Disputable Constitutional Court's decision on the establishment of the Ankaran and Mirna Municipalities

In the framework of the "Slovenia and the EU" lecture cycle

the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES)

invites You kindly to the round table



which will be held on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 14.00h
in the Auditorium of Center Evropa at Dalmatinova 4 in Ljubljana.

With the Decision U-I-137/10 of 26 November 2010 the Constitutional Court "decided that the Establishment of Municipalities and Municipal Boundaries Act was in contravention of the Constitution, since the Constitutional Court determined that by rejecting to establish the municipalities of Ankaran and Mirna the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia acted arbitrarily (self-wilfully). This represented a violation of the equality principle (second paragraph of Article 14 of the Constitution) as well as the legality and rule of law principles (Article 2 of the Constitution)".

The decision was adopted without having taken into account the submitted (independent) expert opinions containing arguments against the establishment of the new municipality of Ankaran and further fragmentation of the Republic of Slovenia (RS) into (excessively) small municipalities.

Once again it became evident that the Republic of Slovenia lacks a clear concept of local government, which enables the state bodies including the Constitutional Court to perform arbitrary decision-making.

The above decision was met with strong criticism and negative responses. The majority of constitutional experts share the opinion that the adoption of the above decision triggers questions regarding the interference in the separation-of-powers principle, independence of the National Assembly, the constitutional position of deputies, ensuring Italian minority's rights, misinterpreted doctrine on local government and the right to establish municipalities etc.

In addition to the constitutional aspects and arguments against the decision the round table will tackle also some domestic and European aspects which have not been discussed yet (e.g. CLRAE recommendation against the division of the Koper municipality) or have been discussed only superficially (e.g. European aspects of establishing local communities). From the sociological point of view we will discuss the issue of diminishing power of local government where the legal order of the Slovenian state narrows the role of the people in terms of space and content to strictly local interests. We will also deal with the issue of normative formalism that has prevailed in previous discussions on territorial and political restructuring of Slovenia.

Those and other issues will be discussed at the round table by the following independent experts: Dr. Janez Šmidovnik, Dr. Ivan Kristan, Dr. Stane Vlaj, Dr. Albin Igličar and Dr. Miloš Senčur. We also invite all other actors who have participated in the above process to attend the round table.

The round table will be held in the Slovenian language and moderated by Zijad Bećirović.

Attendance is free of charge. Please confirm your participation at telephone number (01) 430 15 33 or at ifimes@ifimes.org

The realisation of the event in Center Evropa was enabled by Government Communication Office and European Commission Representation in Slovenia.

Ljubljana, 18 January 2011

>>Okrogla miza - 25.01.2011 (Audio wma.)