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Slovenia Business Week no. 16/2005: CCIS Management Proposes Reforms, Mandatory Membership to be Preserved

The management of the Chamber of Commerce (CCIS) has proposed a set of reforms that would, according to its president Jozko Cuk, bring changes to the activities, structure and financing of the chamber

The management of the Chamber of Commerce (CCIS) has proposed a set of reforms that would, according to its president Jozko Cuk, bring changes to the activities, structure and financing of the chamber. The proposals envision that mandatory membership of the chamber be preserved.

Cuk announced on Tuesday, 12 April that one of the key reforms dealt with the payment of fees. The proposed system would see all members of the CCIS - no matter how small - pay membership fees.

The fees would be made up of a fixed and variable part, with the former depending on the size, while the latter would be based on the success of a company.

According to him, the system would see the biggest members pay less than now, while smaller companies, especially those with 6 to 60 employees, would have to pick up more of the burden. The maximum fee would be set at SIT 2m (EUR 8,340).

As a result, the reform also stipulated better representation of small and mid-sized companies through a new election system.

In line with the proposals, voting of representatives in the chamber would be held in groups made up of companies of similar sizes, with each company having one vote.

Debating the proposed reforms, members of the CCIS administrative board backed the proposal to preserve mandatory membership of the chamber.

According to Cuk, mandatory membership is a way to ensure that fees remain at their lowest and that the chamber can operate as efficiently as possible.

However, some members of the board said the chamber should also make plans in case it is forced to make membership voluntary.

Moreover, members of the CCIS administrative board also tasked the management to draft a plan of operations by June's session of the board.

The administrative board also backed a plan to establish a special task force that would analyse the situation at the chamber and present its opinion on the future mission of the chamber.

The task force is to be made up of officials from the CCIS, the Association of Employers, the Chamber of Trade and the Association of Employers in the Trade Sector.

Plans for better representation of small and mid-sized companies were backed by the head of the Association of Slovenian Entrepreneurs Marta Turk. She said small companies were not opposed to paying a membership fee if they got something in return.

Meanwhile, the chairman of retailer Mercator Zoran Jankovic said the CCIS should not place too much of a burden on small companies, as this would likely provoke more criticism from such companies.

Milos Kovacic, the former chairman of drug maker Krka, said the chamber should do more to assist Slovenian companies on foreign markets, especially given the lack of help offered to companies by Slovenian diplomatic missions.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA