By: Sara Rančigaj / Nova24tv
Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković recently attacked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anže Logar, as the latter did not extend the validity of Janković’s diplomatic passport, even though mayors are not automatically entitled to one by law. This was a privilege that Janković acquired during the rule of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia party. Meanwhile, Janković persistently keeps on rejecting all calls for the return of the Russian Federation’s decorations.
The queen of the new face of the left, Robert Golob – that is, the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković complained at a press conference that the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Anže Logar, has been ignoring his application for a diplomatic passport for months now. Janković is the only Slovenian mayor with such a passport, and it was given to him two decades ago by Dimitrij Rupel, reports the Dnevnik newspaper.
“I have had a diplomatic passport for 22 years now; it was given to me by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitrij Rupel, while I was still the Chairman of the Board at Mercator. All of the other foreign ministers extended it for me, and this one will expire on the 24th of March, and we had already submitted the application for a renewal on the 22nd of December of last year. Mr Logar is not answering my calls, and he also did not respond to the two letters I have sent him. This is the Minister from the Slovenian Democratic Party quota, who talks about integration; however, when something needs to be done and shown in practice, he simply stays quiet,” Janković said at the beginning of March.
Article 9 of the Passport Act does not state that mayors are entitled to a diplomatic passport. Namely, diplomatic passports are issued to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, members of the European Parliament, the President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, the Prime Minister and members of the Government, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman of Slovenia, President of the court of audit, and the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia.
Mayors themselves are not entitled to a diplomatic passport
The other people who are also entitled to a diplomatic passport are: employees of the Republic of Slovenia in diplomatic missions and consulates and employees of special missions abroad who hold diplomatic or consular titles, as well as employees of the ministry responsible for foreign affairs who perform diplomatic and consular tasks and hold diplomatic titles, including those who, in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, perform tasks in the European External Action Service, as well as the heads of state delegations of the Republic of Slovenia, persons who, by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, go to work in international organisations as officials with diplomatic status in the said organisations, diplomatic couriers, and certain other persons, if this is in the interest of the Republic of Slovenia.
Diplomatic passports may also be issued to close family members of employees of the Republic of Slovenia in diplomatic missions and consulates, as well as employees of special missions abroad, employees who, on the basis of an agreement with the ministry responsible for foreign affairs, perform tasks in the European External Action Service, and also to family members who, according to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, go to work in international organisations as officials with diplomatic status in the mentioned organisations, if these family members live with the person who has already been issued a diplomatic passport in a joint household abroad, as well as to close family members of other persons from the previous paragraph, if they accompany their family members on business trips.
Minister of Foreign Affairs needs to assess whether Janković is entitled to a diplomatic passport
According to the law, Janković does not seem to be entitled to a diplomatic travel document simply because he is a mayor, unless the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assesses that this is in the interest of the Republic of Slovenia. The relevant decree states that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for determining whether that is in the interest of the state or not. In assessing whether and to what extent the issuance of a diplomatic or service passport contributes to the representation of the Republic of Slovenia abroad, the Minister also takes into account whether this passport is important for Slovenia’s international recognition and whether it will enable the holder the possibility of travelling or staying abroad, which would otherwise bedifficult or connected with lots of troubles with a regular passport, as well as whether it is needed from the point of view of national security.
Let us remind you that after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Logar called on all recipients of decorations for honorary consuls of the Russian Federation in Slovenia to return their consular titles. According to publicly available information, the decoration was only returned by former Minister of Labour, Anja Kopač Mrak, while Janković did not return the decoration, as he wants to remain on good terms with Moscow.