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Nothing is impossible


In Slovenia, certain projects can be difficult to bring off, but they are not impossible, said Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec at the opening ceremony for the largest new greenfield investment in the country’s history. The opening of a paint shop of the Canadian-Austrian multinational Magna is just the beginning of a successful story. First of all it means the creation of new jobs in a production facility with high added value, which represents not just hope for the economic recovery of the Drava region, but an economic boost for the entire country.

New impetus


The Slovenian car manufacturer Revoz is considered one of the best and most successful factories of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, in particular with regard to the quality of its products. That is also true for the Clio, one of the mainstays of Renault’s production, and the good news for Revoz is that they will be producing even more Clios in the future.

The right path


It is now 28 years since Slovenia declared its independence. On 25 June 1991 the Slovenian parliament of that time adopted the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia. At the same time it adopted the Constitutional Act Implementing the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Independence and Sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia, and also the Declaration of Independence.

Fight for Green


One hundred and twenty-nine riders left Ljubljana’s Congress Square on Wednesday on the first of five stages of this year’s Tour of Slovenia, hoping to claim the green jersey on Sunday. They include cycling stars such as locals Tadej Pogačar and Jan Polanec, and foreign athletes Mark Cavendish, Pascal Ackermann and Esteban Chaves. The 26th Tour of Slovenia will be broadcast live on TV Eurosport 1, which ranks at the very top of global sports media in terms of viewership.

Super new challenges


A decision was made this week in Brussels that the EuroHPC supercomputer infrastructure will include a supercomputer centre in Maribor. This brings Slovenia numerous opportunities. Slovenia’s participation in the pan-European supercomputer infrastructure is a great achievement for our country. It is a significant contribution to our country’s possibilities for development, and these projects are also an excellent way to show the rest of the world how advanced Europe is and what kind of development potential it has.



Slovenia hosted the fourth Three Seas Initiative Summit this week, one of the biggest business and political meetings in Slovenia to date. The initiative pursues the goals of economic development of the region, its integration in the wider European region, and consequently greater cohesion of the EU, and the strengthening of transatlantic ties.

Cooperation and progress


For almost 50 years, the last week in May has been devoted to Slovenian forests. The chief characteristic of forestry in Slovenia is cooperation – between forest-owners, the public forestry service and forest visitors, and between organisations and stakeholders who work in forest areas, and others. Around 15,000 Slovenian children have taken part in forest education activities in recent years.

It’s a bee thing


The existence of a celebration of the importance of bees has its roots right here in Slovenia. A week ago we celebrated the second annual World Bee Day, which was proposed by Slovenia. The proclamation is one of Slovenia’s greatest diplomatic successes. The main purpose of World Bee Day is to raise awareness around the world about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind, particularly with respect to the fight to end world hunger.

Path to a goal


The European Investment Bank has given the green light to a loan for the Divača–Koper second track project, in this way enabling Slovenia to complete the financial package for this project. As the Minister of Infrastructure explained, approval of the loan is proof that both the EIB and other EU member states have recognised the importance of the project, both for Slovenia and for Europe as a whole.

A solid cornerstone in the European mosaic


“Slovenia remains a solid and determined cornerstone in the European mosaic. You can continue to count on us in the future,” proclaimed Prime Minister Marjan Šarec at the celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of Slovenia joining the EU.

1 May


May Day (1 May) or Labour Day is a very popular holiday in Slovenia. We actually celebrate it over two days and for most of us it represents the symbolic start of the nicer (i.e. warmer) part of the year, the first swim in the sea, the first picnics, mass hikes and May Day meetings and – on the evening before the holiday – celebrations around the bonfire. It seems that on this particular day our thoughts are not so much on labour as on – holidays.

The rainbow of foreign relations


Modern international relations are characterised by a fast rate of change. One of the findings from this year’s Slovenian Diplomatic Conference is that security remains one of the main challenges. Some of the events around the world and in our immediate neighbourhood, which are creating doubts about international law and European values, can be countered above all through proactive European and foreign policy and proactive diplomacy.

Traditional, but still modern


One of the main activities in many Slovenian homes this weekend will be the baking of potica cakes. Potica is Slovenia’s number one culinary speciality. Last year, Slovenia protected potica with the “traditional specialty guaranteed” label. This label means protection of the recipe, the production method or the traditional ingredients, but does not impose geographical restrictions on the production of products with that label.

Integration and proactiveness


This week the Japanese corporation Yaskawa, the biggest manufacturer of industrial robots in the world, opened a new industrial robot production facility and a European centre for the development of robotics in Kočevje. For the local community this may signify a new beginning and new challenges. An entirely new field of artificial intelligence is being developed, and in this field many Slovenians can find a lot of jobs with high added value. All this will leave long-term positive consequences both in Kočevje and throughout Slovenia.

Responsibility for forests


The national volunteer reforestation campaign, in which volunteers will plant a total of more than 10,000 forest tree seedlings in around five hectares of forests this weekend, demonstrates that Slovenes are committed to preserving their greatest natural asset, the forests. More than 58% of Slovenia’s territory is covered in forest. This makes Slovenia Europe’s third-most forested country. Slovenia has twice as much forest per inhabitant than France, and three times more than Switzerland. In terms of hectares of wood stock it ranks fifth in the world and second in Europe.

The brain of the Slovenian nation


Slovenia’s most eminent research institute celebrates its 70th anniversary. Through innovation and advanced technologies, the Jožef Stefan Institute seeds the Slovenian economy and enriches the national character. Over the past seven decades, the Jožef Stefan Institute has become one of Slovenia’s strongest brands. Today it is not just a national but an international institution, and one of the most sought-after partners for Europe-level projects.

Handling forests with care, using water sparingly


International days such as this year’s International Day of Forests are intended to raise the public’s awareness about the significance and understanding of forests for all generations, while the purpose of World Water Day is to focus on the importance of water and the sustainable management of water resources. Two features should be highlighted in relation to water and forests, which are specific to Slovenia and prove how great a meaning Slovenians attribute to forests and water resources.

When the birds get married


Slovenia has its own centuries-old version of Valentine’s Day. St Gregory’s Day is celebrated throughout the Slovenian-speaking territory as the day that the birds get married, as well as the holiday of lovers. Our grandmothers said that 12 March is the day the birds get married. The ancient tradition holds that in the old days, girls would look up into the sky on that day. The first bird that a girl would see would tell her what kind of husband she would have.

Balance for Better


Dissatisfaction is the first step in the progress of mankind or of any nation and it is women’s dissatisfaction that has affirmed the crucial role they play in society and in the struggle, past and present, for actual equality, says Slovenian prime minister Marjan Šarec on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Harbingers of spring


Once the hellebores and snowdrops have started to bloom, following the laws of nature, masqueraders will start to appear all over Slovenia, in accordance with our cultural heritage.

Proud of your language


International Mother Language Day draws attention to the fact that, despite their incalculable value, languages are disappearing around the world at an alarming rate.

A staunch supporter


This week, Slovenia was the second country to ratify the accession protocol for North Macedonia to join NATO. North Macedonia has taken this major step towards full membership in the North Atlantic Alliance in the very year that Slovenia is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its accession. The signing and implementation of the agreement that resolved the long-lasting dispute with Greece over its name is a historic decision that could serve as a template for the entire region.



Only a handful of nations celebrate their own culture with a national holiday, but Slovenia is one of them. It could be said that culture is the backbone of our national character, national identity and sovereignty. Prešeren Day is our main cultural holiday and has been celebrated in Slovenia every 8 February since 1945. It became a national holiday and non-working day in 1991.

Challenges in the international community


Within the international community, predictability and general security are on the wane. Slovenian foreign policy continues to operate within the known frameworks of its previous strategic foreign policy directions. Slovenia’s international position, as well as its foreign policy stance, are defined above all by its membership of the EU and NATO. This also determines the priorities of the country’s foreign policy developments.

House on solid foundations


Our house rests on solid foundations was the response of finance minister Andrej Bertoncelj to the adoption of the revised national budget. The budget takes a social and societal approach, with the government also paying attention to vulnerable groups. At the same time, it is a balanced budget with a surplus. Slovenia has created a surplus by reducing its debt. Funds for education and sport, and well as social security and pensions, are increasing. For the first time in its history, science in Slovenia will receive more than EUR 200 million in funding.

Should I stay or should I go?


On Tuesday evening, in line with expectations, the lower house of the British Parliament rejected the withdrawal agreement that the British government reached with the EU in mid-November. Slovenia regrets the fact that the British Parliament failed to ratify the withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal agreement was a fair compromise which in Slovenia’s opinion constitutes a balanced document that allows the orderly and supervised withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, adheres to EU law and protects the rights of its member states.

Priorities, respect and courage


2019 brings new challenges and new priorities for everyone, including the Slovenian government. The following five priorities are among the most important tasks it has set for the coming year: accessible, high-quality and effective healthcare, efficient use of EU funds, digitalisation, a modern system of science and innovation as the primary driver of development, and national security.

The future lies before us


The end of the year is approaching. The future lies before us. And the first 100 days of the Šarec government lie behind us. This government first of all wished to build strong foundations, and committed to doing everything it could to ensure that in the foreseeable future people would not just read about improved public services, increased security and purchasing power and beneficial legislative changes, but actually feel them in their lives and in their pocketbooks. 100 days is too little for tectonic shifts and structural changes, but it is enough to lay the groundwork.

Cankar – A sharp thinker


“O homeland, when God created you, He blessed you with both hands and said: ‘Here shall dwell happy people!’ He very sparingly apportioned the beauty that He spread over the Earth from east to west; He passed over imposing lands without glancing at them – let them lie there, turned towards the heavens with blind eyes and beg for mercy. He was finally left with a fistful of beauty; He spread it in all four directions, from the hills of Styria to the steep coastline of Trieste, and from Triglav to the Gorjanci, and said: ‘Here shall dwell happy people; songs shall be their language and their songs shall be shouts of joy!’ Joyful homeland, we salute you with a joyful heart!” wrote Ivan Cankar in 1909.

