Slovenia’s parliament strikes down yet another devolution attempt
Parliament’s upper chamber has shelved legislation that would create a legal basis to establish provinces, ensuring that yet another attempt at devolution is doomed amidst irreconcilable disputes about the number of provinces.
After being shepherded by the National Council through various stages of stakeholder consultation for more than two years, the upper chamber decided to shelve the initiative.
The legislation is a good basis but it is necessary to “draw up a better proposal to reach a broader political and social consensus,” National Council President Marko Lotrič said about the proposed legislation on Wednesday.
The proposal that has now been shelved would have created 15 provinces for a country with just over two million people that already has 212 municipalities.
Slovenia has had on-and-off debates about provinces for decades, but all proposals have failed to garner a sufficient majority in the National Assembly. Most disputes have centred on how many provinces the country should have.
There is broad agreement among local government experts that the number of provinces should be in the low single digits, but whenever the devolution debate is launched local political appetites appear to consume rational arguments.
Constitutional amendments passed in 2006 require the formation of provinces, but that has done little to actually facilitate the process.
(Sebastijan R. Maček | sta.si)