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Slovenia Weekly

Promising effects and careful steps



Slovenia does not wish to remain a silent observer after the recent tragedy in the Mediterranean. PM Cerar and FM Erjavec immediately stressed that Slovenia would show concrete solidarity. Photo: Mostphotos
In the last few days, the Slovenian government has often discussed the draft Stability and Growth Programme, which has to be sent to Brussels by the end of the month. While the final draft will be approved next week, the government notified the public this week that some financial measures will be easing, both in the public sector and regarding social transfers and pensions. The government also announced that by improving operations or streamlining some systems it has ensured that suspending some austerity measures will not affect growth.

While there will be more discussion on individual activities and measures when the government is finalising the budget, the government hopes that social partners will support its guidelines and help to achieve the targets for redistribution.

Government announcements about easing some austerity measures next year do not signify that the government has suspended the gradual lowering of the fiscal deficit or that it will incur more debt. According to the latest figures from Eurostat, Slovenia is still one of the countries with a fiscal deficit over the Maastricht target of 3 per cent of GDP (4.9%) and public debt over the target of 60 per cent of GDP (i.e. 80.9%). According to PM Cerar, the fiscal situation is still very demanding, "so it is important to work patiently but persistently on fiscal consolidation”.

Very soon, the government will prepare measures that follow contemporary trends in the development of the taxation system and ensure greater neutrality of the taxation system, transparency, simplicity and a smaller administrative burden, while introducing changes to tax payments in order to ensure stable and predictable fiscal revenues and improve the competitiveness of the business environment. One such step is the recently approved amendments to the Companies Act, which prevents the establishment of companies by persons with a history of unfair business practices. This amended act is part of the government’s fight against the grey economy.

While some areas require careful and gradual steps, responses must be quick and effective when human lives are at stake. After the recent tragedy in the Mediterranean, when over 900 migrants died, Slovenia does not wish to remain a silent observer. Both the PM and foreign minister Erjavec immediately stressed that Slovenia would show concrete solidarity, like in 2014, when it offered its Triglav patrol boat for about a month to participate in the Italian Mare Nostrum search and rescue operation with which Italy responded to migration pressures.

Amendments to the Companies Act to address the sequencing of companies

At Wednesday's regular session, the government agreed on the draft Companies Act, which upgrades the limitation on establishing companies by persons by means of unfair business practices, improves the legislation on corporate management in companies, amends legislation on corporate groups in order to protect minority shareholders and creditors and renews penal provisions. The amended act adds new restrictions to the establishment of companies which refer to infringements regarding payments for labour or unregistered employment in order to prevent unfair business practices related to payment for work. more...

Slovenia will show solidarity

In response to the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean, during which over 900 migrants died last weekend, both the Slovenian PM and the foreign minister Karl Erjavec stressed that Slovenia should and will show solidarity. The PM said that the EU should, in the true spirit of “solidarity and principle, discuss how to help” and that “Slovenia is prepared to assume its share”, while the head of Slovenian diplomacy said that it was a shared European problem and not only a problem for Italy, Malta and Greece. more...

FMs at Brdo: European future and cooperation remain crucial for a stable and successful Europe

Foreign ministers of the EU and the Western Balkans meet for the first time as part of the Brdo Process. A clear signal was given to the Western Balkans that it remains high on the EU agenda. The participants focused on the issue of security and political stability in the European neighbourhood, and resolving the refugee and immigrant crisis in the Mediterranean. One of the concrete results is the so-called Positive Agenda for Youth in the Western Balkans, which will include concrete initiatives and proposals that will be realised in practice with the help of the European Commission. more...

Italian president Sergio Mattarella on first official visit to Slovenia

Italian president Sergio Mattarella was on his first official visit to Slovenia, meeting Slovenian state leaders. He toured the exhibition Emona: a City of the Empire and met representatives of the Italian minority in Slovenia. In the discussions, the host, President Borut Pahor, and the Italian president Sergio Mattarella focused primarily on bilateral relations and issues related to the European Union, and also economic cooperation between Italy and Slovenia. more...

Slovenia committed to protecting and promoting human rights

As part of Slovenia’s continuing activities in preventive diplomacy, human rights and international penal justice, the international conference Rights for Peace: Challenges and Opportunities took place at Brdo pri Kranju on Tuesday and Wednesday. In his opening speech, foreign minister Karl Erjavec said that to ensure the protection of human rights and persecute violators, international cooperation and better application of existing mechanisms of human rights protection and early warning mechanisms were essential. He stressed that the protection of human rights is at the core of the concept of responsibility to protect. more...

Presidents of Slovenia, Austria and Croatia: the EU is a guarantee of peace in Europe

Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor met the Austrian President Heinz Fischer and the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović in Logarska dolina. In their trilateral discussion, in which they supported the enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans, and further development of the union in order to make it more competitive, they also touched upon the relations with Russia in the light of the crisis in Ukraine. more...

Slovenian system of nature conservation interesting to the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania

Nature conservation experts from the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania were in Slovenia this week, where representatives of Slovenia’s Institute for Nature Conservation presented Slovenia’s system of nature conservation and their experience with Natura 2000. The meeting is of exceptional significance to Slovenian experts, as is presents Slovenia as a knowledge resource. more...

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Every friday the Slovenian Weekly Newsletter brings you the latest updates on the work of the Slovenian Government.