Critical Analysis of Civil Service Politicization in Slovenia

Marko Čehovin 1  and Miro Haček 2
  • 1 Ministry of Defence, Vojkova cesta 55, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Marko Čehovin and Miro Haček

Abstract

Even though some level of politicization is pressed into the “genetic material” of administrative systems, the majority of experts agree that a system with high levels of politicization is less efficient, as most individuals do not have the chance to develop their full potential. The weaknesses of politicization are even more devastating in smaller states such as Slovenia, as they have a limited amount of human resources available. Based on a detailed analysis of the politicization of civil service in Slovenia, the authors can confirm that the level of politicization is quite high. After accession into the European Union (2004) and the adoption of austerity laws (2010–2013), politicization increased even further. Despite the formal existence of a meritocratic civil service system, politicians have an increasingly decisive role in the employment and advancement of civil servants, and total control over the appointment and dismissal of senior civil servants. The authors conclude that the predominance of politicians with relationships to senior civil servants can be changed with relatively simple adjustments to formal acts.

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