Change in rules of conduct and composition of Economic and Social Council

The composition of the Economic and Social Council of Slovenia (ESSS) has changed, following the government and social partners’ adoption of the newly amended Rules of Conduct of the ESSS in June 2007. At present, there are seven employer and government representatives respectively, along with eight trade union representatives on the council..

Background

Up until 29 June 2007, the Economic and Social Council of Slovenia (Ekonomsko socialni svet Slovenije, ESSS) (SI0207103F) comprised 15 social partner representatives. This was based on the principle that the structure of the ESSS must ensure the equality of each of the three main social partners – that is, the employers, trade unions and government. Therefore, each partner had the same number of representatives on the ESSS – in other words, five members each. The biggest trade union confederation, the Union of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, ZSSS) had two representatives on ESSS, while the other three confederations – the Confederation of Trade Unions of Slovenia Pergam (Konfederacija sindikatov Pergam Slovenije, Pergam), the Confederation of Trade Unions ‘90 of Slovenia (Konfederacija sindikatov ‘90 Slovenije, Konfederacija ‘90) and the KNSS – Independence, Confederation of New Trade Unions of Slovenia (KNSS – Neodvisnost, Konfederacija novih sindikatov Slovenije, KNSS) – had one each. As regards the employer organisations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije, GZS) and the Slovenian Employers’ Association (Zdruzenje delodajalcev Slovenije, ZDS) had two representatives each, while the Chamber of Crafts of Slovenia (Obrtna zbornica Slovenije, OZS) had one representative.

Proposal to change composition

On 14 November 2006, all seven representative trade union confederations (SI0210102F) submitted to the ESSS their common proposal to change the composition of the council. They proposed increasing the number of trade union representatives from five to eight on the ESSS because the three new representative trade union confederations were not represented in the ESSS – that is, the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (Konfederacija sindikatov javnega sektorja Slovenije, KSJS) (SI0603019I), the Union of Workers’ Trade Unions of Slovenia – Solidarity (Zveza delavskih sindikatov Slovenije – Solidarnost, Solidarnost) and the Slovene Union of Trade Unions Alternativa (Slovenska zveza sindikatov Alternativa, SZS Alternativa). They also proposed that the ESSS should take the decisions unanimously and that each party should have one vote.

The employers supported the trade union proposal and also suggested increasing their number of representatives from five to eight because two important employer organisations had no representatives in the ESSS – notably, the Slovenian Employers’ Association of Crafts (Zdruzenje delodajalcev obrtnih dejavnosti Slovenije, ZDODS) and the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (Trgovinska zbornica Slovenije, TZS).

New ESSS composition

On 29 June 2007, the government and social partners adopted the new amended Rules of Conduct of the Economic and Social Council of Slovenia. According to the new rules of conduct, each of the three partners has a maximum of eight representatives. However, irrespective of the number of members, each partner has only one vote.

At present, the employers and government have seven representatives each on the ESSS, while the trade unions have eight representatives. Since each side of the three partners has only one vote regardless of the number of their representatives on the ESSS, it is not essential for each social partner side to have the same number of representatives.

The ESSS employer (SI0211102F) representatives are as follows:

  • Borut Meh, President of the ZDS;
  • Franc Kokalj, Secretary General of the ZDS;
  • Samo Hribar Milič, Secretary General of the GZS;
  • Nevena Tea Gorjup, representative of the GZS;
  • Miroslav Klun, representative of the OZS;
  • Milan Škapin, representative of ZDODS;
  • Vera Aljančič Falež, representative of TZS (SI0711019I).

The trade union representatives comprise the following members:

  • Dušan Semolič, President of ZSSS;
  • Milan Utroša, Secretary General of ZSSS;
  • Dušan Rebolj, President of Pergam;
  • Boris Mazalin, President of the Konfederacija ‘90;
  • Drago Lombar, President of KNSS;
  • Zdenko Lorber, Secretary General of SZS Alternativa;
  • Albert Pavlič, President of Solidarnost;
  • Branimir Štrukelj, President of KSJS.

The government representatives are as follows: 

  • Marjeta Cotman, Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs (Ministrstvo za delo, družino in socialne zadeve, MDDSZ);
  • Andrej Vizjak, Minister of the Economy (Ministrstvo za gospodarstvo, MG);
  • Andrej Bajuk, Minister of Finance (Ministrstvo za Finance, MF);
  • Gregor Virant, Minister of Public Administration (Ministrstvo za javno upravo, MJU);
  • Žiga Turk, Minister without Portfolio Responsible for Growth;
  • Boštjan Vasle, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (Urad RS za makroekonomske analize in razvoj, UMAR);
  • Vasja Simčič, Office of the President of the Government.

Commentary

The new rules of conduct of the ESSS only formalised the already established informal practice. In the past, the delegates of all new representative trade union confederations and important employer organisations already fully took part in the ESSS work.

Štefan Skledar, Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development

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