Slovenia's positions on EU policies and coordination of European affairs
Slovenia cooperates jointly and on an equal footing with other Member States in the formulation of EU policies and the acquis. The positions Slovenia advocates in the process of adopting EU law are previously coordinated between the competent state authorities and interested stakeholders.
Coordination of positions
Since joining the EU, cooperation in shaping EU policies and the acquis has become part of the day-to-day operations of the state administration. It is crucial for the effective assertion of Slovenia's interests that its representatives in EU institutions present reasoned positions on proposals for EU acts in a timely manner and speak with one voice. The positions must be previously coordinated among the competent state authorities, as well as with interested stakeholders. The systematic monitoring and coordination of European affairs plays a key role in this.
Inter-ministerially coordinated positions for the participation of Slovenian representatives in the Council of the EU at the level of working groups, committees and ministerial meetings and at meetings of the European Council are prepared within the framework of the European affairs coordination system. It involves the competent government bodies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the central coordination unit, the Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, working groups for the preparation of positions in the process of adopting legislative proposals and other EU acts, the Working Group for European Affairs, the Group for European Affairs, and the National Assembly.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the procedurally correct and substantively appropriate preparation and approval of positions on proposals decided on by the Council of the EU. The competent ministry or government office is instructed to prepare a position on each EU proposal. At the same time, the participating ministries and the relevant working group for the preparation of positions and deadlines for Slovenia's response are determined.
The competent ministry is required to prepare a proposal of their position on the proposed EU act in due time, which includes an assessment of the impact of the proposed act on Slovenia. Following inter-ministerial coordination and relevant consultations with stakeholders, the position is formally approved by the Slovenian Government or the National Assembly in accordance with their powers. In the light of changed circumstances during the negotiations, the position is subsequently amended, if necessary, in accordance with the same procedure.
The Secretary-General of the Government sends the position on the proposed act, which, in accordance with the Constitution and applicable laws, falls within the competence of the National Assembly, to the National Assembly. It is considered by the Committee on European Union Affairs or by the Committee on Foreign Policy.
Coordination of European affairs
The central government coordinator of European affairs is the Directorate for European Union Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is responsible for the implementation of the Rules of Procedure of the Government and the Cooperation between the National Assembly and the Government in EU Affairs Act, for the procedurally correct and substantively appropriate preparation and approval of positions on proposals decided on by the Council of the EU at the level of working groups, committees and ministerial meetings. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also prepares and coordinates positions for the participation of the Prime Minister in European Council meetings.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for preparing and coordinating Slovenia's positions on EU institutional matters. These are usually discussed at the working group of the General Affairs Council, the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER II) and the General Affairs Council, where Slovenia is represented by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the preparation of Slovenia's positions in pre-trial procedures initiated by the European Commission when the Republic of Slovenia has allegedly violated the acquis. In judicial proceedings before the Court of Justice of the EU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with the competent ministries, government offices and the State Attorney's Office in the preparation of written applications, which Slovenia submits to the aforementioned court.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also monitors the work of the Slovenian translation, interpretation and legal translation departments in EU institutions and assists the ministries in resolving EU-related language issues. With respect to interpretation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the requests of the ministries for interpretation in the working bodies of the Council of the EU.
In cooperation with the competent ministries and government offices, it prepares government documents for the National Assembly's discussion on the situation in the EU and Slovenia's position in it and on the guidelines for Slovenia's activities in the EU.
Group for European Affairs
If necessary, the Group for European Affairs comprehensively discusses current strategic issues related to Slovenia’s activities in the EU at the level of state secretaries.
Working groups for the preparation of positions
In addition to the Group for European Affairs and the Working Group for European Affairs, 35 other working groups operate within the European affairs coordination system to prepare Slovenia's positions in the process of adopting legislative proposals and other EU acts, which cover individual thematic areas as an additional coordinating mechanism.
The working groups meet to prepare a specific position on a legislative or other EU proposal, or to discuss a broader topical issue and to draw up appropriate guidelines. Depending on the thematic area covered by each working group, representatives of relevant state bodies participate in the work of the respective working group. If necessary, each group may also invite other bodies which are not foreseen as part of the core structure of the working group to participate.