THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SLOVENIA
The National Council is a body representative of social, economic, occupational and local interest groups.
It comprises 40 indirectly elected members:
- 4 employers' representatives,
- 4 employees' representatives,
- 4 representatives of small farmers, craftsmen and the liberal professions,
- 6 representatives of non economic occupational sectors (health, science, education and social security),
- 22 representatives of local interests.
II.- ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Electoral colleges representing, depending on the individual case:
- economic and social sectors:
foreigners running businesses or working in Slovenia may participate in the election of representatives of economic and social sectors.
in each of the 22 constituencies, the electoral college is made up of:
- members of the local assembly if the constituency covers only one community;
- representatives elected by community assemblies if the constituency is made up of several communities.
Term of office: 5 years.
Most recent election: 1997.
III - ORGANISATION OF SESSIONS
A - ORDINARY SESSIONS
The National Council is convened by its President, on his initiative or on decision of the Council at the request of a committee or of the head of one or more interest groups or at the request of eight national councillors.
B - When the adoption of a text in respect of which the National Council envisages resorting to the suspensive veto (cf infra IV-A-3) is included on the Agenda of the National Assembly, the President of the Council convenes the former within six days following the vote in the National Assembly.
C - The National Council sits about 23 times a year and at least twice a month.
IV - RELATIONS WITH THE OTHER CHAMBER AND THE EXECUTIVE
Bicameral system where the houses have unequal powers
A - LEGISLATIVE POWERS
Restricted legislative competence.
1) The right to propose legislation
The National Council - on the initiative of councillors or committees - may propose the adoption of laws to the National Assembly.
2) Right of amendment
The National Council may propose the adoption of amendments to the National Assembly, on the initiative of councillors or committees.
3) Suspensive veto
The National Council may request that the National Assembly - within 7 days of the adoption of a law and before its promulgation - examine it once more. The law is then adopted by majority of the deputies, except in cases in which a qualified majority is required.
In January 2000, since its institution on 23 December 1992, the National Council had used its suspensive veto in 51 cases (34 during its first term of office, 17 since the start of its current term of office). In 10 cases, the National Assembly did not defeat the suspensive veto.
4) Legislative referendum
The National Council may request - by majority vote of all its members - that the National Assembly hold a legislative referendum for which the latter then has to set the date.
This request may be presented up to the beginning of the third and final reading of the draft legislation by the National Assembly for pre-legislative referendums, and not more than 7 days after the adoption of the draft legislation for post-legislative referendums.
B - SUPERVISORY POWERS
The National Council may, by a majority of councillors present, ask the National Assembly for an investigation into public affairs, the latter will then appoint a committee of inquiry.
The National Assembly may extend or modify the request if its author does not object.
V - SPECIAL MEASURES
A - POWERS TO GIVE AN OPINION
The National Council may give its opinion to the National Assembly on all matters within its competence.
At the latter's request, it must give its opinion on a particular matter.
It is the means - for the National Council- to convey and represent to the National Assembly the interests of the groups - socio-occupational and local - represented within it.
The proposals, initiatives or questions to be passed on to the National Assembly are tabled by a councillor and sent to the competent committee which adopts a report on the subject, before debating it in session. The Government or an organ of State may be questioned.
The President of the National Assembly sends proposals, opinions and requests formulated by the National Council to all deputies and to the Government and it asks the latter, together with the competent body, to inform the Assembly of their views.
A representative of the National Council may be invited to a meeting of the organ of the National Assembly which is examining the opinion of the Council. The President of this organ then informs the President of the National Council of the position adopted.
B - REFERRAL TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL
The National Council may refer any matter to the Constitutional Council which monitors the constitutionality and legality of regulatory and general acts.
N.B.: The nature and status of the National Council is currently under review.