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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2010 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(98) 709 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(1999) 512 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2000) 712 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1208 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission took the view that, in the area of social policy, Slovenia needed to pursue the major reforms it had already undertaken and to develop its social dialogue. It stated that Slovenia should be able to take on the obligations of EU membership in the medium term, provided that it maintains its efforts.

The November 1998 Report stated that insufficient effort had been made to bring Slovenian legislation into line with the Community acquis. Further effort was therefore required to meet the obligations in this area. There was also a need to strengthen the public employment services.

In its October 1999 and 2000 Reports, the Commission considered that the overall employment and social situation had improved because the pace of reforms had increased. However, it noted that in some areas progress was still not up to schedule.

In its 2003 Report the Commission said that Slovenia was essentially meeting the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in the areas of labour law, equal treatment of women and men, heath and safety at work, social dialogue, public health, employment policy, social inclusion and social protection. It was expected to be in a position to implement this acquis upon accession.

Nevertheless, particular attention still needed to be devoted to full implementation in relation to the European Social Fund and combating discrimination.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


In the social affairs field, apart from the various specific action programmes, such as those in the area of public health, and the European Social Fund, EU legislation covers health and safety at work, labour law and working conditions, equal opportunities for men and women, coordination of social security schemes for migrant workers, and tobacco products.

In all these areas, the EU's social legislation lays down minimum requirements, accompanied by safeguard clauses for the most advanced Member States.

In addition, the consultation of the social partners and the social dialogue at European level are enshrined in Articles 138 and 139 of the Treaty (ex-Articles 118a and 118b).


According to the 2003 Report, Slovenia's legislation is largely in line with the acquis on labour law, except for the working time of seafarers and civil aviation workers. Some fine-tuning of the legislation regarding collective redundancies is still needed. Slovenia has adopted legislation intended to complete alignment with the acquis on young people. The new acquis supplementing the European Company Statute is expected to be transposed after accession.

In October 1998 a new version of the Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance was adopted. It aims to enable Slovenia to pursue an "active" employment policy, to promote re-integration into the labour market and to discourage black market labour. A national employment programme for 2000 and 2001 was adopted at the end of 1999.

The 2003 report also notes that efforts are still required on employment policy to effectively implement the priorities identified in the Joint Assessment of Employment Priorities (JAP). In particular, it is important to take measures to assist those excluded from the labour market and to continue reform of the education and training systems, in particular concerning life-long learning. Enhanced efforts are needed to address informal and undeclared work and to promote active ageing.

The unemployment rate has been falling since 1998, from 7.4% that year to 7.2% in 1999, 6.6% in 2000 and 6% in 2002.

The 2000 report found that tripartite social dialogue was working well, but some progress was still needed with bipartite social dialogue. On the eve of accession the 2003 report recorded that the administrative framework was in place and social dialogue was well advanced, especially at tripartite level. However, autonomous bipartite social dialogue and free collective bargaining between social partners' organisations with voluntary affiliation still needed to be promoted at both sectoral and enterprise level.

In June 1999 a new law on health and safety at work was adopted. Since then, eight implementing decrees transposing EU provisions have been adopted. Slovenia has been participating in the Community Programmes on health promotion, the fight against cancer, combating drugs and AIDS prevention since May 2000.

In the 2003 report the Commission notes that Slovenia has aligned its legislation with a substantial part of the acquis. It has obtained transitional periods regarding the Directives on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to noise, chemical, and biological agents at work.

In the field of public health, Slovenia has completed alignment with the acquis. It should continue strengthening administrative capacity during 2004 to implement EU requirements regarding the surveillance and control of communicable diseases. Since 2001 good progress has been made in improving the health status of the population and in the field of health expenditure.

As regards equal treatment for men and women, in 2000 Slovenia still had to adopt the new Law on Parental and Family benefits and ensure equal treatment in occupational social security schemes.

The 2003 report notes that Slovenia has transposed all legislation in the field of equal treatment of women and men and the legislative transposition is in line with the acquis. A specific implementing structure has been created within the Office for Equal Opportunities to hear cases of alleged unequal treatment and issue opinions.

In the field of combating discrimination, legislative alignment is advanced but remains to be completed as regards the Equality Body, which has not yet been established.

In the course of 2004 the Commission and Slovenia must finalise the Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion, which identifies key challenges and possible policy orientations for promoting social inclusion. On this basis, a national integrated strategy and a National Action Plan on social inclusion will have to be developed.

In the field of social protection, sustained efforts are required to implement the reforms that have been introduced to further help improve the level and efficiency of social protection.

Last updated: 18.01.2004