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ACQUISITION OF STATUS OF A SOCIETY ACTING IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

under the Environmental Protection Act (ZVO) or the Nature Conservation Act (ZON)

A society (non-governmental organisation) applying for the status of a society acting in the public interest must decide if it wants to acquire the status under the Nature Conservation Act (Uradni list RS [Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia] No. 96/2004 – official consolidated text ZON-UPB-2 and 8/10-SZKZ-B, hereinafter referred to as ZON), or the Environmental Protection Act (Uradni list RS, No. 39/06 – official consolidated text 49/06-ZMetD, 66/06 – Constitutional Court Decision, 33/07-ZPNačrt, 57/08-ZFO-1A, 70/08 and 108/09, hereinafter referred to as ZVO), since the General Administrative Procedure Act (Uradni list RS, No. 24/2006 – official consolidated text, 105/06-ZUS-1, 126/07, 65/08, 47/09, Constitutional Court Decision: U-I-54/06-32 and 8/10) distinguishes between two independent and separate administrative procedures.

 

 

Status acquisition under the Environmental Protection Act (ZVO):


If an organisation wishes to acquire the status of a society acting in the public interest in the area of the environment under the ZVO, it must submit the documentation listed below, on the basis of which the scoring procedure, described in greater detail hereinafter, will be carried out. Under the provision of Article 153 of the ZVO, the status of a non-governmental organisation shall be granted, by way of a decision, to a person submitting the application for the acquisition of the status under the ZVO if the person concerned fulfils the prescribed conditions. The application must contain:

  • an instrument of incorporation of the person who submitted an application for acquisition of the status (copy of the instrument of incorporation); 
  • evidence of registration or entry in the court register (copy);
  • a report on the work undertaken during the past three years; 
  • a programme of work for the current year;
  • a decision of the competent authority for the person lodging an application for the acquisition of the status that the person wishes to acquire the status of a non-governmental organisation (copy of the decision); and
  • other evidence regarding compliance with the conditions referred to in Article 152 of the ZVO, taking into consideration the Rules on detailed requirements and measures for the acquisition of the status of a non-governmental organisation acting in the public interest in the area of the environmental protection (Uradni list RS, No. 112/06, hereinafter referred to as Rules). 

It is important to note that evidence that compliance with the conditions have been met needs to be attached as each document of evidence is scored according to the Rules, which stipulate that, for the acquisition of the status, at least seven points must be collected with regard to Articles 4, 6 and 9 of the Rules with at least four of these points for activities referred to in Article 6 of the Rules.

  

 
Status acquisition under the Nature Conservation Act (ZON):

 
Under the ZON, an organisation wishing to require the status of a society acting in the public interest in the field of nature conservation must comply with the conditions referred to in point 5 of the second paragraph of Article 137 of the ZON, meaning that the society must prove that, through its activities, it contributes significantly to nature conservation by actively participating in nature conservation, by promoting nature conservation or by disseminating specialist knowledge in nature conservation through education. The following may be considered as evidence:

  • copies of invitations to different workshops;
  • copies of education courses completed;
  • copies of articles published in publications; and
  • promotional material in the form of leaflets, compact discs, publications, etc. 
     

A society applying for this status must also comply with the conditions laid down in the Societies Act (Uradni list RS, No. 61/06 and 58/09, hereinafter referred to as: ZDru-1).The conditions for granting this status are stipulated in the second paragraph of Article 30 of the ZDru-1 as follows:

  • the founders and members of a society must not be public law entities (declaration or other evidence);
  • the activity in which the society is engaged must be in the public interest and defined in its constituting instrument (copy of the constituting instrument);
  • the society must be registered and be operational at least two years prior to submitting an application for status acquisition (copy of evidence of the start of the society’s operation);
  • over the past two years, the society has had to use its funds mainly for the undertaking of this activity and for performing programmes, projects and other activities on a regular basis, all aimed at implementing the purpose and objectives in the public interest (copy of evidence);
  • the society must have a future action programme drawn up (attached programme); and
  • the society must prove the major achievements of its work with concrete material evidence.