Civil society in Slovenia (ENG)

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) is a participatory action-research project that assesses the state of civil society in various countries. The project is headed by the CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation and in Slovenia, is carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Administration. The main aims of the project are to promote and strengthen civil society through assessment and develop political recommendations and measures. The first stage of the project involved a quantitative survey of civil society organisations (CSOs) and external experts, the second stage comprised qualitative methods, i.e. case studies for all the basic CSI dimensions, and the third, a presentation of the results at regional focus group meetings and a national workshop to obtain feedback on key findings, identify the strengths and weaknesses of civil society in Slovenia and formulate basic guidelines to improve its position. The Civil Society Diamond summarises the values of the quantitative indicators that represent the four basic dimensions of civil society, while the circle around it represents the fifth dimension, the external environment of civil society. The book outlines the key findings of the project, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of civil society in Slovenia and presents proposals to improve the state of civil society. Analysis of the civil society sector in Slovenia shows that it has not yet reached a point at which it could begin to develop. Increased financial strength of CSOs and consequently their professionalisation, are the two criteria that define the point at which the growth of the sector would give way to development. Given the information available, it may be said that this has not yet occurred in Slovenia. In order to improve the state of the civil society sector, the government should not only increase public financing of the sector by introducing new measures, but also amend the relevant legislation – by encouraging funding from other non-public sources primarily through private donations from individuals and companies, which would increase its autonomy and independence. In order to facilitate the implementation of such changes, both the government and non-government sides require clear-cut strategies detailing the development of the civil society sector, for which a consensus must be reached. The absolute prerequisite for this, however, is to strengthen civil dialogue in Slovenia.