STA, 1 February 2018 - A legislative motion that is seen as paving the way for the arrival of US ride-hailing giant Uber to Slovenia has been unveiled by the Ministry of Infrastructure in the form of amendments to the road transport act which come after more than a year of internal debates.
To welcome providers such as Uber which use online platforms to connect drivers with potential passengers, a new category of passenger transport would be introduced, rental of vehicle with driver.
The category would fall between the existing taxi services and rental services for larger groups of passengers.
The ministry acknowledges the new services would be a competition to existing taxi services, which is why the taxi segment would be deregulated at the same time.
National taxi licences would no longer be required and regulation would be completely transferred to local communities: national law would define only basic rules.
To ease the transition, a transitional period is proposed allowing taxi drivers to use existing rules for another five years.
Slovenia is one of the few blank spots on Uber's global map, the company having decided to wait for friendly regulation instead of trying to push the envelope on existing rules.
Government officials even visited Uber's headquarters in September 2016 to sign a letter of intent with the company.
In general, the government has been trying to accommodate the "collaborative economy", Uber for a long time seen as the poster child of this segment of business.
Accordingly, it sought to put in place a legislative framework governing such collaborative ventures, in which people share their time or assets with others for a fee.
However, Uber is no longer seen as such a company, which the government acknowledges in saying that EU law has defined such services as a form of transportation that should be regulated as such.