Bodies for the promotion of equal treatment (Article 13 Directive 2000/43)

AuthorKogovsek Salamon, Neza
a) Body/bodies design ated for the prom otion of equal treatment irrespective of
racial/ethnic origin according to Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive
The Protection Against Discrimination Act, whic h was pas sed on 21 April 2016 , provided
for the establishment of a new equality body, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality.
The Advocate of the Principle of Equality has been an independent state body since
November 2016. The Advocate works on all grounds covered by the Protection Against
Discrimination Act and is not limited to addressing race and ethn icity.
b) Political, economic and social context of the designated body
The adoption of the law in 2016, which provided for a reform of the Advocate of the
Principle of Equality and its transformation from a one-civil-servant body to a fully
operational independent sta te body with 21 employees at the end of 201 9, shows that
there was a certain level of political support for the institutional strengthening of the
equality body. The main incentive for this was the infringement procedu re initiated by the
European Commission. The less positive side of the establishment of the n ew equality
body was the reluctance of the Ministry of Finance to ensure sufficient funds for it to
become fully operational, i.e. to move to appropriate and wheelchair-accessible premises
suitable for the operation of a state body, to hire personnel and to carry out the duties
enshrined in its mandate. Init ially, the budget allocated to the body was EUR 130 000 for
2017, wh ich was insufficient. Following the visit of the Council of Europe Commissioner
for Human Rights, the Ministry of Finance agreed to add an additional EUR 50 000 for
2017 to enable the equality body to relocate.181
Civil society organisations were supportive of the reform and carried ou t an independent
campaign to support the Advocate’s call for additional resources. As part of th e
campaign, the organisations staged a performance in which they set up a mock single -
desk office in front of the Government building, in order to illust rate how the body was
expected to function with such limited resources. The campaign was extensively covered
by the media.182
The 2018 budget was further increased to EUR 500 000, rising to EUR 1 100 000 in
2019. In 2018 and 2019 , the Advocate managed to strengthen its position, increasing
the number of staff and improving its visibility. Consequently, the number of complaints
received by the Advocate is rising every year. However, the Advocate still encounters
threats to its financial independence and the independence of its work, due to
interference by the Ministry of Finance, which a ffects the abilities of th e Advocate’s office
to perform tasks that are allocated to the Advocate by the law.183
c) Institutional architecture
In Slovenia, the Ad vocate of the Principle of Equality does not form part of a body with
multiple mandates.
It is also not part of the Office of the Huma n Rights Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s
office is a separat e independent state body with a different mand ate that relates to the
protection of human rights with regard to the public sector. The competences of the two
181 Mladina (2017), ‘Miza zagovornika načela enakosti iz pisarne prestavljena na pločnik’, 6 April 2017.
182 Advocate of the Principle of Equality, written response to questions sent by email to the author on 5 March
183 Advocate of the Principle of Equality (2020), Annual Report for 2019 (Redno letno poročilo za leto 2019),
p. ii, available at:

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