placing on the agenda of a Government session in accordance with the general provisions of the Government rules of procedure. The Secretary-General forwards the position of the RS, as confirmed by the Government, to the Permanent Representation of the RS to the EU, which in turn sends it to the Secretary-General of the European Commission.

 

The Permanent Representation of the RS at the EU, and any other Government body receiving documents in connection with procedures before the Court of the European Communities or before the Court of First Instance, forwards such document immediately to the principal office of the Attorney General. In drafting written submissions, which the RS lodges with the court, the Government service and competent ministry cooperate with the Attorney General. The positions of the Government in judicial procedures are adopted in line with the same procedure as for positions in pre-judicial procedures.


Relations with the National Assembly

The Government sends proposals to the National Assembly or its President, at the same time suggesting the procedure for dealing with these proposals. A minister, or some other representative of the Government if the minister has valid reasons for not being able to attend the session, has to take part in the sessions of the National Assembly and its working bodies while they are dealing with matters within the minister’s jurisdiction. The minister or the minister’s representative can, following an invitation from the deputy groups, take part at their sessions and explain the proposals, which have been submitted to the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly defers debate on a particular law if the legislative procedure relating to a proposal with the same or similar content has not yet been finished.

 

The National Assembly debates the proposed law in three phases. The Government, as the proposer of the law, can suggest a withdrawal of the proposed law up to the end of the second debate, while it is the National Assembly that makes the final decision about the withdrawal. If the National Assembly rejects the withdrawal of the proposed law, the Government can renounce its role as proposed.

 

The Government can suggest to the National Assembly that it conducts a debate about the basic issues and social relations, which need to be regulated by a new law, before the proposal for the new legislation, has been put forward.

 

In the first debate on the legislative proposal, the Government introduces the proposed law and the National Assembly conducts a general debate, but in this phase of the legislative procedure it is impossible to add amendments to particular provisions of the law.

 

In the second debate, the legislative proposal can be changed and amendments may be added - the Government has the right to do this even when it is not the proposer of this particular law. The amendment has to be submitted 15 days before the day set for the session of the National Assembly at which the debate about the proposed law, to which amendments are to be added, is to take place. The Government can also verbally explain the amendment at the session, as indeed it can any other amendment. A deviation from the 15-day rule is when the Government proposes amendments right up to the end of the debate about a particular article or up to the end of the debate about a particular chapter of the proposed legislation, but only in relation to those articles to which amendments have been submitted within the previously mentioned 15-day period, or to those which have had amendments suggested by the end of the debate about a particular article or chapter of the proposed legislation by at least ten deputies, a parliamentary group, or the original working body. Another exception is those amendments, which need to be put forward to bring all the provisions of the proposed legislation into line with each other. The Government can also withdraw an amendment or change it, but this has to be done before the start of the voting on amendments relating to the particular article to which the proposed amendment applies.

 

In the third debate, when the National Assembly discusses the proposed legislation as a whole, the Government can propose amendments only to those articles to which amendments have been adopted in the second debate, or those amendments, which are necessary for bringing the provisions into line with each other.

 

If the Government, because of the exceptional needs of the state, for defence interests or because of a natural disaster, proposes a fast-track passing of a law, so that all three phases are carried out at the same session, it can suggest amendments verbally. But in the shortened procedure for the passing of a law, it can put forward amendments only to those articles, which are already being changed or amended.


Relations with the National Assembly and the President of Slovenia

The Government exercises its relations with the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution and the law, with the Government rules of procedure and the National Assembly rules of procedure. The Government is represented in the National Assembly by the Prime Minister and ministers.

 

The Prime Minister has the general right to represent the Government in the National Assembly and in its working bodies.

 

The Government normally appoints the relevant minister or the director of a Government office to act as the Government’s representative during debates on individual proposals in the National Assembly. With regard to sessions of the working bodies of the National Assembly, the Government can appoint as its representatives high-ranking civil servants and external individuals who took part in the preparation of the material in question and who have the relevant professional expertise.

  

The Government appoints one of the ministers as the “duty Government member” to represent it at the sessions of the National Assembly.

 

The Government representative may express the standpoints related to the proposals being dealt with at sessions of the National Assembly or its working bodies, as well as at any other presentation of the proposals, only within the framework of the principles adopted by the Government during the drawing up of the proposed law or other act and he or she can only put forward amendments within the jurisdiction given to him or her by the Government.

