The Slovenia Times

Political Overview



Changes to the EU budget pose many challenges for Slovenia

As the EU is expected to open negotiations on changes to its multi-annual budget after 2020, Slovenia faces quite a challenge to tap into the available funding with the best possible outcome, was a statement heard at a debate hosted by the European Commission Representation, on 27 February, in Ljubljana.

Although the post-2020 multi-annual financial framework has been under debate for a while, negotiations are expected to start in May when the European Commission is due to present its legislative proposal. The Commission would like to complete the negotiations by the spring of 2019, that is, before the next elections for the European Parliament.

The impact of Brexit on the EU budget is estimated to be about EUR 10bn annually, the loss of which may be offset through increased contributions by the 27 Member States, a cut in expenditure, additional resources from the EU itself or through a combination of the measures. 

The European Commission's preliminary proposals have mentioned between 1.1% and 1.19% of EU27 GNI, while some of the larger contributors insist on keeping it at around 1%. The difference between the two proposals would amount to about EUR 90bn over seven years. Most member states, including Slovenia, support the higher figure. It advocates a reform-oriented budget that can respond to new challenges, including globalisation and the effects of technological changes.



Euro bills

Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA


Uroš Novak, the President's choice for Deputy Head of the Anti-Graft Commission

In February, President Borut Pahor chose Uroš Novak, a 48-year-old tax inspector, to occupy the vacant post of Deputy Head of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.

This is the second attempt to appoint a deputy head of the commission; President Pahor refraining from appointing anyone in the previous selection round in December. The post has been vacant since Alma Sedlar stepped down in September 2017 due to bitter disputes with Boris Štefanec, the much criticised President of the Commission.

President Pahor has been the subject of criticism over his appointment of Štefanec in March 2014, under whose watch the Commission has seen bitter infighting. Štefanec is almost universally seen as a poor choice and although Pahor has faced multiple calls to remove him from office, he has insisted that he would not do so because it could open him to allegations of political interference in the work of the Commission.



Uroš Novak

Photo: Bor Slana/STA


New Military Chief of General Staff taking over

On 5 March, Major-General Alan Geder took over as the Chief of General Staff, four days after Andrej Osterman was dismissed by the government after a battalion battlegroup failed a NATO performance test.

Geder had served as Osterman's deputy since 2015 and both had been trying to get the government to earmark more funds for the Armed Forces, saying that the military lacked funds and soldiers, two problems which seem to have ultimately resulted in the failed test. Upon dismissing Osterman, Prime Minister Miro Cerar and Defence Minister Andreja Katič said that the test had been conducted although the commanding officers should have known that the unit was not ready for the test.

The new Chief of General Staff served as Commander of the Force Command between 2006 and 2010, and as the national military representative to NATO and the EU, amongst other posts. He has been with the Slovenian military since its beginnings in the late 1980s. A physical education graduate, he only acquired a military education after Slovenia gained independence.



Major General Alan Geder, the newely appointed Chief of General Staff

Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA


More from Nekategorizirano