First of the wise men of December


Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was in Austria this week on a working visit. Since Austria has held the Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2018, the talks with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz centred on current European topics – the issue of migration and asylum policy, the future of the Schengen system, and Brexit and the multiannual financial framework. The prime minister welcomed the efforts of Austria’s EU Presidency towards resolving these challenging issues.

First woman to the top


Slovenia made another appearance in the global media this week. This time it was because of the new Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces. Major General Alenka Ermenc assumed command of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces and thus became the first woman to hold that post in Slovenia, as well as the only woman to head the armed forces of a NATO country. Slovenia sits at the top of the list of NATO countries in terms of the percentage of women in its armed forces, at around 15 percent.



On this day, the people of Slovenia celebrate Rudolf Maister Day, a national holiday commemorating the general who fought for the country’s northern border. This national holiday, which is nevertheless a normal working day, has been celebrated since 2005, and commemorates the day Maister assumed military power in Maribor (23 November 1918).

Culture of peace


Article 1 of UNESCO's Declaration of Principles on Tolerance states that tolerance is the virtue that makes peace possible and contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace. Simply put, tolerance enables us to live together. It is therefore appropriate to ask (rhetorically): when we are intolerant towards others, whom does this intolerance really harm the most?



Less is More


People in Slovenia traditionally commemorate this day by visiting the graves of their loved ones and by lighting candles at their graves. Slovenian society is no exception in modern societies when it comes to death being pushed to the periphery, and yet Slovenians light grave candles en masse. The extent of Slovenia’s love for lighting grave candles is shown by the fact that in Slovenia, eight candles are lit annually per capita, which in total amounts to approximately 15 million grave candles per year.

The Best Places to Visit in 2019


Lonely Planet, one of the most influential tourist portals, has published a list of the best places to visit in 2019, and Slovenia is one of the 10 best value places.

Solidarity and humanity


This week has been marked by three important events that are also relevant to us here in Slovenia. The slogan of this year's World Food Day reminds us that "Our Actions Are Our Future" and that "A #ZeroHunger World by 2030" is possible. As Slovenia's agriculture minister Aleksandra Pivec pointed out on Tuesday, it is not enough merely to be aware of hunger in the world. Effective steps are needed, both in adapting and changing practices in food production and in environmental protection. The actions of every individual make a difference.

Security, values and cooperation


This week Slovenia has seen lively foreign policy developments. For the Slovenian Prime Minister it is an important week, in particular in terms of the European and international political scene. At the beginning of the week, Slovenia hosted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In light of the deteriorating global security situation, Prime Minister Šarec and Secretary General Stoltenberg underlined the significance of the alliance and the importance of increasing the funds for security and common defence. "Slovenia is a safe country and efforts to maintain peace are the foundation of our functioning in the alliance," the Prime Minister pointed out.

Our common humanity


On 1 October we celebrated International Day of Older Persons. On this day, professionals, international organisations and associations remind us of the measures needed to allow older persons to age with dignity. There are more than 400 thousand people over the age of 65 in Slovenia, meaning that one out of every five Slovenes is a pensioner. Their numbers increased by 11 thousand in just one year. Slovenia ranks among EU Member States in which the population is ageing the fastest. The percentage of people 65 and older was just above 18 percent in 2016, and it is forecast to account for a quarter of the population by 2030. The new government is also increasingly having to deal with the specific challenges of an ageing population.

Creators, not followers


Slovenia rightfully ranks among the leading countries in the area of innovation. This is further underscored by the highest awards given for the innovative achievements of Slovenian companies, which were awarded this week. These are national awards conferred by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia for the best innovations, and the most recent ceremony marked the sixteenth time they have been presented. The awards for best innovation at the national level are the highest accolades for the innovative achievements of Slovenian companies, and thus promote innovation in Slovenia.



Prime minister Marjan Šarec has taken part in the informal summit of EU leaders in Salzburg, marking his debut on the European political stage. On his first trip abroad since the new government was sworn in last week, the new prime minister joined European leaders to discuss mainly migration and the UK’s departure from the European Union.

An end and a new beginning


This week saw the end of the 13th edition of the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), one of the most important foreign policy events in Slovenia, which featured 30 different panels, excellent panellists and a wide range of relevant topics. More than 1,200 guests from more than 60 countries attended the BSF, which is becoming a key meeting place in this part of Europe for exchanges of opinion and in-depth discussion of the most important topics currently on the agenda not only of international relations, but of society as a whole.

A country of opportunity


The indicators for the Slovenian Government’s term 2014-2018 speak volumes. In the mandate of the 12th Slovenian Government the country has achieved one of the highest rates of economic growth in the European Union, it has sound public finances and the lowest unemployment rate of the last decade. After four years Slovenia today is more competitive, more socially just, more optimistic and more highly regarded by foreign partners.

Looking for Ways to Bridge the Divide


Bled Strategic Forum is significant not only in its capacity to strengthen Slovenia’s image and foreign policy, but also for the practical networking and bilateral talks that it inspires. BSF is a valuable addition to this fall’s political season. The participants will exchange information on the guidelines to be followed in international politics in the following months and years.

So long until autumn


This issue of Slovenia Weekly is mostly holiday-themed. Hopefully, today’s articles will inspire you in your choice of destination for your summer wandering.

Summer of many opportunities


Despite the moody summer weather the holiday spirit in Slovenia is in full swing. The tourism boom that the country has been experiencing in the past few years has not receded, and tourism as an important economic sector has created favourable trends, which the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development analyses in detail in the latest issue of Slovenian Economic Mirror.

Building trust


The Western Balkans Summit was held in London. This was the fifth summit within the Berlin Process initiative, which aims to preserve the enlargement perspective for the Western Balkan countries. The Berlin Process was initiated in 2014 at a meeting in the German capital in order to preserve the enlargement perspective of Western Balkan countries and to strengthen support for countries in the region to maintain their positive reform dynamics and continue to solve open issues.

Slovenia – a strong EU innovator


Slovenia remains a strong innovator among EU Member States, according to the European Commission’s recently published European Innovation Scoreboard for 2018. Slovenia was ranked in the leading position among newer members of the union. Brussels sees Slovenia’s main advantages as an innovation-friendly environment in human resources and corporate investments.

Finding solutions


Earlier this week, before the European Council summit, where a keen debate is under way regarding migration policy and where the chief goal is to find solutions in relation to migration and European asylum policy, an informal meeting of leaders took place that was also attended by Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar.

Slovenia will celebrate its independence on Monday


Slovenia will celebrate Statehood Day on Monday and mark the 27th anniversary of its independence. The main national celebration will be the highlight of the events to honour the day. It will take place on Sunday, on the eve of the holiday, in Ljubljana’s Congress Square.

Welcome home


Brežice, Slovenia is a historically significant architectural gem and as such is the perfect venue for the traditional and eighth consecutive event for Slovenians living beyond Slovenia's borders, especially as this year is dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. This event aims to bring Slovenians who live abroad together at least once a year and allows them to socialize with each other and their local hosts while learning about different towns around their homeland.

Protect the Sea


This week, two days significant to environmental protection were celebrated and both of them have the same maxim, namely an encouragement to us all to prevent plastic pollution and to protect our precious environment. World Environment Protection Day was celebrated on 5 June, and World Oceans Day on 8 June. The theme of this year’s environmental days is dedicated to one of the largest environmental issues of today: preventing plastic pollution. Most plastic products are used only once before being disposed of. Some of this plastic can be reused, but a large amount of it stays in the environment - most of it in our oceans.

Forest is Culture


Forest Week is held at the end of May every year, and allows institutions that are responsible for Slovenian forests and the public wellbeing to present the importance of forests and forestry to the good of society as a whole. It has been held for more than 40 years. Forest Week 2018 will be held from 28 May to 3 June 2018, with a series of related events under the slogan “Forest is Culture”. Forestry is thus joining in the celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Slovenia’s heritage of sustainable forest management is a national cultural value associated with its greatest natural resource, which is the result of the planned and painstaking work of past generations and is something that Slovenes are justifiably proud of.

Among the top ten destinations


Slovenian competitiveness is improving. On the latest world competitiveness scale, published by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Slovenia advanced from 43rd place last year to 37th, signalling one of the biggest leaps among countries and the best achievement since 2009, when it was in 32nd place. Slovenia achieved its biggest advance in economic performance, where it climbed a full 18 places (from 47th to 29th). The key factors for Slovenia’s attractiveness are a well-trained workforce, high level of education and reliable infrastructure.

World Bee Day - unites Slovenians, connects the world


Slovenia is preparing to mark the first ever World Bee Day, on 20 May. It was proclaimed last December by the United Nations. The idea of proclaiming this day was hatched at the Slovenian Beekeeping Association, with support from the Slovenian Government, and it met with broad support around the world. The main purpose of World Bee Day is to have at least one day devoted to raising awareness around the world about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind. Every third spoonful of food we eat is dependent on pollination by bees.

At home in Europe


On Europe Day each year we celebrate the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration, which marked the establishment of the alliance we now call the European Union. Slovenia became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004.

Work – security for all


Work represents a means of survival. At one time people went hunting, or gathering produce, while now they have jobs, which is the source of their means of survival. But work is much more than that. Work denotes the acquisition of social status, a positive self-image, identity, a view of society and also some freedom. Work still represents a value, but there have been changes in the way we understand work and the way we experience it.

Regional prospects for joining the EU


This week, Slovenia as the presiding nation hosted the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit. The process was initiated 22 years ago by Bulgaria, and Slovenia joined it in 2010. SEECP is a non-institutionalised regional process, a forum for diplomatic and political dialogue among the member nations from South-East Europe, which is coordinated by the current presiding nation. We understand it as an informal forum for countries that want to join the EU. Slovenia assumed the presidency of the process on 1 July of last year, and will vacate it on 30 June of this year.

