FUNDATION

The Association of Municipalities of Slovenia was founded on 2nd February 1999, the initiative being taken by ten minor municipalities (Beltinci, Borovnica, Divača, Naklo, Podvelka-Ribnica, Preddvor, Rogašovci, Starše, Sv. Jurij ob Ščavnici and Vodice). The reasons for the foundation were mainly two: the increase of the number of municipalities, and inappropriate financing of municipalities. As a rule, the newly founded municipalities had no administrative infrastructure and they had practically no income of their own

 

The Association of Municipalities of Slovenia, with its headquarters in Ljubljana, is the association of interests of Slovenian municipalities, its status being the representation of local interests. The Association is a legal party, taking an active part in the legal, economic and political interests of municipality members. It represents the interests of Slovenian municipalities at state and international level, and merges with similar institutions within the state and abroad; it cooperates with other legal parties that can offer the Association expertise and experiences in the field of local autonomy and economic public services. The Association attains its goals with the aid of the secretarial office and expert councils, by organizing various eventsconferences for experts, seminars and workshops; it helps with advice and solutions in the field of local autonomy and passes them on to the bodies at state level. The Association functions as an information service, it advises the municipalities on legal, tax and economic matters, and is in charge of publishing the official newsletter and various professional publications. It offers municipalities expert help with the process of adjustment to the legal order of the European Union, assists with qualifying the personnel of the local administration and of public enterprises (filling shortages of staff), and offers other particular projects whose goals are updating and professionalization of the employees in the municipality administration and in public enterprises.

 

The Association of Municipalities of Slovenia can also accept other legal parties, whose membership might be of use because of their expertise and experiences, or because of them being of importance in certain operations from the range of activities of the municipalities.

 

Attainment of independence of Slovenia as a state in 1991 meant a new beginning for local autonomy. Article 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia ensures local autonomy, whereas some essential issues of local autonomy are regulated in detail in articles 138 to 144 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. Based on those constitutional provisions, in 1993/94, the reform of local autonomy took place, which did not bring about a preferable outcome at least at the beginning. The communes ceased to exist, but the conditions were not sufficient for the new municipalities to act autonomously. What is more, the intermediate administrative level between the state and the local communities became more and more problematic. In spite of certain constitutional and legal assurances, the municipalities were totally dependent on the state.