Slovenia on track to fully digitize its public services –

Slovenia plans large-scale digitization of public services with the aim of improving the efficiency of public administration and accelerating technological development in line with the objectives of the EU digital agenda.

The package proposed this week by the Strategic Council for Digitization, a government advisory body, covers public administration, health, education and economic policy.

The solutions include an electronic building permit, an electronic identity card and the elimination of the paper version of the registration certificate. Proposals include extending telemedicine services to 5,000 high-risk elderly patients, as well as a mobile app for easy access to medical records, medical certificates and prescriptions.

New services for businesses would include online notary services and a one-stop solution for state-owned businesses. The council also suggested scrapping all administrative procedures related to remote work and startup investment incentives.

Slovenia would open a representative office in Silicon Valley and an international center for applied artificial intelligence. The country is already home to an International Center for Research on Artificial Intelligence supported by UNESCO. The formation of a special Army Reserve unit dedicated to cybersecurity has also been proposed.

Regarding education, the council has offered a digital voucher for digital skills and made IT a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools.

The government recently approved the proposed package and is now expected to start drafting legislation on it.

“These are 40 solutions for Slovenia’s fourth decade, which will undoubtedly be a digital decade,” said council leader Mark Boris Andrijanič.

It remains to be seen, however, how many proposals will actually see the light of day. Although Slovenia’s e-government ambitions got off to a good start in the early 2000s, it has lagged behind digital leaders such as Estonia in recent years.

As a commentator in the business daily Finance put it, many ideas make sense and some don’t, while “most will probably never be put into practice”.

As part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Slovenia plans to invest more than €500 million in improving digital services, mainly in the public sector.

(Sebastijan R. Macek | STA)