Economic rebirth


Slovenia has chosen Japan as a strategic partner, and the first tangible results are visible, including in the form of a new Japanese investment. The Government has given its support to another Japanese investment, the production plant for Lonstroff medical elastomers in Logatec.

Slovenia – a recognised player


“We are endeavouring to place Slovenia among the leading countries in Europe and around the world in the area of development and use of blockchain technology,” said Miro Cerar at the first European Blockchain Summit, which took place at Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia.

The light of health


On 4 April, 135 years ago, four years after Edison’s invention, the first electric light bulb was lit in Slovenia. But our lives are not lit only by lights. Without health we often find ourselves wandering in the dark.

Recognition for Slovenia in the European Year of Cultural Heritage


In 2008 an inter-governmental initiative was organised in Europe that sought to highlight the importance of European monuments associated with the common values of the whole of Europe. Slovenia placed on the list its Franja Partisan Hospital, the Javorca Memorial Church and the Žale Cemetery Complex designed by architect Jože Plečnik.

Forests for sustainable cities


Forests are the lungs of our planet. The United Nations declared 21 March to be International Day of Forests in order to boost awareness of the importance of conserving this most vital of natural resources and using it carefully. The overall main theme of this year’s International Day of Forests around the world, ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’, highlights the connections that exist between urban environments, trees and forests.

Forward – peacefully and steadily


The presentation of the spring forecast from the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development indicates an exceptionally optimistic outlook, with the high and broad-based economic growth continuing this year. For this year a 5.1 percent growth in GDP is now forecast for Slovenia, following the autumn forecast of 3.9 percent growth.

The Time is Now


This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Time is now: Rural and urban activists changing women’s lives.” This 8 March is therefore dedicated to the movements supporting the fight against sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women. This day presents an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in the struggle for women’s rights.

Firmly on the right course to economic development


Last year Slovenia posted its highest growth in the past decade. According to the statisticians’ initial estimates, Slovenia achieved five-percent economic growth in 2017, which ranks it amongst the leaders in the EU, and as high as second place in terms of economic dynamics. The last time Slovenia recorded growth this high was in the second quarter of 2008.

Guest of honour


Slovenia will be guest of honour at the 2022 edition of the world’s most important book fair in Frankfurt. This is a major national project, as it represents Slovenia’s entry into the honorary pavilion of the biggest cultural festival in the world. By 2022, up to 100 Slovenian books could be translated into German and English. Slovenia’s honorary participation is a unique opportunity for its publishing industry as well as for the country itself. The Slovenian government has earmarked EUR 2.5 million for this project.

Top destination


This week at two different locations on the globe there was an intensive promotion of Slovenian tourism and Slovenia as a global green boutique destination for discriminating guests who are seeking a diverse and active experience.

The greatest


In recent days we Slovenians have once again been celebrating our greatest poet. The Slovenian Cultural Holiday on 8 February marked exactly 169 years since the death of France Prešeren.

Support, cooperation and dialogue


The Slovenian and Serbian governments held a joint government session on the first day of February. This was the fourth meeting of the two governments since 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to review the implementation of already adopted agreements, address open questions in bilateral relations between the two countries and consider ways to deepen cooperation between the Slovenian and Serbian governments in various fields. Above all, the visit represents a continuation of regular and intensive high-level political dialogue and a continuation of the practice of joint meetings between the two governments.

The future in a fractured world


No country, no group of people, no one in today’s world can solve global issues on their own. With these words, the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, set out the programme of this year’s meeting in Davos to the three thousand people attending. This also reflects the official title of this year’s forum: Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

The Year of Cankar


We have just bid farewell to the Year of Plečnik in 2017 and entered 2018, the Year of Cankar, in which we will mark the 100th anniversary of the writer’s death. For in 2018, on the 100th anniversary of his death we will pay special homage to the great Slovenian writer Ivan Cankar with a Year of Cankar here in Slovenia.

For the well-being of people, the economy and society


When taking office the Government committed itself to focusing above all on the well-being of people, the economy and society as a whole and, after years of crisis, to putting the country back on a path that will bring the benefits of development to all stakeholders. And the results show a positive picture. The competitiveness of Slovenia's business environment and its attractiveness to foreign investment are increasing, and with them employment opportunities.

Work to be done


From 1 January 2018 on, Slovenia will hold the presidency of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which was founded in 2006. Slovenia’s term at the head of the UN Human Rights Council will last one year, during which time the primary focuses will be the effectiveness of the work of the council, the level of trust in its work, and improving the level of dialogue and trust within the organisation.

Bee with us in 2018


From now on, thanks to Slovenian beekeepers, 20 May will be known as World Bee Day. The proclamation of World Bee Day, following three years of hard work and effort, places Slovenia on the international map. Slovenia has been working for this since 2014 and along the way has received the support of all the members of the United Nations. Slovenia has thus become a reference country in the field of beekeeping. One of the arguments for this is the fact that Slovenia is the only country in the world where every 200th citizen is a beekeeper. Slovenia sees this confirmation of its efforts above all as an obligation to do even more to protect bees and to be even more active in ensuring biodiversity.

The power of nature


The increasingly extreme weather phenomena we are witnessing are among other things a consequence of atmospheric warming. In order to back up the climate change commitments made two years ago upon the concluding of the Paris Agreement, the world’s first global climate agreement, with concrete action, the One Planet summit was held in Paris. The key goals of the summit were a call to countries to increase funds for the climate battle and a call to investors to turn their backs on polluters and dirty technologies.

Human rights are for everyone


We live in a divided and uncertain world, and in the field of human rights we are constantly facing new challenges regarding migrations, terrorism and increasing economic and social inequality and populism. Despite this, we must never forget that all of us have the right to happiness and freedom.

Encouraging growth


Following the 3.1% economic growth last year, both domestic and international institutions keep revising their forecasts for Slovenia upwards. In mid-2017, the forecast was readjusted to ca. 3.5%, while the autumn forecasts rose to 4% and above. The OECD forecasts suggest that Slovenia is at the very top of Europe in terms of economic growth.

Kids take over


Monday marked the 28th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was supported by nearly every member state of the United Nations. It is the organisation’s most multilateral document, as it includes the entire range of human rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Therefore, in many countries 20 November is celebrated as Universal Children’s Day, intended to promote the wellbeing of children and to protect their rights. This year, children were guests of honour at the European Parliament and at United Nations headquarters, and special events were also hosted in Slovenia.

Positive changes already apparent


The third Friday in November is Slovenian Food Day. On this day, for the seventh year in a row, nurseries, schools and other institutions around the country will be offering a Traditional Slovenian Breakfast. The Traditional Slovenian Breakfast, which has grown into a national project, has brought together more than 260,000 children in nurseries and schools around Slovenia over a breakfast based on honey, butter and apples, and is already showing the first positive results. Growing numbers of children and adults are eating breakfast, there has been a significant decline in the consumption of sweet carbonated beverages, and we are eating more fruit and vegetables, say experts.

Slovenia - a land of wine too


In recent years, wine has increasingly come to represent an export opportunity for Slovenia, and this is backed up by statistics as we prepare to celebrate St Martin’s Day on 11 November. Last year Slovenian wine makers exported nearly 14 million litres of wine, mainly to Italy, the USA, Austria, Croatia and the Netherlands. There has also been a notable growth in sales to the Chinese market, which have already topped a million euros this year. In 2009 Slovenian wine makers exported a total of EUR 91,000 worth of wine to China, while in just the first seven months of this year exports have been worth more than a million euros.

500 years of Slovenian identity


The last day of October is the day we celebrate Reformation Day, which reminds us of our national identity and our unique language and culture, which were first recorded for posterity by Primož Trubar. Five hundred years have passed since the printing of the first book written in Slovene. Reformation Day is not just a religious holiday for the Protestant community, but also a holiday of national awakening, freedom of the spirit, culture and creativity in all walks of life for all Slovenes. It is a holiday of national identity based on our language and culture.

On the bucket list


Economic confidence in Slovenia has reached pre-crisis levels. According to the latest data from the Statistical Office, this is demonstrated by the continued growth of an indicator of the economic climate. We have reached the level of the period before the economic crisis.

Shovels planted


An agreement marking the largest greenfield investment in the history of independent Slovenia was signed on Tuesday. By signing an agreement on one of the largest investment projects in Slovenia to date – for a paint plant near Maribor – and receiving state financial stimulus amounting to EUR 18.6 million, the Canadian-Austrian firm Magna has committed to investing at least 100 million euros and creating at least a thousand jobs over the next five to ten years.



European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos visited Slovenia two weeks after the European Commission presented its proposal for updating the Schengen Borders Code. During his visit, he presented the details of the reform of the Schengen rules, which is intended to provide increased security, to Prime Minister Cerar and Minister of the Interior Györkös Žnidar. During his visit to Slovenia, the commissioner identified Slovenia as a key country in the securing of the external Schengen border and praised its productive cooperation with Croatia.

The most wonderful game


Sixty-three years ago, the United Nations called on all nations to set aside a special day which would be dedicated to the importance of the welfare of children. In Slovenia we celebrate Universal Children’s Day on the first Monday in October. This day also marks the beginning of the annual Children’s Week, which has also been celebrated since 1954, and is organised every year by the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia. The central theme of this year’s Children’s Week is “Let’s Invite the Sun to School”, which this year focuses on the importance of creative learning and thinking.

Intergenerational trust and solidarity


Two events are happening this week which are both related to seniors in society. The 17th Third Age Festival, which we can call the largest event for seniors in Europe and a unique event for seniors in Slovenia, is held close to 1 October every year, when we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons.

Fairy-Tale from Istanbul


Slovenia breathed as one on Sunday. A powerful mobilising energy and emotional charge have swept through Slovenes in the last few days and have united them like no other sporting event in history. Some have even compared it with the unity among Slovenes when they gained independence. With exceptional play throughout the tournament and an amazing level of unity and team spirit, the Slovenian national team brought Slovenia its first gold medal in its basketball history. And what is perhaps even more important, it showed the nation that the heart won.

