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Slovenia and NATO

Slovenia and NATO
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Public Opinion


Annual National Programme of the Republic of Slovenia for the Implementation of the Membership Action Plan 2003 - 2004 (Executive Summary)

Slovenia considers that the invitation to join NATO provided it with an enhanced opportunity to contribute, together with other members of the Alliance, to security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. As a NATO member, Slovenia wants to take on the responsibility to maintain and strengthen the capabilities of the Alliance, and contribute to its abilities to respond efficiently to contemporary security threats.

1. Political Economic Issues

National Security Policy

Slovenia is actively participating in the international anti-terrorist coalition and it is in this regard implementing a range of legislative and other measures. Following the Declaration of the National Assembly (October 2001) on the joint fight against terrorism, the Government adopted relevant decisions delegating to individual ministries specific activities in the fight against terrorism. For this purpose, in January 2003, the Restrictive Measures Act provided for the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group.

Slovenia has also intensified its efforts in the fight against the phenomena such as organised crime, illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. The adopted measures in particular regard border control and exchange of intelligence.

Slovenia has adopted a series of measures in the field of export of dual-use goods, and of production of military weapons and equipment. It has joined the politically binding EU Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers, and proposed the establishment of a contact point for SALW to complement the existing cooperation mechanisms in South Eastern Europe.

Political framework of preparations for NATO membership

On the basis of a constitutional law (February 2003), a referendum on Slovenia's accession to NATO was successfully carried out in March 2003. After the referendum, the Government continues to regularly provide the public with information about the process of integration into the Alliance. This is aimed at strengthening public support for Slovenia's active role in NATO and at consolidating positive image of NATO in the public.

Slovenia is a party to all the important international instruments on human rights protection. It guarantees the rights of members of national, ethnic and other communities. Slovenian anti-discriminatory legislation is aligned with the European Union acquis. In July 2002, the Government adopted the Decision on Slovenia's Migration Policy, which includes measures for the active prevention of discrimination, xenophobia and racism against migrants.

In 2003 the Government drew up a new Strategy of the Further Development of Slovenian Public Sector in 2003-2005. The aim of the strategy is to continue the project of development and modernisation of public administration.

The Supreme Court was allocated additional funds for the elimination of judicial backlogs. Projects aimed at increasing flexibility in assigning judges to courts experiencing backlogs were being implemented.

In January 2003, the Government adopted a report on the acceleration of denationalisation procedures, and the timeframe for the completion of the denationalisation process at first and second instances. Whether the denationalisation process proceeds as planned is checked every three months. The process is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

Relations with Croatia and regional cooperation

Since the independence of the two countries, 40 bilateral agreements have been signed between Slovenia and Croatia. The relations between the two countries have recently been influenced by the announcement of Croatia's intention to unilaterally proclaim an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea. Expert groups of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries held a meeting on 16 September 2003 on Slovenia's initiative. Slovenia is in favour of a multilateral solution to the issue of protection of the Adriatic Sea on the basis of a dialogue on an equal footing.

Slovenia continues to be active in the regional initiatives: in 2003 it is chairing the Central European Free Trade Area (CEFTA), the Quadrilaterale, and the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII). In 2004 Slovenia will chair the Central European Initiative (CEI) and in 2005 the OSCE.

Economic issues

Slovenia continues implementing structural and institutional reforms that ensure conditions for a well functioning market economy. The legal framework is mostly prepared and harmonised with the EU acquis. Slovenia's proactive industrial policy is implemented in two correlative directions, i.e. by horizontal measures for the promotion of entrepreneurship and competitiveness as well as by measures of assisting enterprises in difficulties and by branch programmes for the adjustment of Slovenian textile, clothing, leather and shoe industries to the EU internal market.

Slovenia maintains relative economic stability. To boost the efficiency of its economy and economic growth the Government will further focus on increasing the economy's flexibility and on bolstering the competitiveness before Slovenia's integration with the EU; bringing inflation down before Slovenia's entering into the ERM2 and enhancing sustainable economic and employment growth. The Gross domestic product growth for 2003 is estimated at 2.6%, in 2004 and 2005 GDP is expected to grow 3.6 and 3.7%, respectively, and in 2006 it is expected again to reach 4%.

2. Defence and Military Affairs

Defence plans and policy

During the preparations for NATO membership, relevant legislation pertaining to the participation in collective defence has been adopted. In addition, a legal basis was provided for the transition to a fully professional force with a voluntary reserve by 2010, and in turn, for the termination of conscription and compulsory reserve service by 2004 and 2010, respectively.

