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Slovenia

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1) REFERENCES

Commission opinion COM(1997) 2010 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission report COM(1998) 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(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1755 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1411 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission report COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1208 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that there were no major problems in the field of research and technological development or with regard to the information society, the objectives of which Slovenia could possibly realise earlier than most CEECs. With regard to telecommunications, the view taken was that Slovenia could achieve a level comparable to that of certain Member States in the medium term, provided that competition was rapidly liberalised in all sectors.

In its October 1999 Report the Commission considered that approximation was under way. It was noted that Slovenia's telecommunications network was developing gradually. Nevertheless, it was still vital that the liberalisation process be speeded up.

In the Report for 2000 the Commission noted that certain progress had been made in this area.

The October 2002 Report noted that further progress had been made in the field of science and research and that Slovenia had made some progress in the field of telecommunications and significant progress in the postal sector.

The November 2003 Report states that Slovenia partially meets the commitments in the field of telecommunications. Slovenian legislation essentially meets the commitments in the field of postal services. In the area of science and research, Slovenia meets the requirements arising from the accession negotiations.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

Research and technological development (RTD) activities at Community level, as provided for in Article 164 of the EC Treaty (former Article 130G) and the Framework Programme (Article 166, former Article 130I), are aimed at improving the competitiveness of European industry and the quality of life, as well as supporting sustainable development and contributing to the development of other Community policies.

The European Association Agreement between the European Union and Slovenia provides for cooperation in these areas, notably through the participation of the Associated State in the Framework Programme. The White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the internal market of the Union (1995) includes no direct measures in this field.

The objective of Community telecommunications policy is to eliminate obstacles to the efficient operation of the Internal Market in equipment, services and telecommunications networks, to open foreign markets to Community enterprises and to make modern services available to citizens and enterprises in the European Union. These objectives must be achieved by harmonising standards and conditions for the provision of services, liberalising the terminal equipment, services and networks markets and adopting the necessary regulatory measures.

The European Association Agreement stipulates that improvements in standards and practices in the field of telecommunications and postal services, and the standardisation, regulation and modernisation of the infrastructure to Community level must be achieved through cooperation. The White Paper places emphasis on the rapprochement of rules, networks and services and on the measures to be taken to progressively liberalise the sector.

EVALUATION

Research and technological development (RTD)

The Community acquis does not need transposing into national law. However, the compatibility of the general legal order with the Community acquis needs to be ensured. In 1999, the total amount spent on research was about 1.45% of GDP.

Since August 1999, Slovenia has been effectively associated with the Fifth Framework Programme of Research (1999-2002) and with the Euratom Framework Programme. Slovenia has opened its corresponding research activities to enterprises, researchers and universities from the Member States. It has also expressed interest in being associated with the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006).

In March 2002, Slovenia adopted a programme of measures to promote entrepreneurship and competitiveness for the period 2002-2006. In the science and research area, it defines the rules concerning requirements, methods of selection and funding of development projects proposed by inventors. Slovenia continued with the harmonisation of the support mechanisms for companies involved in R&D activities and the development of new technologies.

In 2003, the policy and legislation of Slovenia in this field are in line with EC guidelines. Moreover, the present level of gross domestic expenditure on research and development is approaching the EU average. As stated in the 2003 report, Slovenia will be in a position to implement the acquis as from its accession.

Telecommunications

Slovenia has made definite progress with telecommunications, more particularly in the liberalisation of the markets for services and alternative infrastructures: decrees have been adopted on the granting of licences to use radio frequencies for mobile telephone and message handling services and for the technical requirements placed on mobile cellular systems. Moreover, four licences have been issued to internet access providers.

A single licence for UMTS was awarded in November 2001. Steps have been taken towards tariff rebalancing and reducing the interconnection tariffs. Penetration in mobile services has reached 69%. There are three GSM operators. Fixed network penetration has reached 41%. Network modernisation has been completed and price rebalancing is well advanced.

The Telecommunication, Broadcasting and Postal Services Agency was established following the passing of the Telecommunication Act in May 2001, the Mass Media Act in April 2001 and the Postal Services Act in April 2002, with responsibilities to regulate the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal sectors.

Much of the regulatory framework and institutional structure is in line with the acquis. However, the situation in the UMTS area is not satisfactory in terms of ensuring free and undistorted competition. Slovenia should also endeavour to implement adequately the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, especially concerning operators with significant market power. Efforts to strengthen the administrative capacity of the National Regulatory Authority also need to be stepped up.

In 2003, Slovenia achieved a satisfactory degree of transposition of the acquis adopted in the period 1998 to 2002. However, work needs to be continued with regard to:

  • notification requirements;
  • promotion of new technology;
  • obligations of operators with significant market power versus other operators;
  • the rules on legal interception.

The new regulatory framework on electronic communications adopted in 2002 has not been fully implemented, either. An improvement in the conditions needed to ensure fair competition in the telecommunication market, in particular for fixed lines, also remains a priority in order for Slovenia to complete its alignment with the acquis.

Information society

In spring 2002 the Ministry for the Information Society drew up a national programme to prepare Slovenia for the information society as a policy document for public administration, economy and civil society. It brings further alignment with the eEurope+ action plan (1) for candidate countries. It aims to prepare a legal and regulatory framework for e-business at the infrastructure and services level, to promote the use of information technologies, and to promote the development of services in public administration, economy and civil society.

Postal services

The Postal Act of 1997 brought Slovenian legislation in the postal sector partially into line with the acquis, but differences remained. Further action were needed to ensure complete liberalisation of postal services. It is for this reason that the Slovenian Parliament adopted the new Postal Services Act in April 2002, aimed at bringing about alignment with the acquis through a number of provisions allowing the liberalisation of the postal market, offering equal opportunities and guaranteeing access to the public postal network. It is also aimed at expanding the scope of universal postal services. Following this Act, a decree was adopted in June 2002 setting up an independent regulatory body within the Agency for Telecommunication and Broadcasting, to cover postal services.

During 2003, Slovenia took various measures aimed at completing alignment with the First Postal Directive (accounting rules, thresholds for the reserved services, authorisation and licensing system, operation of the compensation fund and tariff schemes). Slovenia has also adopted legislation aimed at transposing the Second Postal Directive. It has already implemented the new thresholds for the reserved services.

(1) The eEurope+ action plan is aimed at speeding up reforms and modernisation of the candidate countries' economies, encouraging capacity- and institution-building, improving overall competitiveness, and strengthening social cohesion. It was launched by the prime ministers of the candidate countries at the Gothenburg Council (15-16 June 2001).

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 13.02.2004
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