On 20 June 2022, the Human Rights Ombudsman, Peter Svetina, invited the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Uroš Brežan, for a familiarisation meeting. He also presented the Minister with the Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2021 at the Ombudsman's premises. He regretted the fact that Ombudsman’s recommendations in the field of environment and spatial planning have been repeated in this report and has also expressed his expectations that the recommendations would be implemented in the future.
The Minister and the Ombudsman merely touched upon some of the rights violations that the Ombudsman has identified in the handling of initiatives in the field of environment and spatial planning and agreed to examine them in more detail at a working meeting. The Ombudsman expressed his expectation for a decisive shift in environmental concerns, as well as for the public to be involved in the drafting of regulations in accordance with the Aarhus Convention and the Resolution on Legislative Regulation.
He also stressed that for several years he has been calling on those responsible in the Government and the National Assembly to adopt regulations that will enable the right to drinking water, enshrined in the Constitution, to be realised. The deadline for this expired in May 2018. "The right to safe drinking water is essential to ensure the most fundamental human rights. It is imperative that those responsible for it start adopting the most responsible solutions as soon as possible," said Ombudsman Peter Svetina.