As Slovenia takes over the EU Presidency, NGO European Civic Forum has recently added it to the watch-list of states witnessing a decline in civil rights.
A rapid decline in civic space has been noted in Slovenia, particularly when Janez Janša’s government came to power in March 2020, prompting a ratings change to ‘narrowed’ in December 2020 by the CIVICUS Monitor.
Since its establishment, the government has tried to pass several measures which affect basic human rights under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has also been a deterioration in the rule of law and the right to participation. In the last year, the government has passed many decrees that restrict various fundamental freedoms, without justification or an end date, under the Communicable Diseases act, which was recently found to be unconstitutional.
Almost all decrees passed include articles that deal with regulated issues not related to the pandemic and these laws were passed through an emergency procedure without consultation.
The government has also repeatedly targeted civil society organisations (CSOs) and media freedom is on the decline. Journalists have been repeatedly harassed by the Prime Minister and the ruling Slovenian Democratic (SDS) party.
Over the past year, Ljubljana has curtailed freedom of association and media freedom, the NGO said.