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More than 27,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are active in Slovenia practically in all areas of life – from social, cultural, sports, advocacy, ecology and health activities to civil protection and almost all areas of today’s society.

NGOs operate at international, national and regional levels and are also indispensable at the local level. At these levels, they realise the interests and needs of the population, bring people together, bring attention to irregularities and improve the quality of life in the environment in which they operate in many other ways.

We recognise the need of NGOs to have suitable systemic support in place for their successful work and development, therefore the Ministry of Public Administration prepares systemic solutions for the development of NGOs and volunteering, provides co-financing for projects and promotes NGO's participation in the drafting of regulations. Our ambition is also to increase the professional structure of NGOs, as data show that more than 90 per cent of NGOs do not have employees. The professionalisation of NGOs is also encouraged through calls from the NGO Development Fund.

The National Strategy for the Development of the Non-Governmental Sector and Volunteering

The vision of Slovenia's development includes a well-developed, efficient, innovative and sustainable non-governmental sector that is able to recognise the needs of its environment and respond to them efficiently and successfully, that acts as the advocate of public interest and one of the forms of citizen participation in the governance of the country.

The main objectives of the National Strategy for the Development of the Non-Governmental Sector and Volunteering by 2023 are:

  • to establish a supportive environment for the operation and development of NGOs,
  • to establish long-term funding for NGOs,
  • to strengthen the role of NGOs in the planning and implementation of public policies at local and national levels;
  • to strengthen the cooperation between NGOs and the business sector and to establish cross-sectoral partnerships, 
  • to promote transparency, integrity and accountability of NGOs,
  • to promote solidarity and high-quality volunteering and the development of various forms of volunteering at local and national levels.

The strategy is implemented by all the sectors and its implementation is monitored by the Ministry of Public Administration.

Obtaining the status of non-governmental organisation in the public interest

The Non-Governmental Organisations Act, adopted in 2018, laid down the definition of a non-governmental organisation in the Slovenian legal system and introduced the status of a non-governmental organisation in the public interest, replacing the former status of an association in the public interest. The conditions for obtaining such status have also been standardised for all legal forms of non-governmental organisations (societies, institutes and institutions).

In particular, a non-governmental organisation must meet the following conditions:

  • it is a legal person governed by private law seated in the Republic of Slovenia;
  • it was established by domestic or foreign natural or legal persons governed by private law,
  • it is a non-commercial organisation,
  • it is non-profit making organisation,
  • it is independent of other entities;
  • it is not organised as a political party, church or other religious community, a trade union or a chamber.

A NGO is granted the status of non-governmental organisation in the public interest in a specific area if its actions in that area exceed the interests of its founders or its members and are of general benefit. The status of a NGO in the public interest is granted by line ministries.

The NGO Council

The Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for the Promotion of the Development of Volunteering and Volunteer and Non-Governmental Organisations is an expert and consultative body of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. The Council is composed of 20 members, ten representatives from ministries and government offices, seven representatives from NGOs and three representatives from volunteer organisations.  

The members of the Council, their deputies, non-governmental organisations, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, ministries and the public concerned may submit initiatives to the Council for consideration. Such initiatives are to be sent to the Council in the form of a question or a proposal for a decision.