chapter  6
The Europeanization of Slovenian foreign policy: a one- way process?
ByPOLONA BUNIČ, ZLATKO ŠABIČ
Pages 15

CFSP (Kajnč 2005: 4, 2011: 680). The assessment of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitrij Rupel was that the MFA had been organized similarly to the foreign ministries of comparable EU and NATO members (MFA 2004: 5). Before Slovenia’s accession to the EU, the role of Parliament with respect to EU affairs was strengthened substantially. The changes to the Constitution that allowed Slovenia to enter the EU and NATO also provided that, in the process of adopting legal acts and decisions within those organizations, the Government had to regularly inform Parliament about such proposals and about its activities, while Parliament was given the right to adopt positions that the Government had to take into account. The cooperation between the Government and Parliament was regulated in more detail by a special act (NARS 2004), which provided that Parliament cooperate in the formulation of Slovenia’s positions in all EU matters which would, according to their content and in accordance with the Slovenian Constitution and legislation, fall within its competence. It also provided that Parliament had to adopt positions on changes to the EU’s founding treaties before decisions on those changes took place in the relevant EU bodies. Finally, since accession Parliament has held regular discussions on the state of the EU and Slovenia’s positions in it, and has, through its declarations, adopted orientation positions for the functioning of Slovenia within EU institutions in the coming period. For the years 2004-6, such declarations were adopted annually. Thereafter, the practice of adopting one-and-one-half-yearly declarations began, in line with the trio EU Presidencies. The last declaration was adopted for the period July 2011-December 2012 (NARS 2011). With respect to the period 1996-2004, therefore, we can say that although from the perspective of the organization of the MFA Europeanization was mainly driven by the demands of CFSP,4 from a broader perspective that includes other branches of government and the coordination of EU affairs in general, it appears that Slovenia also established its own mechanisms allowing for checks and balances between different government branches and offices when it comes to the preparation of Slovenia’s positions in EU institutions. More recently, Slovenia was the first of the new member states to hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU, in the first half of 2008 (Kajnč 2008, 2009; Kajnč and Svetličič 2010; Drulák and Šabič 2010). Coming so soon after accession, the EU Presidency had the effect of additionally strengthening Slovenia’s internal structures for the coordination of EU affairs as well as the foreign policy apparatus, particularly the Permanent Representation to the EU; in addition, in the field of CFSP Slovenia became privy to all important European and wider international issues (MFA 2009). Thereafter, the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, in particular concerning the European External Action Service (EEAS), had a limited impact on Slovenian foreign policy – some Slovenian staff was incorporated in EU delegations; also, Slovenia has been successful in its efforts to have a Slovenian as Head of an EU delegation in a third country – the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Žbogar began working as EU Special Representative in Kosovo in February 2012 (MFA 2011a).