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On Monday, March 7, 2016 from 4pm to 7pm at Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, Svetilnik proudly kicked off the 9th Free Market Road Show®, in cooperation with Visio Institute, Austrian Economics Center and over 90 leading think tanks and universities, as well as international partners. The 2016 Free Market Road Show® brought together interested parties from across Europe and the world to discuss the kind of Europe its citizens want to develop.


On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Svetilnik hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘The Current State of Democracy in Slovenia’, the discussants being Milan Brglez, PhD the President of the National Assembly, and Matej Tonin, MA, an opposition member of parliament.

Brglez is a member of the SMC (The Modern Centre Party), which received 34.6% of the vote in the 2014 parliamentary election and won a plurality of 36 seats in the National Assembly; Tonin is the Chairman of the NSi (New Slovenia—Christian Democrats) Parliamentary Group. A special guest was Felicita Medved, the president of the European Liberal Forum (ELF).

Alen Alexander Klarić, the president of Svetilnik, welcomed participants, introduced the speakers, and moderated the discussion. 


The 8th annual Liberty Seminars were held September 23-28, 2015 at Hotel Jezero, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia, located in the breathtaking scenery of the Julian Alps. The seminars brought together a widely diverse group of attendees and lecturers from all over the world, seeking an opportunity to DISCUSS, PRESENT & DEBATE current economic and political topics, human rights, and legal systems through a comparative lens. This year’s participants and speakers came from Nepal, Bulgaria, Germany, India, Switzerland, USA, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Pakistan, and Slovenia. 

TV Slovenija 1, February 11, 2016

DEBATA o neenakosti (in Slovene)

Planet TV, January 21, 2016


In one month, 11.700+ individuals signed the petition ZA privatizacijo, ZA depolitizacijo gospodarstva!. The signatories were presented to the President of the National Assembly of Slovenia, Dr. Milan Brglez, on February 16, 2015


ARTICLE: Static Concept of State and the Migration Crisis The migration crisis is being tackled from many different perspectives and analyzed in accordance with a multitude of indicators. Some tend to look at numbers, counting refugees, asylum seekers, and economic migrants, and by doing so, try to judge the justification for migrating. Some deem it more important to stress institutional rules and compliance with international law to conclude how the migrants should be treated. Then there are the EU laws and the will of member states to react according to their supposed capacities. <Read more>

BOOK: Review No.03 We present to you the 3rd issue of Review devoted to the shadow economy in CEE.

Since Daniel Defoe and his 1726 book The Political History of the Devil, we have been made to believe that there are two things in our world that we may easily deem certain: death and taxes. Nevertheless, humanity always has its way of adjusting the status quo to its own will, and thus, although the existence of taxes seems indispensable to the functioning of modern states, resourceful individuals get by by correcting the great tax expectations themselves. And so they move into the shadows.

ARTICLE: The Logic Behind the Coexistence of Welfare State and Free Market: The Scandinavian Dream

There is a tendency in the time that we live in, especially in academia, to go with the middle way. It is often said that since we are unsure of which extreme solution is better, it is the middle road we should take. Such suggestions are usually accompanied by a certain laziness of the mind, and quite quickly we slide into the gray area of decision-making, benefiting no one but the decision-maker and relieving them of the burden of a tougher and more meaningful decision. All things in moderation and moderation in all things is the saying that applies here and for which I believe it should rather be shaped by the words of the famous cook Julia Child, who, as the wife of an ambassador, also spent some time in Sweden, claiming all things should be in moderation, even moderation itself. <Read more>

ARTICLE: Report: Liberty Seminars Slovenia 2015 

The 8th annual Liberty Seminars Slovenia were held between September 2328, 2015, at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia, and brought together a widely diverse group of attendees and lecturers from all over the world, seeking an opportunity to discuss, present, and debate current economic and political topics, human rights, and legal systems through a comparative lens. <Read more>

ARTICLE: Svetilnik Held Friedman Day 2015

On August 31, 2015, Svetilnik in cooperation with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, held in Celje a tennis tournament followed by an evening of discussions on the Nobel laureate’s life’s work and barbecue. An exclusive event was held in honor of the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Friedman, one of the most influential proponents of liberty in the world. This annual, international event provided fans of Milton Friedman and lovers of liberty with the opportunity to learn more about the late Nobel laureate, to share his ideas, and to celebrate the impact they had on the worldwide movement for freedom.

