The Slovenian parliament has endorsed nine ministers in the Robert Golob government, completing a government reshuffle that was needed after the opposition derailed Golob’s original plan with a referendum at which it suffered a painful defeat.
The government will now have twenty ministers, of which one without portfolio, just as Golob envisioned at the outset of his term, before his plan became bogged down in political fighting for months.
“After eight months, not just of waiting but also of fighting, we have come to a point where the winners of the election can assert our legitimate right to shape the government in line with our preferences,” Golob told parliament on 24 January.
There are only three new ministers, whereas the briefs of six more have been reshuffled, which required a new formal confirmation by parliament.
Two erstwhile government offices, for digital transition and cohesion policy, have been elevated to ministries.
Golob said the three new ministries will be “the engines of three important reforms” in a year that the government has designated as a year of reforms that will “transform our country”.
The new Ministry of a Solidarity-Based Future will be tasked with reforming long-term care and housing policy.
The newly formed Ministry of Education, which will cover pre-school, primary and secondary education, will set the foundations for a reform of the educational system, according to Golob.
And the new Climate and Energy Ministry will be tasked with drawing up measures making sure that there is never again a repeat of the current energy crisis, while working on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“Climate and energy are two goals that are seemingly incompatible, but in reality they go hand in hand. Long-term zero-carbon measures are the only way to cover energy needs and not destroy the planet,” Golob said.
The debate leading up to the vote saw the opposition repeat frequently voiced arguments that the enlarged government would be bloated and ineffective.
In contrast, the coalition argued that the reorganisation is necessary for the implementation of the many reform efforts on the government’s table.