Today, 16 August 2022, the Human Rights Ombudsman, Peter Svetina, presented the 2021 Annual Report to the Minister of Finance, Klemen Boštjančič, at an introductory meeting.
The Ombudsman reminded the Minister of the non-observance of the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia with regard to financing independent bodies, which determined in decision no. U-I-474/18-17 of 10 December 2020 that the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia ensures these bodies an autonomous and independent status, an element of which is budgetary autonomy. The Court assessed that the current legislative framework enables the Government to request harmonisation of financial plan proposals, which causes these bodies to submit to the will of the competent ministry in the executive branch. The Constitutional Court ordered the legislator to eliminate the established unconstitutionality within one year of the publication of the decision, which has not happened to date. "The National Assembly failed to remedy the unconstitutionality by the deadline provided, and to this end, we repeat the recommendation regarding the provision of the Ombudsman’s independence in the current Annual Report. I call on the Ministry of Finance and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia to draft a legislative proposal as soon as possible and the National Assembly to adopt suitable legislative solutions that will implement the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia accordingly," emphasised Ombudsman Svetina at the meeting.
The Ombudsman also referred to the third annual Rule of Law Report for 2022, in which the European Commission recommends that Slovenia amends the legislation regarding the functioning of independent institutions, so that it would enhance their operations and ensure their budgetary autonomy.