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BOOK: Review No.02

We have the pleasure to present you the second print issue of Review, a collection of articles written by experts and human rights activists from member states of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership. We believe that such an overview is the best possible way to understand how the past, present, and future of those two projects were, are, and will be shaping up.

OPEN LETTER: A Joint Open Letter on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The European Union and the United States of America are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty commonly known as TTIP. The main focus of negotiation has been cutting tariffs and reducing regulatory barriers to trade. Other areas include investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and achieving greater participation by small businesses in EU-US trade. In the EU, the treaty will have to be presented to the European Council and the European Parliament, both of which must agree on the outcome. It will then have to be ratified by the national parliaments of all 28 EU member states....

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ARTICLE: 2015 Free Market Road Show in Ljubljana

On Monday, April 13, 2015, at the Best Western Premier Hotel Slon in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Visio Institute in association with international partners such as the Austrian Economics Center, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Liberty Fund and European Students for Liberty proudly kicked off the 8th Free Market Road Show®, which is organized by over 90 leading think tanks and universities. The 2015 Free Market Road Show® in Lubljana brought together leading businessmen, scholars, opinion makers, public policy experts, elected officials, diplomats, students, and other interested parties from across Europe and the world to discuss the kind of Europe its citizens want to develop.

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ARTICLE: Sanctions: Misguided Foreign Policy Tool by Tanja Porčnik

It all began with the Russian unilateral annexation of Crimea in March 2014, after which the European Union (EU) and the United States introduced a set of political and economic sanctions against Russia. While Russian violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine only escalated, these sanctions grew in scope throughout the year. By applying additional economic and diplomatic pressure the EU and US expressed disapproval of the Russian violation of fundamental international norms and, at the same time, aimed for Russia to reconsider its involvement in Ukraine. Instead of taking a step back, on August 6, 2014 Russia imposed counter-sanctions against the EU, as well Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States. <Read more>

ANALYSIS: EU-Russia Sanctions

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the European Union (EU) introduced a set of political and economic sanctions against Russia, which have grown in scope throughout the year and increased even more with the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. The EU sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine have imposed a long-term cost on Russia for violating key international norms, such as territorial integrity and the sovereignty of states, which Russia is gravely violating. Applying economic pressurein addition to a diplomatic oneon Russia to reconsider its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, the sanctions do not only impose economic costs on the EU itselfwith EU member states hit in different ways and magnitudes - but also entail global ramifications. Further, imposing sanctions against Russia contributed to the economic costs caused by Russian counter-measures. After all, economic sanctions often inflict greater costs on the country imposing them than on the country at which they are aimed. <Read more>

ANALYSIS: Regulating Multilateral Interchange Fees by Anže Burger and Tanja Porčnik

The analysis evaluates how the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on Multilateral Interchange Fees (MIFs) would impact the Slovenian card payment market. A review of empirical studies on the effects of MIFs capping in the US, Spain, and Australia reveals that such an administrative ceiling on fees generates a transfer of costs from merchants to cardholders. Namely, merchants do not pass on enough of their cost savings from lower merchant fees by way of lower consumer prices, whereas cardholders experienced a sharp increase in card costs, a rise in interest rates for credit transactions, and a decrease in cardholder benefits. These changes on the consumer side were implemented by card-issuing entities in order to neutralize their loss of MIF revenues. The authors estimate that the proposed capping of MIFs to 0,2% on debit cards and 0,3% on credit card transactions would bring the following changes to Slovenia:

ANALYSIS: Inside Post-Socialist Courts: The Determinants of Adjudicatory Outcomes in Slovenian Commercial Disputes by Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, Peter Grajzl and Katarina Zajc

Despite the judiciary's central role in the capitalist market system, micro-level empirical analyses of courts in post-socialist countries are remarkably rare. This paper draws on a unique hand-collected dataset of commercial claims filed at Slovenian courts to examine the determinants of two salient adjudicatory outcomes: whether a case was resolved via trial or settlement, and if the case was tried, whether the plaintiff was awarded the initial claim. Consistent with the divergent expectations theory of litigation, we find that trial-based resolution is more likely when the case is complex and less likely when parties use mediation. Addressing sample selection and endogeneity concerns, we show that defendant's legal representation, plaintiff's profitability, and, importantly, court identity are robust predictors of plaintiff victory at trial. Thus, more than two decades after the start of the transition in Slovenia, the judicial system is still a source of legal inconsistency and uncertainty. <Read more>

BOOK: Review No.01

We have the pleasure to present you the first print issue of Review, a collection of articles written by experts and human rights activists from member states of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership. We believe that such an overview is the best possible way to understand how the past, present, and future of those two projects were, are, and will be shaping up.