Strategic Defence Review (SDR)

The Strategic Defence Review which has been underway since April 2002 will serve as the basis for the preparation of the Defence Reform Action Plan up to 2008, the General Long-Term Plan for the Development and Equipping of the SAF up to 2015, Guidance for the Period of 2004-2009, the Medium-Term Defence Programme 2005- 2010, and the synthesis of activities in connection with NATO integration. Defence reforms will be focused primarily on changes to the defence doctrine, leadership, organisation, human resources policy, training, and to the provision of materiel and infrastructure. The SDR and all of the subsequent documents will reflect also preliminary NATO force requirements as set out in the draft force proposals 2004. The key efforts in the implementation of the defence reforms will be aimed at the reorganisation of the SAF and MoD, modernisation and equipping in order to provide operational capabilities, and the professionalisation of the SAF.


By the time Slovenia is integrated into NATO, Slovenia will have introduced defence planning, comparable with NATO defence planning. In order to achieve this goal a draft Defence Planning Methodology is due to be approved this Autumn. Based on this methodology a new Regulation on Defence Planning in the MoD will be approved by the end of 2003. This document will systematically regulate defence planning in the MoD.

Key components of the comprehensive defence planning developed by Slovenia, along with the activities for its implementation ensure that the defence planning system is effective and in line with the NATO defence planning process.

Legal framework of defence policy

The primary goals of the personnel policy and of the development of the human resources management system are to have an organisational structure comparable to the one established in allied countries and to support key processes in the defence system with adequate human resources plans and plans for their implementation.

In 2002 the transformation of the MoD organisational structure and the integration of the key working processes were initiated in order to provide support for the SAF reorganisation with an adequate personnel policy, i.e. a transparent human resources management and planning system.

Taking into consideration the requirements arising out of the changed SAF manning principles, elements have been established and are being executed for the system of personnel recruiting, hiring, retention and career development. In the future, these elements are planned to be integrated into a comprehensive system.

The amended Civil Servants Act introduces new regulations for civil servants within the defence system and for SAF service personnel. The amended Defence Act includes new provisions regarding employer-employee relations and status issues for personnel employed in the defence system. Due to certain imbalances between both Acts in connection with employer-employee relations and status issues and the need to resolve the problems of the excessive personnel and personnel imbalances, we started to prepare amendments to the Defence Act in the second half of 2003.

Slovenian Armed Forces

With the introduction of organisational and other changes, the level of manning and of equipment in the 1st Brigade, in particular in the 10th Motorised Battalion and in the 17th MP Battalion, and partly also in the 20th Motorised Battalion have improved. This also helped increase the size (pool) of forces intended for participation in peace support operations and the ability to contribute to NATO operations. For these purposes Slovenia will continue to provide a motorised infantry company with a rotation capability. At the same time it will carry out activities aimed at the implementation of goals identified in the defence reform timeline, which will be further amended in the process of force proposals package discussions. Additional requirements resulting from the NATO force proposals and full professionalisation of the force structure will reflect in the SDR and medium and long-term planning documents (2015) and consequently the planned force size and structure that will be made available to the Alliance.

In 2004, activities related to the transformation of the SAF structure will continue in line with the accepted timeline for the military and defence reforms and the medium-term plan for the development of the SAF. The aim of this process is to enhance SAF defence capabilities. The established structure of commands is planned to ensure links and coordinated work with NATO forces and commands. Conditions will be provided for the transition to a fully professional force and for the introduction of a contract reserve. The process of eliminating unnecessary units and of reducing the units manned exclusively with reserves will continue to reduce the SAF wartime structure to the maximum authorised 18,000 service personnel by the end of 2004.


In the first half of 2004 measures will be taken to have the capabilities necessary to ensure the interoperability of the airspace command and control assets with the NATO integrated air defence system (NATINEADS), including the establishment of the necessary links for the exchange and transfer of data and voice with the ASOC centre.

Based on the relevant NATO technical requirements a communication network system will be upgraded for the transfer of voice and data with accesses to allow for consultation and cooperation at the highest decision-making level.

Human resources

The professional formation and voluntary reserve units will, until the end of 2005, receive training according to NATO common doctrine and procedures, while such training will continue until the end of 2007 in the case of the compulsory reserve units of the SAF. In accordance with the SAF staffing reforms, the Training Centre, which was created in the spring of 2003, is already conducting basic training for all candidates for professional soldiers as well as basic training for the infantrymen. For the purposes of guaranteeing specific qualification standards, the training of professional units is conducted in a way that conforms, as far as possible, to the requirements of the Operational Capability Concept (OCC) and to the requirements specified in the task list, which are essentially important for the unit's assignments (METL). A system of military education and training will be introduced in 2004 and 2005 and military education and training will be planned, organised and conducted in such a way that will ensure that the level of military qualification will, by the end of 2005, be brought into line with the standards and requirements of a professional military organisation, supplemented by a voluntary reserve.

Equipment and modernisation

The basic aim of securing equipment and modernisation is to facilitate, as a priority, the operation of high readiness forces and the participation of SAF units in NATO operations, as well as the subsequent participation of the rest of the SAF. The equipment plans are executed in accordance with the requirements for the restructuring of the SAF and its professionalisation. These plans will probably be revised in 2003 on the basis of harmonised objectives, which will also be included in the mid-term and long-term plans of the development and equipment of the SAF.

