Slovenia: Capabilities, Organisations, Policies, and Legislation in crisis management and disaster response
Source:IT4Sec Reports, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Number 123, Sofia (2015)
Keywords:Civil protection, disaster preparedness, disaster response, legislative base, resources, Slovenia
According to official reports, Slovenia is threatened by a variety of natural hazards, mostly earthquakes, floods, landslides, hail, storms, sleet, frost, and fire. The country has one nuclear power plant and a large industrial sector that operates dangerous substances – a potential source of ecological damages and catastrophic accidents.
The recent civil protection system has been constructed after 1992 by means of the adoption of a number of legislative acts and organisational reforms. The core characteristic of the civil protection system of Slovenia is that protection against natural and man-made disasters has been separated from the national defence system. This way, an integral and functionally unified system has been established based on common goals and principles. However, the main administrative and co-ordination structure for civil protection – Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (ACPDR) is a constituent body of the Ministry of Defence.
Conceptually, the civil protection and rescue system is one of the three pillars of national security along with the defence system and the internal security system. However, “civil protection” in Slovenia is a relatively narrow concept which is common elsewhere in the EU. It includes very specific range of activities, commanding and co-ordinating bodies and specialised units for interventions and rescue in emergencies.
The system is built at three levels – national, regional and municipality. Functionally the focus is on regional capabilities and local authorities, supported by the state. Commercial entities, civil organisations and citizens have legally prescribed important functions for prevention, monitoring, alarming and responding to any extreme developments. Volunteering has a long lasting tradition in Slovenia.
Key civil protection stakeholders are the National Assembly, the Government, particular ministers, and the civil protection service that includes commanders, headquarters and heads of intervention and rescue units, and the local authorities. The administrative and specific expert tasks related to protection against natural and other disasters are carried out by the ACPDR, which is a multi-sectorial and coordinating body.
The units of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Police are to carry out protection and rescue tasks related to their training and equipment. Their participation in protection and rescue operations is decided upon by the government and in emergency cases by the respective ministers at the request of the Commander of Civil Protection of the Republic of Slovenia.
Annually, Slovenia allocates approximately 0.5% of its national budget for civil protection while municipalities earmark 3% of their budgets. Protection against fire is partly financed from the fire fund, which is generated from a tax on fire insurance.