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

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Sabina Kajn? Marjan Svetli?i?

Abstract

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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Author Biographies

Sabina Kajn?, University of Ljubljana

SABINA KAJN? is lecturer at European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht and associated research fellow at the Centre of International Relations of the University of Ljubljana.

Marjan Svetli?i?, University of Ljubljana

MARJAN SVETLI?I? is a Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Head of the Centre of International Relations, ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia and Fellow of the European Academy of International Business (EIBA). He was President of the EIBA and a member of the Steering Committee of the Standing Group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) as well as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.