Better and better


The results of the three years of work of the government of Prime Minister Miro Cerar show just what the government can accomplish when it has a clearly defined goal – the wellbeing of citizens, businesses and the society as a whole. The country is in such good shape that Slovenia is now experiencing both continuous economic growth and steady reduction of unemployment, including among young people, mainly on account of the active employment policy.

A Clear Message


As in the past 12 years, the Strategic Forum was the focal point in Bled at the beginning of September. One of the most important international conferences in the region joined politicians, economists and scientists in discussions about the new challenges connected with digitalisation and globalisation. The Bled discussions at the Bled Strategic Forum, one of the most important foreign policy events in Slovenia, were held this year in the light of a new understanding of reality.

New reality of the ever changing world


On Monday and Tuesday Slovenia will host the 12th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), which has become established in the region as an important and far-reaching meeting point of politicians, business leaders and representatives of the academic community. It is due to be attended by the largest number of participants to date, with around 1,000 people from 70 countries, including 15 foreign ministers and high representatives of the European Union.

Active holidays


Slowely, but surely


For dialogue, the rule of law and implementation of the ruling


Victory of the rule of law


A week has passed since the award of the Arbitral Tribunal that ruled on the maritime and land border between Slovenia and Croatia. Slovenia is preparing for its implementation, since on publication of the award it clearly stated that it would accept and respect it, in that it is final and legally binding on both countries, Slovenia and Croatia, and must be implemented.

A historic moment


The Arbitral Tribunal has determined the border on land and sea between Slovenia and Croatia. This is a decision of the utmost importance, said the Prime Minister following the announcement of the ruling, adding that this was a historic moment for Slovenia. He stressed that this is a final and legally binding ruling for both countries, and gave an assurance that he would be committed to its consistent implementation.

A decision for history


The Arbitral Tribunal announced on Monday that its decision in the case of the Slovenian–Croatian border issue would be known on 29 June. This means that the land and maritime border, which Slovenia and Croatia have been unable to resolve ever since the creation of the two states, will be determined next Thursday.

Tour of cooperation and success


Slovenia can pride itself on having good economic indicators. Once again we are catching up with the most developed countries of the European Union, and growth has increased. However, exporters, both Slovenian and foreign-owned companies, small and large, desire even faster changes. Prime Minister Miro Cerar spoke with managers about this and about ways to increase Slovenia’s international competitiveness, improve confidence and additionally strengthen economic initiatives at a recent conference. In the course of a relaxed discussion, members of the business community reiterated their expectations and raised some of the most urgent issues such as how to improve the business environment by the end of the year, which will be a year of record growth, according to forecasts.



An apparently peaceful week is behind us – the first "summery" week of the year. And yet there was a lot going on behind the scenes. In the light of the Government's decisions in relation to NLB and the second-track project, which will have a considerable impact on Slovenia's future, we can only hope that economic growth, as forecast for us by the OECD, will leave a similar mark on our society.

On the right path


Economic growth in Slovenia in the first quarter was once again amongst the highest in the euro area. This continues a three-year period of increased growth, according to the Institute for Macroeconomic Analyses and Development, which expects the trend to carry through to the end of the year.

Life is not the same without 'potica'


Dear readers,

A week full of important domestic and international events is behind us. But according to some news reports many of you were searching the internet how to make Slovenian 'potica'. You won't regret baking the delicious queen of festive dishes. And we are pleased to help you with the recipe.

A mine of knowledge and experience


The ageing population, overpopulation, climate change, increased flows of migration and widening differences between rich and poor are the greatest challenges of modern societies. Resolving energy and environmental issues and addressing issues related to demographic changes should be the main priorities of every country.

Europe Day


It was 67 years ago that we saw the birth of what is now the European Union, a union of 28 member-states that could well be the greatest fount of peace, human rights and welfare in the world. But it has been on trial this whole time. The years of the financial crisis and then the refugee crisis exposed the weaknesses in Europe’s current arrangements, and increased tensions between north and south and between east and west.

An open path


On 1 May the European Union marked the thirteenth anniversary of the major enlargement that saw ten new member states join the EU. This fifth round of enlargement was also the moment that Slovenia joined the great European family. In view of the current internal problems of the Union, further enlargement has been placed on the back burner for some time. It is certainly unrealistic to expect a larger, expanded European family before 2020, and even then a major question mark remains over the enlargement process. The thirteenth year after ten central and eastern European countries joined the EU is marked by Brexit – a development that represents the first dismantling of the European project – and by fear of rising populism and Euroscepticism in a year of elections in a series of key EU member states.

On the road


Today is Friday, 28 April, a date which in Slovenia falls between two holidays that, for most of us, traditionally signify the start of the warmer part of the year, when – along with many of our neighbours from further north – we migrate en masse to the coast and back.

Will you do something good for the Earth?


Over the last ten years our climate has changed more quickly than we expected. The biggest enemy for the climate is greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing temperatures on Earth to rise. Slovenia is working to reduce emissions, with the result that these were 8.2% lower in 2015 than in 2013.

Listening to people


Slovenia is a member of the Schengen area and has always performed the task of protecting the border with the utmost diligence. The provisions of the Regulation introducing systematic checks at external Schengen borders entered into force on 7 April. This means that travellers are subjected to systematic checks of their identity and citizenship, and of the authenticity and validity of their travel documents, in multiple databases.

For a safe step


Contamination with landmines today threatens the lives of people in 64 countries around the world. After a relatively long period of decline in the number of victims of mines and other explosive remnants of war, the figure has sadly been rising again over the last five years. They have also claimed more lives. There are now genuinely fewer countries in the world that are at war, but the amount of weaponry in use is greater than it was a few years or even decades ago. New conflicts contaminate more and more areas.

Together we can do it


Slovenia is enjoying a fourth consecutive year of steady economic growth that has lifted wages and employment, although challenges still exist. This could briefly summarise the main message in the latest favourable IMF forecast for Slovenia. Higher consumption by households and also private investments are the main reasons for the improved prospects. Growth remains balanced, and conditions are improving. However, demographics and the slow growth of overall productivity could nevertheless constrain Slovenia’s future growth. Yet there is treatment for this: reform of the labour market which will take into account the ageing of the population, adjustment of the pension system and ensuring sustainable wages. The bottom line: we are on a good and right path, but at the same time we should not neglect reform.

Sustainability is the Future


This week has been marked by water and forests, two natural riches that are inseparably connected in a complex interrelationship. The two-way connections between forests and water are many more than they seem. One is the fact that forest areas provide as much as 75% of the world's fresh water reserves, with forests acting as an effective natural water filter.

To Bee or not to Bee


Every third spoonful of food eaten around the world is dependent on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that if bees disappeared from the face of the planet, humankind would only have four years left to live. Although the warnings of the great physicist should not be taken literally, we should nevertheless be aware that the little winged charges of the legendary Anton Janša, the founder of modern Slovenian beekeeping, play a very important role (alongside other species) in preventing hunger and conserving the environment and biodiversity.

Equality for women, progress for all


Women’s Day, which is celebrated on 8 March, serves as a reminder that much work remains to be done in order to achieve full gender equality. Even after a century of celebrating 8 March as an international holiday devoted to the economic, political and social equality of women and women’s achievements in over 100 countries throughout the world, inequality and discrimination remain in society. In fact, society has not yet responded appropriately to the needs of women and this fact still causes gender inequalities.

Back to the Future


Without youth and its energy, European, Slovenian or indeed any society would collapse. That is why young people must be given the opportunity to help shape a vision of the environment in which they live and direct us back to the future.

Mother tongue = identity


With the celebration of International Mother Language Day, which we have been observing since 1999, UNESCO exhorts us to respect our own mother tongue and, at the same time, other mother tongues around the world. There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture – this is also one of this year's messages from UNESCO.

New opportunities, new partnerships


With the help of Slovenia’s diplomatic effort, the Slovenian business sector is determined to make inroads in the Gulf countries. This has been affirmed by the working visit of Prime Minister Miro Cerar, accompanied by a business delegation, to the United Arab Emirates. Slovenia and the United Arab Emirates have something in common. Slovenia’s economy seeks to establish itself as a regional force, and as a driver of regional business development. Similar is true of the UAE, as Minister of Public Administration Koprivnikar said on the visit, since they are seeking to become a regional leader and they have bold ambitions for the future.

Unity. Happiness. Reconciliation.


The author of these prophetic words ranks as one of the most important figures in history, and the greatest Slovenian poet, to whom a national holiday is devoted on 8 February. This is a day that always inspires thoughts about France Prešeren as a historically important figure and about the importance that culture and language have for the state and nation. The Slovenians are one of the rare – if not the only – nations that celebrate a cultural day as a national holiday, and there are few nations that owe their cultural identity in such degree to one single person.

A winning mindset


“Today is a special day for sport. The Government is aware that sport is an important activity for the quality of life and health of individual people and thereby of society as a whole. Slovenia is most certainly a great sporting nation, and must remain a home of sport,” underlined Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar regarding the recently adopted new annual sports programme. With an additional two million euros, the Government has increased funding for sports, particularly for the preparation and appearance of national children’s and youth teams, which will serve for the further development of sports.



Each government sets itself priorities. The Slovenian government's priority tasks in 2017 are to improve the functioning of the healthcare system, increase the employability of young people and promote enterprise, creativity and innovation, complete the second railway track and improve other transport infrastructure, strengthen the rule of law and establish Slovenia as a green reference country.

