The Euro-Atlantic Council of Slovenia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia and the Department of Defense Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana, prepared a round table on the topic “Retention of personnel in the Slovenian Army: challenges and solutions”, which took place on February 20, 2023 at the Ministry of Defense.

The purpose of the round table was to define challenges in the field of personnel retention in the Slovenian Army, to evaluate past trends and to identify proposals and recommendations for solving the problem in the future. The personnel aspect of management is crucial to ensuring a complete, motivated, and ready armed forces in the modern security environment. The Slovenian army and all other armed forces are faced with the challenge of attracting new personnel, while also maintaining the already employed personnel at all levels.

At the round table, the interlocutors pointed out that staff retention is not only a challenge in Slovenia, but is also faced elsewhere in our neighbourhood. As was heard at the round table, the interlocutors in Slovenia are aware of this challenge and agree that in order to retain staff, coordination and cooperation between all responsible stakeholders is essential. At the event, many aspects of the reasons for the negative personnel trends that the Slovenian Army has been facing for many years were highlighted. The discussants agreed that these trends must also be responded to by improving practices within the system and upgrading the existing normative framework, and highlighted the attraction of young people to the Slovenian Army as a key challenge.

At the round table, they also emphasized that the time for changes is favorable. More funds will be allocated for modern equipment and modernization of the Slovenian Army this year as well as in the coming years. This is also addressed in the Resolution on the long-term program for the development and equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces until 2040, which creates the conditions for more investments in defense in the face of changed security conditions. Thus, on the threshold of digitization, the Slovenian army offers various opportunities for employment and career development – from jobs in the field of basic military activity to jobs in the field of high-tech systems – and at the same time enables young people to get training and career advancement within the system. This, in combination with the political climate favorable to the Slovenian army, represents an opportunity for positive changes.

The speakers at the round table were dr. Damir Črnčec, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia, Assoc. dr. Jelena Juvan, Chair of Defense Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, dr. Martin Premk, Chairman of the Defense Committee, National Assembly, Boštjan Pavlin, M.Sc., General Director, Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia’s Directorate for Defense Affairs and Brigadier Franc Koračin, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Army, and the discussion was moderated by Prof. dr. Iztok Prezelj, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, President of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Slovenia.

Photo: Monika Sušanj, Ministrstvo za obrambo RS (