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FOCUS - Numero speciale 26/2016

 Constitutional transformations at the edge of a bail-out: the impact of the economic crisis on the legal and institutional structures in Slovenia

Recently, I listened to a debate between lawyers on the topic of conditionality and constitutional transformation in the European Union. One of the participants drew attention to the instruments of conditionality woven into the European semester and posited that they have led to institutional change on the European level. The second participant warned against attaching excessive importance to recommendations issued in the European Semester. This opinion was supported with an observation that a closer look into such recommendations, issued to one particular Member State – one of the richest Member States that weathered the European financial crisis without the need for financial support – were broad and general. Perceiving them as the force behind the constitutional transformation in Europe was exaggerated. The third participant disagreed based on the experience with recommendations in another Member State – a recipient of financial support from the European South. The debate was a reminder of the futility of studying the constitutional transformation in Europe brought about by the crisis and the responses to the crisis without taking into account the different levels and spheres in which constitutional transformation has taken place. This paper aims to make a contribution to the study of constitutional transformation in the legal and the constitutional system of a Member State. In that sense, the text has a strong descriptive character. It presents, on the one hand, the wider background of the crisis and some of the characteristics of the Slovenian constitutional system (Section 1), and on the other hand, some of the developments that transformed Slovenian constitutional law (Section 2). The ambition of the paper is to show that the phenomenon of constitutional transformation in the crisis can be tangibly present within a national system; and that the end result of the processes of transformation depends largely on the country specific background against which they take place. It should be noted that the text below is part of a broader collaborative effort, where the convenors of the conference on Istituzioni democratiche, crisi economica e decisioni di bilancio have invited authors to present selected country case studies. By way of comparison of the case studies, drawing further conclusions on the constitutional transformation in the Member States’ legal systems will be made possible... (segue) 


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