New Impetus


Not even a week has passed and we can report on another important foreign investment in Slovenia. The last week's news was that the auto-parts giant Magna International or its Magna Steyr subsidiary based in Graz was in the process of moving a part of its production to the area of its future Hoče-Slivnica production zone. The auto-parts giant is planning to set up a large paint shop in Slovenia to employ at least 400 people. This week's encouraging news is that the Japanese corporation Yaskawa Electric, the largest manufacturer of industrial robots in the world, will build its new European robot plant in Kočevje. Under this EUR 25 million investment, 170 to 200 new employments are planned.

25 years in the international community


It has been 25 years since Slovenia was recognised as an independent state by the European Community of the time and by most of today’s Member States. This was a milestone in the integration of this young state into the global landscape of the international community, which reached its peak when Slovenia was accepted into the United Nations on 22 May 1992, becoming the 176th member of this global organisation. This opened the door for recognitions, which began pouring in from all over the world. Chroniclers have found that multiple factors in Slovenia and the international circumstances of the time contributed to the relatively prompt recognition. Therefore, international recognition meant that Slovenia was able to embark on its own independent European journey.

On the safe side


Ten years ago, on 1 January 2007, as the 13th member and the first new country to accede to the EU, Slovenia adopted the euro and bade farewell to the tolar, the first currency of our independent state, which was in use for the first 15 years of statehood. As the first post-transitional newcomer to the Union, Slovenia successfully met all five Maastricht criteria and thus was able to adopt the common currency.

Slovenia is on the right path. Let’s be optimistic.


Today marks 26 years of the ground-breaking unity of Slovenians, when nearly 90 percent of voters opted for an independent state. This day marks the historic decision of the Slovenian nation for an independent state.

Solidarity is humanity


Throughout history, migrations have been a bold reflection of an individual's will to overcome a crisis and live a better life. Today, the globalisation and progress in transport and communications caused a rapid increase in the number of people who have both the will and opportunity to move to a place where they can live better. This new era has created challenges as well as opportunities for societies around the globe. The connection between migrations and the development as well as their intermittent influence is becoming an increasingly topical subject.

Your (Human) Rights are My (Human) Duty


Just before Human Rights Day, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, whose role is to control the implementation of judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights, gave Slovenia confirmation that the state is diligent and successful in guaranteeing fundamental human rights. The Committee has adopted a final resolution regarding the case Lukenda v. Slovenia (23032/02), in which it assessed that court backlogs in Slovenia are no longer a systemic problem since legislative, organisational, informational and other measures have been adopted to reduce the backlogs and enable trials within a reasonable time.



Slovenia is one of the EU Member States with the highest economic growth. In the third quarter of 2016, the economic growth was considerably higher than the Euro zone average, considering the year-over-year comparison.

A bridge connecting generations


The number of the elderly people is increasing, which could in the future intensify the feel of insecurity and confusion with all generations. A potential outcome might be the increasing gap among generations. One solution to the issue could be to quickly establish conditions for a better understanding, communication and bonding across all age groups. Solidarity and positive interpersonal relations will be needed for different generations to coexist in the future.

Harmony in difference


According to UNESCO's Declaration, tolerance involves respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief.

Balanced development


Although a relatively small country, Slovenia is divided into 12 statistical regions. These are of immense importance for a balanced regional development in the country, although some differences can be observed in this respect. The Slovenian regional policy aims to promote a more balanced and even development, decrease the differences among the regions and strengthen the social and economic cohesion. Balanced regional development is also one of the priorities of the Slovenian government.

Let’s turn on the light!


Prime Minister Cerar emphasised in his message to the citizens upon this year’s national holiday, the Reformation, which represents a breaking point with the dark Middle Ages, brought renewal and progress to Europe.

A good example


Under the leadership of their two Prime Ministers, the Slovenian and Serbian ministers met for their third joint session in the last four years. Prime Minister Cerar, who was accompanied by nine ministers, and the hosts discussed economic cooperation between the two states, as well as investments and the migration issue. The economic exchange between Slovenia and Serbia has exceeded €1 billion and keeps growing, with Serbia being the second largest recipient of Slovenian direct investments. The cooperation between Slovenia and Serbia can serve as an example of excellent bilateral relations between two states in the Balkan region.

An undeniable link between poverty and human trafficking


Every year, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty draws attention to the issue of global poverty and promotes activities for its reduction. The less developed parts of the world are still facing absolute poverty, meaning that they suffer shortage of goods and services essential for life, while Europe measures relative poverty by assessing how many people are poor in comparison to others.

Positive trends


Recently, Slovenia has been recording increasingly favourable economic results. In the first half of the year, positive trends were experienced in all sectors. In the second quarter of the year, the Slovenian economy generated the first surplus in the public finance after 2008. Both the import and export have increased, and the value of industrial production has also been growing.

Time for decent work


The economic crisis, due to which Slovenia has been experiencing problems from the mid-2008 onwards, is also reflected in the labour market. This coming Saturday marks the World Day for Decent Work, which will be a good opportunity to think about the significance of decent work and the observance of workers' rights.

Let᾿s talk


While Europe has more than 200 majority languages and approximately 60 regional or minority languages, there are 24 official languages in the European Union. The Council of Europe declared 26 September as the European Day of Languages. The aim is to raise awareness about the cultural and linguistic diversity as well as awareness that learning a language improves mutual understanding and opens the door to new employment opportunities.

It's our world


The General Assembly of one of the most important political entities of 20th century – the United Nations, hosted a session this week, starting with a summit on refugees. By doing so, the world organisation attempts to adequately respond to the increasingly acute refugee crisis.

The defender of the Schengen area


This week marks one year since a vast number of refugees crossed Slovenia for the first time, and six months since the Western Balkans migration route in Macedonia has been partly closed. During the last year’s migration wave, around one million migrants crossed the Western Balkans.

Upgrading the Dialogue


During the first days of September, the annual Bled Strategic Forum marks the beginning of the autumn period for the Slovenian foreign politics. The forum connects regional and global reflections through a series of debates about international politics, and, in a way, embodies the spirit of the time. Never has the question of safety been placed at the forefront as frequently as it is now, especially in Europe. The future's safety therefore served as a legitimate topic of this year's Bled Strategic Forum. Marking its eleventh consecutive year, the forum offered a series of valid questions which will need to be addressed in the next weeks, months and years.

Back to the-EU-Future


The refugee crisis, terrorism and the rising nationalistic sentiments brought the European union in what is likely the worst crisis in its entire history. The decision made at the British referendum to exit the European Union was a shock for Europe and its leaders, who are now seeking new paths forward. The European crisis management policy is in its full swing again.

Green. Active. Healthy.


Summer offers a wealth of opportunities for recreation, cultural activities, fun and outdoor relaxation. With its beautiful nature and rich cultural and historical heritage, Slovenia offers infinite possibilities for an active and healthy vacation spent by the sea or crystal clear rivers, or in the mountains, woods and the underground world of caves.



The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a long-awaited judgement on the restructuring of the Slovenian banking system, in which the holders of shares and subordinated bonds were expropriated.

NATO’s historic decision


The decision to deploy 4,000 additional troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland adopted at the NATO Warsaw summit, one of the most important meetings of the Alliance since the end of the Cold War, was described as historic. After years of disarmament and deployments around the world and 25 years after the Cold War, the world's strongest defensive pact is building up its forces in its Eastern member states.

European revitalisation of the Balkans


One of the main fears found in countries in the Western Balkans is that the result of the British referendum will slow down or even stop the enlargement of the Union. Western Balkans is a European region where enthusiasm for the European Union is still strongly present, while expectations might sometimes be too high. However, there is still much to do and many reforms will have to be implemented. The question of when and if these states will become members of the European Union is not significantly relevant. However, they do need the mentioned prospect because it is the only thing pushing them to modernise themselves and implement reforms. As a matter of fact, the European Union is one of the rare things that brings Western Balkans states together. The possibility of joining the EU must remain open because these states could very easily turn back to nationalism. And what were the consequences of nationalism in this part of Europe in the past is well known.

On the path to maturity


The monumental decision of British voters to leave the European Union will have a serious impact that could resonate for decades or even longer. The European and global thinkers predicted that it will lead to severe consequences for both the United Kingdom and European Union. Some even think that the EU is facing an existential crisis that will be more exponential than the Greek and migrant crisis together. When the dust settles down, the time will come to make sober assessments and draw some lessons.

The first 25 years


Over this past year, Slovenia has recorded economic growth and improved its credit ratings and unemployment rate. While the euphoria from twenty-five years ago might have faded away, people’s expectations are still high. Fortunately, these expectations are the main drive for necessary changes and promotion of new solutions that will help us preserve a humane society.



In all societies, elderly people are considered a vulnerable group, besides women and children, since they frequently find themselves in the grip of violence. Due to the rapidly ageing society, violence against the elderly is becoming an increasingly acute issue. The proportion of older people in the social structure is increasing, which is why various forms of violence against the elderly population can frequently be observed. This type of violence can occur within families as well as institutions or it can be inflicted by third parties.

Shortening the Distances


Modernisation of the Pragersko–Hodoš railway line is one of our top priorities in establishing competitive rail connections with Eastern Europe. This has been the largest implemented transport infrastructure project following the construction of the Slovenian motorway network, which will have positive effects on the economy of Slovenia and neighbouring states.

Local equals sustainable


Today is the last day of the European Sustainable Development Week marked in Ljubljana, the European Green Capital 2016. Sustainable development is based on the use of local resources, care for the local environment, and cooperation with the local communities.

For a better tomorrow


For the first time, the Classics section at the Cannes festival included a Slovenian film – the Valley of Peace. The two main messages of the film, i.e. that of pacifism and search for a better future, also happened to serve as guidelines at political meetings this week, namely at the Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, a meeting of foreign and finance ministers in Brussels, and a meeting between China and Central and Eastern European Countries at Brdo pri Kranju.

Volunteers – all generations, all colours, all knowledge


“I greatly appreciate the positive energy of volunteers that make concrete efforts by offering their hands to help the vulnerable and those in need,” said Prime Minister Miro Cerar in the context of the 17th National Volunteer Week celebrated from 16th to 22nd May in Slovenia.

