Slovenia: Social Pacts and Political Exchange
This chapter on Slovenia analyses a country where social pacting was the only mode of coordination able to ensure a relatively efficient regulation and resolution of the key economic, social, and political problems of the early post-communist transition years, when high inflation, moderately strong unions, and unstable centre-left coalition governments combined with the weakening legacy of national integration to create a particular configuration of problem load, actors, and institutions. Although these circumstances prevailed during the period of stabilization and accommodation to the EU and EMU, after 2004, when Slovenia became a full EU member state, not only did the problem load change but so also did the main drivers of pacting, leading to a process of social pact deinstitutionalization. Rather than inflation—the main driver of former pacts—growing unemployment and rising debt levels have become the most important challenges, while unions have significantly weakened.
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