 

The Government cooperates with the President of the Republic in relation to his domains of responsibility, keeping him informed about issues important to the execution of his duties.


Resignation of a Minister

A minister may resign. He notifies his resignation to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister notifies it to the President of the National Assembly. The minister can explain his resignation before the National Assembly. The National Assembly does not vote on the resignation; it only determines that the minister ceases to hold office.


Resignation of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister may resign. He gives notice of his resignation to the ministers and the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly includes the resignation of the Prime Minister in the agenda of a session of the National Assembly no later than one week after receiving the notification of the resignation. The Prime Minister may explain his resignation to the deputies. The National Assembly does not vote on the resignation; it only determines that the Prime Minister has ceased to hold office. The function of ministers ceases with the resignation of the Prime Minister.


Responsibilities

The Slovenian constitutional system is based on the parliamentary form of government. This originates in the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

  

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia (RS) is the executive body and, at the same time, the supreme body of the state administration. Thus the function of the Government is twofold: executive-political and administrative. Its executive-political function involves mainly the execution of policies agreed by the National Assembly and the implementation of the laws and other regulations passed by the National Assembly. In accordance with the constitution and with the laws and other general acts of the National Assembly, the Government sets, directs and harmonises the implementation of state policies. As the highest body of the state administration, it issues regulations and passes legal, political, economic, financial, organisational and other measures, which are needed for the development of the state and the regulation of conditions in all the areas of the state’s jurisdiction.

 

The Government proposes legislation, the state budget, national programmes and other general acts with which it determines the fundamental and long-term political direction of individual areas of state jurisdiction.

 

In EU affairs the Government represents the RS and advances the country’s views in EU institutions. In respect of EU affairs the Government is independent and is answerable in performing its functions within the framework of the Constitution, the law regulating the position and operation of the Government, and the law regulating cooperation between the National Assembly and the Government in EU affairs. The Government issues regulations and other acts within its jurisdiction for implementing EU regulations.

 

As the highest body of state administration, the Government of the RS has, in accordance with the Constitution and the Law on Government, the following duties:

  • it determines, directs and harmonises the implementation of state policies;
  • it issues executive regulations and passes other legal, political, economic, financial and organisational measures in order to ensure the development of the state and the regulation of conditions in all areas of governmental activity;
  • it proposes laws, the state budget, national programmes and other general acts, which determine the fundamental and long-term political directions of individual areas of Government, and which need to be passed by the National Assembly;
  • it oversees the implementation of the legislation and other regulations passed by the National Assembly, as well as the complete activity of the state administration;
  • it realises the rights and duties, which refer to the RS as the founder of institutes, economic corporations and other organisations;
  • it manages the fixed assets and other assets of the RS, unless there is a law relating specifically to an individual fixed asset, stating otherwise;
  • it prepares a budget memorandum, in which it presents the basic goals and tasks of economic, social and budgetary policies; 
  • it passes organisational, personnel and other measures relating to the work of the Government, the ministries and the whole of the state administration; 
  • it represents the RS as a legal entity, when not otherwise determined by a special law.

Revisions to the National Budget

The Government can propose revisions to the national budget during the year. The proposal for revisions is included in the agenda of a National Assembly session if the deputies receive the proposal at least 15 days earlier. The proposal is debated and adopted at the same session.


Secretariat-General of the Government

The Secretariat-General of the Government also functions as a Government office. It is headed by the Secretary-General, who is appointed and dismissed by the Government on the proposal of the Prime Minister. Under instruction from the Prime Minister, the Secretary-General attends to the preparation of Government sessions and the implementation of its decisions, and performs other tasks in connection with the organisation of work in the Government and its services. His function ceases through dismissal, resignation or upon termination of the function of the Prime Minister.


Sessions of Government Working Bodies

The Secretary-General can assign proposals to be fully dealt with by a working body (this normally applies to specific limited and less important issues). If the ministers present as members of that working body vote in favour or at least not against the resolutions implied by the proposals, and if no Government member requests that the proposals be debated at a Government session, the proposals and the resolutions are considered to have been passed by the Government after having been dealt with by the working body. The working body issues a short report on the Government proposals it debated at a session, and in cases when it dealt fully with an issue it also passes a resolution which is in effect the decision of the Government.