Schuman and solidarity


Europe Day, which is celebrated on 9th May, is the holiday marking European integration, peace and unity. Europe Day was announced in 1950 by the declaration of the French foreign minister Robert Schuman. The declaration emphasized the importance of political cooperation in Europe for ensuring a lasting peace among European nations. The message of the declaration was that war in Europe must become “not only unthinkable, but materially impossible”.

To improve transparency


The media “celebrated” the World Press Freedom Day with another resounding disclosure of confidential documents. The documents revealed were the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ) documents used in negotiations between the USA and EU, which have, in Europe at least, been inducing allegations of non-transparency constantly and more than any other agreement.

Comradeship, resistance and liberty


This week has been marked with commemorations of important national holidays. A memory of the resistance organisation of Slovenians in World War II is kept alive by celebrations held every year on 27th April. On the eve of the 1st of May, bonfires will be lit across Slovenia to mark the Labour Day.

Seeking harmony between the health of society and the health of nature


Today, on 22nd April, we celebrate Earth Day. On this occasion, people should become even more aware of the beauty, vulnerability and temporality of our planet and of the results of human actions for its benefit.

Hand in hand with civil society


In the past week, we witnessed a unique historic event: for the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, presentations provided the global public with insights into the candidates for the highest position in the most significant international organisation. This year, Slovenia has nominated a candidate for the first time. Danilo Türk, Slovenia's former president, a reputable diplomat and professor of international law, had already presented a statement of his vision of UN development. He highlighted civil society and non-governmental stakeholders as one of the crucial partners with which the UN should build its future.

A Little Bit of Empathy


Today is the International Roma Day. Europeans have never fully and completely accepted the once nomadic people who have, for centuries, been living in Europe, including Slovenia. In Slovenia, the Roma people are mentioned in the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia and their status is regulated by law.

Favourable Prospects for Slovenia


Several good news resounded during the past week. One of them was the information that the International Monetary Fund, at the end of its mission to Slovenia, improved its economic growth forecast for the country.

Reason must prevail


On Tuesday morning, the whole of Europe stood still. The attacks in Brussels immediately delivered a sobering realisation. Even thousands of kilometres away, it is difficult to keep a cool head. Too many of our relatives, friends and acquaintances are working in the city, so it is impossible not to be concerned

Another victory?


Today and this weekend, Slovenia will be partly at a traffic standstill. The end of the ski jumping season in Planica, euphoria over the achievements of ski jumper Peter Prevc and the first warm and sunny spring weekend are a winning combination for the organisers of the ski jumping competition in Planica, which will attract tens of thousands of Slovenians, hoping for another victory.

Consistent application of Schengen rules


Slovenia's decision to fully apply the Schengen rules on the border with Croatia is in accordance with the decisions of the EU’s February summit, which was also confirmed in a statement at the EU-Turkey summit at the beginning of the week.

Cerar: Schengen must be preserved


According to Boštjan Šefic, State Secretary at the interior ministry, the situation in Slovenia with regard to the crossing of migrants is normal, stable and no unusual events have occurred.

PM Cerar: We should not forget about compassion, solidarity and care for fellow humans


Slovenians have proven many times that we can be compassionate, work together and lend a helping hand. As PM Cerar says, we should preserve our humane approach when facing the migration crisis: “We should not forget about compassion, solidarity and care for fellow humans. There are people among the migrants who need our help, particularly vulnerable groups.” PM Cerar understands people’s fears, but stresses that they are groundless. While some half a million people have passed through Slovenia in the last several months, this has not disturbed our citizens and there have been no security incidents. He gave the assurance that he would do everything to continue to keep citizens and their property safe. Cerar urged Slovenians to believe in peace, tolerance, solidarity and aid.

A way to solution


Leaders of EU member states, including the Slovenian Prime Minister, have been very busy these days. At all levels, formally and informally, they are intensively trying to find a way to bring the European Union back on the path of common policies and solidarity.

Culture as the basis of national identity


Slovenia celebrated Culture Day on Monday, a public holiday dedicated to the memory of France Prešeren (1800-1849), considered the nation's greatest poet, the author of our anthem, Zdravljica (A Toast). Numerous events were held around the country, including the Prešeren Prize awards ceremony. The main celebration took place in front of Prešeren's birthplace in the tiny village of Vrba. President Borut Pahor, who addressed the gathering at the ceremony, called for a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding. "Slovenians are the only nation to celebrate culture with a public holiday," Pahor stressed. "It may be a day when we celebrate culture not only the in the strictest of senses, when it is not only a matter of language, poetry and art, but also about us as people and the relationships between us - cultural relations in the broadest possible sense."

Changes for the better


This year will mark 25 years since Slovenia gained independence and sovereignty. We can be proud of what we have accomplished to varying degrees. After years of economic and financial crisis, poor management of banks and companies, and even the country, it is time to look to the future with optimism.

“The future lies in more Europe”


“The slow loosing of common policies and increasingly declining trust among Europeans in the project of common Europe could fundamentally threaten the peace, security and welfare of the old continent,” the President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, said in his address to the diplomatic corps in Slovenia a few days ago.

Quo vadis, Europe?


Yesterday, Slovenia approved the first of long-expected measures to control migration. Limiting the intake of migrants while tightening border controls at border crossings and along the entire green border is, above all, Slovenia’s response to Austria limiting the entry of migrants. Slovenian government representatives continue to stress that Slovenia is the smallest country on the so-called Balkan migration route, so it must not become a pocket for migrants when the borders in the north of Europe close.

Slovenia is doing its best to fulfil its tasks as a member of the Schengen area


Along with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Şimşek, Slovenian Prime Minister was one of the keynote speakers at the introductory working dinner of Die Welt Economic Summit on Wednesday.

We will face significant challenges


The government began its first week in the new year with a traditional consultation meeting of the Slovenian diplomacy. This year’s meeting, already the 20th, focused on pending issues. The highest state officials discussed migration, security, the internationalisation of Slovenian economy and the support that the diplomatic service can offer. In his speech, PM Cerar said that activities in the new year will still be dominated by the migration crisis, which Slovenia and the EU will have to face in the long term. According to Cerar, the resolution of this issue is connected to the existence of the EU. “Our absolute priority is to preserve Schengen area and Slovenia in it. Therefore, we have acted accordingly and will continue to do so.”

Celebrating 25


23 December 1990 was a Sunday when the plebiscite on independence took place all across Slovenia. In the early hours of the morning voters took to the polling stations and overwhelmingly supported independence – more than 88 per cent of those eligible to vote were in favour of the independence. The state celebration last night was the first in the year of activities in Slovenia and abroad that will take place until 23 December 2016, the 25th anniversary of Slovenia’s constitution. The culmination of the events will be the celebration of Statehood Day (25 June 2016).

We are all migrants


18 December is the World Day of Migrants. This year, Slovenia will celebrate it with the slogan, ‘We Are All Migrants’, is not only a good slogan, but a fact that we seem to forget too often in the everyday hustle and bustle. Current migration from the Middle East requires the country, society and individuals to step into the shoes of those who come to the European borders in search of a better life.

Safeguarding fundamental values


December 10 is Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foundation of the international regulation of human rights and freedoms. Human rights remain among Slovenia’s foreign policy priorities, which is reflected in the fact that Slovenia begins its three-year membership of the UN Human Rights Council in 2016. In this time, Slovenia will devote special attention to the rights of the child, gender equality and women rights, the protection of vulnerable groups of population, human rights education and the connection between the environment and human rights.

There is no Planet B


On Monday, the climate conference was launched with the global climate summit. According to experts and leaders, it is a historic and perhaps the last opportunity to create a safer, more just and cleaner world. Negotiators from 195 countries have hard work ahead in order to reach a compromise that will make sure that global warming is kept under two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial age. The responsibility of leaders and those who will implement the decisions is great. “We are meeting at a time of extraordinary circumstances, in a year marked by security issues, increasing problems caused by climate change and a large-scale migration crisis,” the PM Miro Cerar said, calling for the prompt adoption of comprehensive commitments to preserve the planet for future generations. This time, much more than environment, climate change is at stake. We are responsible for preserve a planet that affords a decent life to those who come after us. The interest rates are already enormous. Unfortunately, there is no planet B. In order to build a modern, green and inclusive society, Slovenia is looking for an opportunity as a country that connects digital systems. On a working visit to the USA, Prime Minister Cerar, Public Administration Minister Boris Koprivnikar and a strong business delegation visited several of the biggest companies in information and telecommunication technologies. He presented Slovenia as a prospective development opportunity that combines the innovative use of digital technology and services at all levels or as a green reference country in digital Europe.

Integration is the future


"We will do everything in our power to preserve and strengthen cooperation for the benefit of peace, security and prosperity in the light of Euro-Atlantic integration,"," Slovenian President Borut Pahor said after the Brdo Brioni summit in Zagreb, adding that “we live in a world that needs good and encouraging stories ". One of such stories is definitely the Brdo Brioni process, which is a vehicle of gradual cooperation development cooperation between countries which seemed unable to forge positive links after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia due to war.

Intolerance is not the solution


Twenty years ago, the Declaration of the Principles of Tolerance was adopted in Paris. Now, Paris is a city that shows how tolerance is necessary, said the Slovenian Human Rights Ombudsman, Vlasta Nussdorfer. The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday and the recent attacks in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq have shown that conflicts, terrorism and radicalism cannot resolve problems. Problems should be resolved through tolerance, while promoting awareness and education. It did not happen far away; it happened close to us, in the free world. The values of solidarity, freedom, tolerance, mutual respect, respect for the principles of humanity and human rights are being tested. What we need above all is trust: trust in each other and trust in politics, both at the national and European level.

