UPDATE: Dec 13, 2021
30 Years of Declaration of Independence
: Focusing on Building Multilateralism
- Slovenia is a small country with a population of about 2 million. Please tell us about the charm of the country.
Some are shy to say that Slovenia is a small country, believing this would determine its political or economic value and power. On the contrary, Slovenia’s size is its biggest asset, as one can find on this small piece of World’s land such diversity and beauties. On the same day, for example one can climb a high mountain peak in the Alps in the north of the country in the morning and have a cooling swim in the Slovene Adriatic coast in the afternoon.
The experience in Slovenia offers trying excellent cuisine and wine, visiting the thermal water spas (onsen) and Karst underground caves, as well learning the stories of old charming cities and cultural heritage. Slovenia is well known for its beautiful nature, as more than 60% of the country is covered with forest. Sustainability is the way to go. Living and working with nature has been a hallmark of Slovenian culture for generations and we strive to keep it that way. Every visitor is impressed by safety, as well as the variety of outdoor activities. And all of this, makes Slovenia, although small in size, such a great nation!
Slovenia has a strong export driven economy, which is based on highly skilled workforce and R&D capabilities and high level of stability. In the heart of Europe, location of Slovenia is strategically ideal entry point for foreign investors to an instant access to the EU markets, Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans.
- June 25th marks the 30th anniversary of your declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia. What are your thoughts on the future development of Slovenia?
The events which enfolded in Slovenia 30 years ago made an enormous impact on the lives of our citizens. We have, for the first time in our history, decided to form our own State and thus a thousand year old dream of Slovenians to live in an independent state finally came true. With the independence from Yugoslavia, Slovenia also joined the democratic world, with free elections and the adoption of a new Constitution devoted to the respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Today, Slovenia is an active member of the European Union and NATO, devoted to nourishing and strengthening cooperation with friendly nations and building effective multilateralism. The future well-being of Slovenia is thus very much dependent on the prosperity of European Union and its economy, as well as security arrangements in the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Historically, Slovenians do not have nice memories on the rulers from the “outside”, therefore we believe in Europe of equal and independent States, but with a clear same objective – democratic, peaceful and prosperous Europe.
- Slovenia became the presidency of the council of the European Union from July, how do you expect to chair the union?
For the second times since its membership in the EU, Slovenia has in 2021 assumed the Presidency of the EU Council, this time in quite unpredictable and difficult circumstances. Thus, the main objectives of our Presidency will be to address the impacts of the pandemic, restore the normal functioning of European societies and the recovery of economy, which the Members of the EU believe should be green, renewable and sustainable. We strive to boost resilience and strategic autonomy of the EU, so that we are better prepared and ready to meet the challenges in the future. Slovenia will also engage in the debate in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe and in promotion of the European way of life, rule of law, and equal criteria for all.
Among the foreign policy priorities, it is our aim to reaffirm the EU-perspective of the Western Balkans. This region is at our doorstep and due to this geographic proximity, common history and economic ties, the peace, stability and development of this part of Europe is in Slovenia’s vital interest. We will also encourage the EU debate on the importance of the Indo-pacific Region for global stability, peace and prosperity.
- Would you tell us about your activities and your aspirations as the Ambassador to Japan since you were appointed about two years ago?
This my first mandate as an Ambassador in a foreign country and I am truly honored it can be in Japan. The relations between our two countries are excellent in all aspects- political ties and strong, collaboration is growing in the economic, scientific and educational field, cultural exchange is lively and productive. I believe that all of this is possible only through friendly and honest person-to-person contacts. This iEEns why the priority of my work is to engage in personal contacts on both sides, in building trust and partnerships and in transparent collaboration.