What it Takes to Run an EU Presidency: Study of Competences in Slovenia’s Public Administration

Sabina Kajn?, Marjan Svetli?i?


The objective of this article is to find out whether Slovenia as a presiding EU state in the first half of 2008 and her diplomatic elite and experts were "equipped" with adequate competences for the materialization of its soft sources of influence, which small countries possess according to previous small-state research. The analysis is based on the survey conducted among over 600 civil servants involved in Slovenia's EU Council Presidency. The survey demonstrated that respondents did not regard "hard" knowledge as a limiting factor but attributed greater importance to "soft" knowledge. Slovenia's public administration does not profit from its smallness, which should enable greater efficiency. On the contrary, it is piled with problems on intra- and inter-ministerial co-ordination, hierarchic culture, poor flow of information and a low level of informal contacts among civil servants.

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