Logistics and infrastructure

For the purposes of supporting the operation of the SAF in NATO, logistic capabilities will be provided in the logistics battalion. Part of these capabilities already exist and are being rapidly formed within the 1st. Brigade of the SAF. The command logistic companies of the battalions and regiments will also structurally constitute part of this segment of the SAF. The units and static elements of the present logistic bases will be merged and transformed into a logistic regiment. A transformation of the medical units is envisaged which will provide capabilities for the first and second level of health care as well as health evacuation up to higher levels. These logistic capabilities will be provided by the end of 2004. The infrastructure of the SAF is being adapted to the requirements of the professional force.

Host nation support (HNS)

In accordance with the Timetable, the Government will adopt, in the autumn of 2003, the Host Nation Support Concept. The harmonisation of classifications and the marking of roads and bridges (on the maps) will be performed after the adoption of STANAG concerning the specific field, by a special working group of the General Staff. The field of HNS has, in the part relating to the SAF, already been outlined in the Concept of SAF Supplementary Forces and in the Concept for Military Logistics Reform. Projects are already underway for the purposes of the development of a centrally kept database on HNS CC by the end of 2004. With the designing of a common form and contents of the NATO database and appropriate common software solutions, Slovenia will also realise the partnership goal and proposal for the development of forces, concerning the HNS CC.

Partnership goals (PG) and force goals (FG) development

In June 2003, Slovenia adopted the Bi-Sc 2004 Force Proposals Slovenia document and, in this way, joined the cycle of planning the goals of NATO forces.

The requirements for specific forces and capabilities stated in partnership goals have, to a great extent, been included in the draft force proposals.

The overall package of force proposals for Slovenia contained 61 force proposals, 18 of them being long term requirements. Based on these discussions Slovenia adjusted some of the initial responses and for the time being finds majority of the proposed package challenging but acceptable (46), the final status of the rest will be agreed in the further debate. Slovenia has made a good start to restructuring the SAF, and while realising that there is still much to be done, Slovenia perceives the 2004 Force Proposals Package as an opportunity to play an important part in NATO operations as soon as possible.

Accession to the NATO integrated military structure

The SAF has available, a group of experts and linguistically qualified commissioned and non-commissioned officers, for work with NATO and in NATO. A special group of future candidates for further language and expert training is composed of 711 commissioned officers, 364 non-commissioned officers and 38 soldiers with various levels of linguistic knowledge. The personnel of the SAF currently operating in the partnership elements of NATO commands (PSE) will continue with their work until the achievement of full membership in NATO. The three observer posts in the NATO commands will be occupied by appropriate personnel by the beginning of 2004. The SAF will, by the end of 2003, strengthen its military representation within the framework of the Permanent Mission to NATO and the SHAPE Contact Group.

3. Financial Issues

Slovenia is committed to maintaining a level of defence expenditure that is sufficient to support the defence reform, restructuring and modernisation called for in the 2002 Strategic Defence Review and NATO Force Goals, and to permit an adequate level of capital investment to meet planned equipment and infrastructure modernisation and to enhance interoperability, deployability, combat effectiveness, sustainability and survivability in order to meet NATO requirements. The current projection of defence expenditure for 2003 and 2004 show a continuation of the dynamics of growth of the share of defence expenditure in the GDP, which is expected to reach 2% by 2008.

In accordance with the plans for the adaptation of the public procurement system for the purpose of conducting harmonised procedures for the projects of the NATO Security Investment Programme, the Government approved the amendments to the Public Procurement Act and submitted it to the National Assembly for parliamentary procedure.

Slovenia will provide funds for contributing to NATO joint programmes and budgets and implementation and maintenance of NATO NSIP from the current structure of the national budget, within the framework of the existing national budget rules. A National Office for NSIP will be created in the Ministry of Defence in the Office for Logistics.

Slovenia is also already adapting the national taxation legislation for the purposes of implementation of NATO tax exemption policies.

4. Security Issues

In the past year, Slovenia achieved considerable progress in the area of security issues by adopting executive regulations allowing for the harmonisation of the national security system with NATO security policy requirements. These ensure minimum NATO standards in the area of personnel security, information security and physical security, and provide a basis for the establishment of a corresponding system of classified information protection in the communication and information systems. By amending the Classified Information Act and adopting executive regulations on its basis, conditions will be created for smooth fulfilment of all tasks of the National Security Authority in the area of the implementation of NATO security policy provisions.

5. Legal Issues

Slovenia has been actively preparing for the adoption of NATO acquis, and will ratify or accede to all the remaining NATO agreements and protocols relating to membership of the Alliance, for which no special invitation is required within six months after accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. In Slovenia there are no legal impediments for accession to NATO acquis and for smooth implementation of its obligations as an Ally.

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