State Secretaries

No more than two state secretaries shall be appointed within a Ministry. No more than four state secretaries shall be appointed within the Ministry, responsible for finance. 

 

Within the powers granted by the minister, the state secretary shall assist the minister in the performance of his/her office.

 

If the minister is absent or indisposed, he/she may authorise the state secretary to deputise for him/her and head and represent the Ministry for the respective period, and to submit materials for government reading. This shall not make the minister exempt from accountability.

 

The minister shall not grant the state secretary or others the powers to issue regulations or to vote at government sessions.

 

State secretaries shall be functionaries of the state. They shall be appointed and dismissed by the Government upon the proposal of the minister heading the Ministry. The state secretary shall cease to hold office when the minister ceases to hold office.


Strategic councils

The Prime Minister may set up strategic councils. A strategic council’s duties and area of responsibility are set out in the founding act. Within the scope of their area of responsibility, and on the proposal of the Prime Minister, strategic councils address individual issues and advise and draft opinions for the Prime Minister. Members of strategic councils are appointed by the Prime Minister.


Suspension of a Deputy Function

A deputy who becomes a member of the Government need not resign; his deputy function is suspended for the time being, and he may regain it after he ceases holding the office of a member of the Government.


Termination of Office of the Prime Minister and Ministers

The Prime Minister and ministers of state cease to hold office when a new National Assembly convenes after an election, and ministers shall also cease to hold office whenever the Prime Minister ceases to hold office in any other circumstance, and upon his dismissal or resignation. However, in all such cases, the ministers continue to perform their official duties until the election of a new Prime Minister or the appointment of a new minister, as the case may be.


Vote of Confidence in the Government

This is an institute, whereby the Prime Minister can require a vote of confidence in the Government by the National Assembly. The vote of confidence in the Government is to be carried out no sooner than 48 hours and no later than 7 days after the submission of the request. The Prime Minister has the right to explain his request before the vote of confidence is held. If such a vote is not carried by a majority of all elected deputies (i.e. at least 46), the National Assembly must, within thirty days, either elect a new Prime Minister or express its confidence in the incumbent Prime Minister in a fresh vote (since the Prime Minister or at least ten deputies has the right to require a fresh vote of confidence, and this second vote is final); if this is not effected, the President of the Republic dissolves the National Assembly and calls new elections. The Prime Minister may relate the question of the vote of confidence to the enactment of a law, or some other decision by the National Assembly, whereby he proposes that a law or some other decision is adopted or not adopted. In this instance the Prime Minister states the question of the vote of confidence at a session of the National Assembly before decisions on a law or on some other matter are taken. There is no separate voting on the vote of confidence, only a vote on the law or on some other decision. It is deemed that a vote of confidence in the Government has been passed if the law, or some other decision is passed or not passed, in accordance with the proposal of the Prime Minister; otherwise, it is deemed that a vote of no confidence in the Government has been passed. The Prime Minister can relate the question of a vote of confidence to the adoption of the decision on the fast-track procedure for enacting a law. If a vote of no confidence in the Government is passed, the President of the Republic, a deputy group or at least ten deputies can submit a proposal for a candidate for a new Prime Minister within seven days.


Vote of No Confidence in the Government

A procedure whereby the National Assembly may, upon a motion of no less than 10 deputies and by the vote of a majority of all elected deputies (at least 46), elect a new Prime Minister (this is known as a constructive non-confidence vote). The proposal for a candidate for a new Prime Minister is submitted by deputies to the President of the National Assembly. The latter immediately notifies the Prime Minister and deputies of the proposal. Before elections for a new Prime Minister, the Prime Minister has the right to reply to the request for a vote of no confidence and to explain his views on the past work of the Government. The vote of no confidence has to be taken no sooner than 48 hours and no later than 7 days after the proposal has been submitted. The National Assembly can, upon the motion of at least 10 deputies or of the President of the National Assembly and with a two-third majority of yes votes, pass a resolution that the voting be held at another time. This rule also applies when the state is at war or in a state of emergency. If the vote of no confidence is passed, i.e. by at least 46 deputies, the outgoing Government continues to perform its duties until the new Government has been sworn into office.