Difficult decisions


It has been 25 years since the decision was made to hold a plebiscite on Slovenia's independence. This was one in a series of difficult decisions that led to an independent country. “We began to take major political decisions that still mark the character of our country in every aspect," said the President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor. On the journey that we have taken since the landmark events in 1990, we have achieved the mature confidence needed to face the most extraordinary situations, one of which is the current wave of migration.

We have a responsibility to our own future


At a time when the world is being shaken by scandals, unrest and various crises, we are all trying to find the right way, the right direction, relying on different points of orientation. The extraordinary extent of the migration crisis which has become part of our everyday life is a good indicator of the current situation. We cannot deny it, as we are an active part of the bigger global story; but it is our duty to respond to the tremors correctly and in time. The government agrees that Slovenia needs a clear long-term vision of development. We have a responsibility to our future that is proportionate to the expectations of citizens. Therefore, the government has decided to write publish the vision in a people-friendly way that also takes account of their contribution.

United we stand…


The tide of refugees is still pressing on Slovenia’s borders. Yesterday, the government discussed comprehensive measures to handle the refugee crisis, and all possible scenarios and measures if the situation should worsen. It is carefully monitoring the situation in Austria, which the Austrian interior minister has said will not close its border by erecting physical barriers. Slovenia will do everything necessary to protect the border, while respecting humanitarian principles. It will also respect European rules, i.e. the Schengen rules, although the minister said it is aware that the rules have not been adapted to the present situation. "Slovenia is the first country on the Balkan route that is making every effort to reduce immigration pressure," said the minister at the press conference on Thursday. She reiterated that the refugee crisis is a European problem, and effective control should be established on the external borders as soon as possible.

Solidarity at stake


Slovenia received almost fifty thousand refugees and migrants in a single week and there are no signs of any let-up in the situation. Slovenia is the smallest country on the European stretch of the migrant route, and has extremely limited capacities. "We are still controlling the situation, but we are at the limit of our capacities," according to the representatives of the interior ministry and the police.

Tourism: Slovenia's biggest advantage is its people


"Slovenia is too small to be like other countries. We want to find our place with different, innovative, products that meet the needs of contemporary guests," said the minister for the economy, Zdravko Počivalšek. According to the Slovenian Tourist Board, it is time to press the reboot button – to think about how to continue, and to find inspiration and innovation. Tourism is one of the most important strategic sectors in the country, as it is creating new jobs and has contributed significantly to balanced regional development in Slovenia. The country has seen an increase in the number of foreign and domestic visitors, and tourism is a major industry, generating two billion euros annually, which is 13 per cent of GDP. According to an international survey of the competitiveness of tourism in 145 countries, Slovenia ranks 20th in terms of the sustainable development of the environment.

Public administration is the key to country’s competitiveness


In Slovenia, we are aware that we still have a lot to do in order to ensure an effective and transparent public sector which offers high-quality services. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Administration together with the Representation of the European Commission in Slovenia is hosting an international conference on modernising public administration this week. Public administration minister Boris Koprivnikar is convinced that "public administration is the key to the competitiveness of any country. The Serbian president, Tomislav Nikolić, was on an official visit to Ljubljana this week. According to Cerar, Slovenia will continue to support Serbia in its process of joining the EU and continue to make efforts to ensure that the EU does not forget about the Western Balkans. Nikolić and Cerar also discussed the refugee and migration issue and expressed concern about EU internal borders closing in the future.

Slovenia joins calls for a more responsible global future


“We call upon the Security Council, and especially its permanent members, to overcome divisions and find the way to deal more effectively with this worsening situation, in line with its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,” Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said in his address to the UN General Assembly. He stressed that Slovenia is also assuming its share of responsibility.

Cerar: EU has caught the last train to resolve the refugee crisis


In the past week, Slovenia tackled the arrival of increased numbers of refugees and migrants well. Over 3,000 persons had arrived in the country by Tuesday. All were treated with dignity and received basic humanitarian assistance. At the moment, there are neither migrants nor refugees in Slovenia, as everyone but 23 asylum seekers proceeded to Austria and Germany after getting some rest.

Working for the people and with the people


September 18 marks the first anniversary of Miro Cerar’s government taking office. The new cabinet under Cerar has given new impetus to Slovenia. Several years of economic crisis have revealed a number of social problems which the new ministerial team has been forced to take on if it is to restore the country’s international reputation and economic strength. Balancing the budget, strengthening the welfare state and regaining people's trust in the country were the crucial priorities set by the new government when taking office: everything in order to ensure a better life for the citizens of Slovenia, as we "work for the people and with the people". People are also in the forefront when it comes to refugees and migrants who need protection, solidarity, compassion and respect. After Hungary closed its border with Serbia, changes in refugee routes are more likely, also via Croatia and Slovenia. According to Miro Cerar, Slovenia is prepared for the possible arrival of a larger number of refugees and has coordinated all departments on the issue.

We will not rest, despite good results


With a series of press conferences by ministries, the government of Miro Cerar is beginning its presentation of achievements in the first year of government and the priorities for the next period. The good macroeconomic indicators that the country has seen recently are better than expected. GDP increased by three per cent last year, and 2.7 per cent this year, which means that the structural changes that were made and the difficult decisions have yielded results. The PM said that “Slovenia is taking the first really important steps from the crisis but is still far from the complete stabilisation of finances, the economy and social sector,” warning that it was important to maintain political stability and continue development. The PM also said that we should not be lulled by positive trends or unreasonably increase our appetites.

Partnerships as a response to international challenges


Amidst one of the biggest migration waves in the world since World War II, Europe is facing an "unprecedented humanitarian and political crisis" - an issue that requires a comprehensive set of solutions ranging from measures to provide humane and dignified treatment for those seeking shelter far from their destroyed homelands to efforts to stop a deadly wave of human trafficking. And much more… The need to tackle rising global uncertainty with new partnerships was at the centre of debate this week at the lakeside resort of Bled. At the 10th Bled Strategic Forum leaders, politicians, business officials, economists and other experts heard that, in order to remain faithful to its values, Europe will have to devise a credible and effective common response. The panellists stressed the significance of greater unity, coordination and solidarity among European countries and finding partnerships with international organisations and non-government stakeholders when handling the issue.

The young are the pillars of the world


According to an old Slovenian saying, the young are the pillars of the world. “We should open our eyes to the ideas of the young,” said the leader of this year’s Young BSF Simona Leskovar, as the young have visions and ideas and can think outside the box. At this moment, 35 young people from all over the world are having discussions within Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), which are divided into three linked sections: innovative entrepreneurial environments, going green and the internet, internet surveillance and the right to be informed. All the topics are connected by a discussion on the partnership of vision, i.e. trust and cooperation, which will also be at the forefront of the 10th BSF. Unfortunately, many young refugees from the restless Middle East and other unstable parts of the world have no possibilities to present their point, no rights, dignity or opportunities to survive at home, so they are compelled to embark on a perilous journey to a better tomorrow.

An appeal for dialogue


The Russian Chapel is a very significant monument. It particularly symbolises three fundamental dimensions of our existence. The first is completely ordinary and human: at this site, we strengthen Slovenian-Russian friendship every day, at the same time developing interpersonal ties as individuals. “What counts most in life is the good we do for others," said the Slovenian PM in his speech during a memorial service by the Russian Chapel. He also mentioned the spiritual, social and political dimensions, the latter reminding us that wars and other forms of violence are absurd and contrary to the fundamental values of humanity. The message of the chapel is a message of peace. According to Cerar, peace is something that has to be worked on every day again and again, and that it is a great responsibility of us all.

Being responsible


The Slovenian government and the PM personally strive to ensure that the work of the arbitration tribunal is impartial and independent, said PM Miro Cerar regarding procedures before the court of arbitration determining the border with Croatia, adding that we will continue to do everything in the future to support this tribunal. The PM expects the arbitration court to continue working in accordance with the existing rules, both international and in the arbitration agreement, and conclude its work with a decision that is binding on both sides. At the same time, Cerar expressed concern that it is obvious that someone connected to the Croatian side is spying in order to influence the arbitration process. "I find that outrageous," said Cerar.

Towards hot autumn


Roads full of tourists and the forecast of a third heat wave (which no-one laments after last year’s wet summer) are definitely reliable signs that summer is really with us. But it is still a while before the government goes on vacation, which will be quite short this year.

A step toward reconciliation


These days, Europe is up in arms again because of Greece. After the many D-days, the next is on Sunday, when there is to be a yet another extraordinary summit of the Eurogroup in Brussels. Already on Wednesday, when meeting the French President Hollande, Prime Minister Cerar said that everything should be done to keep Greece in the euro area. He also said that the Greek government with its proposals must convince institutions and members of the euro area that it is serious about structural and other reforms.

Yes to solidarity, but not at any cost


“Slovenia has been and remains constantly committed to help, based on the principle of solidarity,” PM Miro Cerar said at yesterday’s press conference about Slovenia being ready to help Greek citizens in a difficult situation, adding that the Greek government should show that, in return, it is willing to make reforms.

Happy Birthday, sLOVEnia!


Statehood Day is always an opportunity for society and the state to look back and reflect on where we are and where we are going. Where are we?

Green, the colour of the future


Slovenia certainly has a critical mass of knowledge, capacities and competences and there is innovation potential for placing Slovenia within global markets, thus enhancing its recognisability. This week, the investment conference on developing Slovenia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (SSS) took place in Ljubljana. Over 400 key economic and scientific-research actors in Slovenia’s development discussed Slovenia’s key development priorities in terms of investing in research and development. The common denominator of all priority areas is sustainable technologies and services for a healthy life. Green and high technologies were also at the forefront of the meetings of President Borut Pahor in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Slovenia seeks to present itself to its strongest economic partner as an innovative environment that understands development in sustainable terms and also contributes its share to such development with high technology.

Increasing number of opportunities for cooperation


In the last few weeks, everything in Slovenia has revolved around the sale of Telekom Slovenia. There has been much talk about whether the decision-making was based on politics or expertise, yet we should not forget that it is a decision taken by the National Assembly in the previous term. PM Cerar said that too many opportunities have been missed for us to be able to afford another one, because the company urgently needs a strategic owner if it is to remain competitive and survive in the demanding telecommunications market.

