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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Expected confirmed abuse of the parliamentary procedure: the law on RTV will be adopted according to an emergency procedure, as if we were in the middle of a war!

By: J. S.

At the extraordinary session, the National Assembly decided that the government’s proposed amendment to the Law on Radiotelevision Slovenia (RTVS), with which the government wants to depoliticise RTVS, will be considered under an urgent procedure. 49 MPs voted in this way, while there were 24 against. In short, the ruling majority abused the procedure since the emergency procedure is permissible only in case of emergency.

The special session was requested by the SDS party because they did not agree with the decision of the collegium of the President of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, that the National Assembly consider the government’s amendment proposal under an urgent procedure. As Alenka Jeraj said in the presentation of the request for an extraordinary session, the government wants to replace everything from the programming and supervisory board of RTVS in one swoop. It is an abuse of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly, they believe in SDS. According to Jeraj, they are against the fact that the proposal for drastic changes is considered according to the urgent procedure.

The SDS believes that the proposal does not meet the operating criteria for consideration under an urgent procedure. The rules of procedure specify that the government can propose the adoption of a law following an urgent procedure, if the law is necessary for the interests of the security or defence of the state, to eliminate the consequences of natural disasters or to prevent difficult-to-repair consequences for the functioning of the state.

As they added, in the case of the amendment proposal, it is not about the security and defence of the country, even less about eliminating the consequences of natural disasters, and the law also has no consequences for the functioning of the state.

With the proposed amendment, the government wants to reorganise the management and control of RTVS. Instead of the existing programming and supervisory board, the proposal introduces a single board of RTVS, which would have 17 members.

The employees would choose five members from their ranks, and the remaining 12 members would be appointed based on public appeals by the Italian and Hungarian national communities, the President of the State, the Parliament, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the National Council for Culture, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, the Information Commissioner, the Council for sustainable development and environmental protection and human rights ombudsman.

The proposal, as a consultative body of the RTVS council, envisages the introduction of a financial committee, which would consist of five members, professionally qualified and with work experience in the financial field.

According to the proposal, the public institution would be led and managed by a board consisting of four members, headed by the president of the board. One board member would be a labour director. The position of director of digital content would be added to the existing positions of directors of radio and television.

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