ANALYSIS: Privatisation Failure and Failure to Privatise: The Slovene Example by Jure Stojan

This paper discusses the Slovene experience of privatisation, which is marked by two defects: privatisation failure and failure to privatise. Definitions of privatisation failure fall into four main categories: failure in outcomes, failure in method, failure in regulation, and failure in process. The paper suggests that privatisation failure and failure to privatise are interrelated and proposes a new metric for both. <Read more>

ARTICLE: The (Neo)Liberalism Hunt by Tanja Štumberger Porčnik

Witch-hunting was born at the end of the Middle Ages. People accused of witchcraftconjuring evil spirits and the devil or even being blamed for poor harvests and bad weatherhad ecclesiastical penances imposed upon them. Today, we no longer believe in witches, but we are witnessing another hunt: the (neo)liberalism hunt. <Read more>

ARTICLE: Liberty Seminars Slovenia 2014

The Liberty Seminars are a life-time opportunity to DISCUSS, PRESENT & DEBATE human rights, markets, public policies, and law in the breathtaking scenery of the Julian Alps. Two week-long seminars—Liberty Camp and Liberty Academy—provide the attendees with an opportunity to discuss current economic and political topics through the lens of classical liberal ideas. The participants are challenged at every step of the program, as small group discussions, presentations, and group debates provide an excellent platform for sharpening the mind and skills. This is a one-of-a kind project bringing together a widely diverse group of attendees and lecturers. <Read more>

ARTICLE: For Successful Privatisation, Learn from Privatisation Failure by Jure Stojan

Privatisation is a popular treatment for a range of economic diseases, – inefficiencies, market distortions, graft, and corruption. To use a different metaphor, privatisation exorcises the spectre of political meddling in the economy. It also has the added benefit of filling up empty state coffers, which has contributed to its recent popularity in the EU. The transition from planning to implementation, however, has been slow and fraught with problems. <Read more>

ARTICLE: WAITING FOR GODOT by Primož Kocuvan and Tanja Štumberger Porčnik

An extra-terrestrial observer would have noticed a global financial and economic crisis on planet Earth. Many earthlings would say this is a mess we humans have put ourselves into. And, although there are wide differences regarding how the situation has affected the countries, the crisis seems deeply rooted and not a short-term phenomenon at all. Yet, even with the duration unknown or hard to predict, the situation is unsustainable. If not tackling the problem with structural reform and other necessary measures, in what way may a government react to the crisis? <Read more>


Free trade is an important component of economic freedom. As such, trade liberalization does not only enrich choices in our supermarkets and lower prices of the products we find there, but also leads to more jobs, higher living standards, economic prosperity, development, and wellbeing. In December 2013, 159 member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which represent 97 percent of world trade, reached a historic agreement that will allow easier and faster global movement of goods. The agreement will bear fruit for all signatories, no matter if they are poor or rich countries. <Read more>


The right to private property is a prerequisite for independence, self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and, rather coincidentally, good citizenship. Free markets and a political system based on classical liberal ideas are essential frameworks to encourage these qualities in individuals. If man is left to create what he can and is allowed to keep the product of his efforts, he will be inclined to make greater use of his knowledge. The market will accept or reject his product according to the needs and desires of other people. The forces that guide the market are simply mappings of the desires, needs, and abilities of all men and women, and these forces establish the space within the economy in which the manufacturer can act. <Read more>


The last week of August was a good week for liberty in Slovenia. Out of more than 400 applicants, 28 participants from 17 different countries were selected and gathered at one of the prettier places in our country, Bled, for the sixth edition of the Liberty Seminars. Tanja Štumberger Porčnik, the president of the Slovenian think tank Svetilnik, which organizes this event, likes to say that Liberty Seminars are something special, something different. And they are. The seminars provide a varied mix of topics and formats of learning. History, policy, economic theory, political science, and philosophysomething for everyone. <Read more>