Shifts towards sustainability


Economic globalisation has influenced our values. Methods of consumption and production also affect Slovenia and we carry part of the responsibility for the necessary change. Does economic growth mean more to us than sustainable development? We say that we have become richer, but this is mainly at the expense of nature, which was considered a free reservoir for our excessive economic and consumer appetite. The economic crisis has shown that endless growth at the expense of environment is not possible. How can we find a balance? The answer lies in a transition to a green economy. Society is already paying unsettled bills to nature, so we have to think about how we will change our behaviour. Decision-makers in Slovenia seek sustainable development as a unique opportunity and Slovenia's comparative advantage that will ensure an end to the crisis and improve the competitiveness of our economy. In this respect, we should not forget that the long-term prosperity of the population, quality of the environment and life, and sustainable activities of the economy also depend on responsible management of natural resources.

Slovenia in green


This week is the traditional week of forests in Slovenia, which is dedicated to forest management as the basic tool of the forester and forest owner to steer forest development. In this respect, PM Cerar said that wood should be defined as nationally strategic raw material for production and construction, which would open many new jobs and raise the value of the wood-processing industry.

The refugee issue concerns us all


Slovenian PM Miro Cerar attended the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, where leaders of EU member states met representatives of the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. They discussed further cooperation between the EU and these countries and issued a joint summit declaration, which, according to the Slovenia PM, reflects the continued support of the EU for the partner countries and their reform programmes. Against the backdrop of the meeting, the PM separately met the President of Ukraine and the Georgian PM.

Flexicurity on the labour market


Due to globalisation, changes on the labour market are happening much more quickly today than they did a few decades ago. About 40 per cent of active workforce has atypical forms of employment. The Prime Minister Miro Cerar said that “the age of precarious work poses many challenges that affect lowering salaries and the formation of a new social class. Therefore, many employees cannot life off their salaries any more. According to the PM, the changing labour market and individual stories present a “special challenge” to Slovenia. The government is aware that Slovenia has to introduce a more flexible labour market in an appropriate way, but we must agree to introduce the changes in a way that will ensure stronger legal and social protection. In this respect, Cerar highlighted the significance of flexicurity on the labour market.

Never again?!


Although the recession in the EU is officially over and Slovenia is expecting growth over two per cent this year (according to the spring forecast of the European Commission) it is hard to avoid comparisons with the period before World War II. Several years of economic crisis, numerous and expanding conflicts at Europe's doorstep, growth in cultural intolerance and the gap between the rich and the poor: yes, there are more than enough reasons to say once again, with careful consideration: Never again.

A friend in need…


At its last meeting, the cabinet approved 50,000 euros of direct financial aid to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). PM Miro Cerar stressed that we are open to other forms of aid and that Slovenia would probably send a group of physicians to the affected areas.

Promising effects and careful steps


In the last few days, the Slovenian government has often discussed the draft Stability and Growth Programme, which has to be sent to Brussels by the end of the month. While the final draft will be approved next week, the government notified the public this week that some financial measures will be easing, both in the public sector and regarding social transfers and pensions. The government also announced that by improving operations or streamlining some systems it has ensured that suspending some austerity measures will not affect growth.

Foot on the accelerator


The Slovenian business sector is interested in foreign direct investments, so the Slovenian government has the task of improving the conditions to attract them. In future, the government will continue to prioritise investors who wish to establish a long-term presence here and have good development plans for individual companies, said the Slovenian PM Miro Cerar during the visit of Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka.

History did not overtake us 25 years ago, so we can catch the future again


This week, on 8 April, we mark 25 years since the first democratic multi-party elections in Slovenia. There was a high turnout, 83.5 per cent, and the DEMOS coalition emerged as winners. The elections in the 1990s were a historic landmark for our development as a nation, marking the first step towards democracy.

Economy Tops Agenda


The Slovenian government wishes to speed up the process of effective economic re-structuring by improving the business environment and its competitiveness in terms of foreign investments. Therefore, it is preparing several amendments to legislation and other measures. In this, it is not forgetting about small and micro companies, said the PM. “Slovenia is slowly recovering. Yet the emerging optimism is fragile and we now that we cannot make cardinal mistakes, that politics will successfully encourage and alleviate this process so that growth will continue and employment will rise," said the PM.

Sustainable resource management


Slovenia recorded relatively strong economic growth in 2014, at 2.6%; the labour market situation also improved. When presenting its spring forecast, the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) highlighted two crucial messages. They expect trends that began last year to continue, and competitiveness, which was a contributing factor to growth already last year, to improve. According to the IMAD director Boštjan Vasle, this year’s growth is now projected at 2.4 per cent of the GDP, while the forecast was two per cent December last year. Next year, the growth is to total two per cent, which is an improvement over the December forecast of 1.7 per cent, while it is to reach 2.1 per cent in 2017. One of the key conditions for higher growth in the medium-term period is privatisation or better management of state assets, said Vasle.

Records and historic events


The government session this week was unusual. According to the expert public, this was also “a historic event for bees”. As part of the national campaign initiated by the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and the Medex company, cabinet members planted linden tree seedlings to support events under the slogan People Plant, Honey Bees Pollinate, the goal of which is to plant linden trees, a species highly attractive to bees and one of the symbols of Slovenia, on a large scale in public areas and private gardens. The government has also focused on developing workers' ownership, and worker participation in management and profit sharing. All these three forms constitute economic democracy and yield the best business results. At a special discussion on the subject, the PM noted that economic democracy contributes to innovativeness, creativity, social capital and new jobs for different groups of the population.

Addressing challenges


In recent months, the government’s work has been measured by a string of successful indicators: high growth, lower unemployment and a higher credit rating, said PM Miro Cerar on Wednesday. The Institute of Macro-economic Analysis and Development also expects growth between 2 and 2.6 per cent, which will continue to be fuelled mainly by exports, while investment and domestic consumption will also continue to grow. The labour minister, Anja Kopač Mrak, drew attention to the issue of maintaining a balance of austerity measures so that they do not destroy the model of the social state. Despite growth, challenges in the social area, employment and gender equality remain.

Destination Slovenia


Slovenia may be one of Europe’s smaller countries, but in terms of tourism potential this green jewel stretching from the Alps to the Adriatic coast is increasingly catching the attention of the travel industry in Europe and worldwide. At a press conference held at the 2015 ITB Berlin yesterday, high-ranking representatives from the Slovenian government, its tourism agencies (Slovenian Tourist Board and Ljubljana Tourism), Adria Airways, as well as Fraport AG and its Ljubljana aviation gateway jointly presented 'Destination Slovenia'. The Slovenian government has defined tourism as one of its five strategic sectors. “Due to our attractive and diverse tourism products and other potential that Slovenia has, I strongly believe our country will become not only a desired destination for short trips, but a popular tourist destination with the varied offer on the coast, in the mountains, cities, health resorts and thermal spas being the most important part of Slovenian tourism”, said the minister of economic development and technology Zdravko Počivalšek.

Good news


"This is very good news," said the economic and finance commissioner Moscovici, when the European Commission reported the results of an in-depth analysis of macro-economic imbalances in 16 EU member states, including Slovenia. For Slovenia, the Commission established that after two consecutive assessments of excessive macro-economic imbalances, the imbalances are no longer excessive, and significant progress has been made in the past year.

Infrastructure Challenges


According to finance minister Dušan Mramor, a strategy for a network of railway, road and other infrastructure, one of Slovenia's main priorities, can present Slovenia’s great competitive advantage, which can be used as a basis to build growth in the future. In order for Slovenia to keep its position on the European transport corridor, the modernisation of the entire rail connection from Koper to the Hungarian and Austrian borders, including building a second track, is strategically important. The infrastructure ministry will submit funding proposals to upgrade and modernise the railways to an EU call for proposals. Appropriate rail and road infrastructure is particularly important for opening up and further developing the Port of Koper.

Slovenia to aMaze


Amazing! How else can we start this week’s editorial if not in a winning mood. The Slovenian ski champion Tina Maze has passed another landmark, and with her strong focus, dedication, energy and talent has found her optimal balance. Politicians, policy makers and all of us in general should strive for such efficiency and apply it in practice whenever possible. The Slovenian government is facing several crucial decisions, including the preparation and adoption of the development strategy. According to the prime minister, the main challenge will be how to design development projects within the perspective of sustainable principles and criteria.

It's time to settle the accounts


Citizens of every country rightly expect to be treated equally by the law. This must also apply to equal treatment with regard to paying taxes. No-one wants to settle the bill for someone else, and it is a fact that taxes and contributions are a major resource for the national budget and that avoiding the payment of one's liabilities has an effect. With inspection checks, the Slovenian government has established that business taxpayers operating with cash most often avoid paying taxes by not issuing invoices, or changing or subsequently deleting electronic copies of their invoices in the records, while destroying the original copies.

Yes to reform, but carefully considered


The government's goal for this year is clear. Slovenia must continue to implement structural measures if we wish to achieve long-term growth and more high-skilled jobs. Sustainable economic growth can be achieved only with the right combination of responsible fiscal policy, future-oriented structural reforms and smart investments. According to the Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, we have stepped on the road from the crisis and with great effort – particularly in the last few months – have managed to achieve great progress. “Reinstated market trust is further proof, which is supported by a better credit rating and the fact that regardless of the fluctuations on financial markets a record low yield on Slovenia’s bond has been achieved, which makes borrowing cheaper,” said the PM in his speech in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Social Pact underlines commitment to reform


Led by the labour minister Anja Kopač Mrak, social partners initialled the draft Social Pact for 2015 – 2016 (available in Slovene) after 16 rounds of negotiations. For the first time since 2009, Slovenia is about to have a new social pact, a document whose goal is to secure stability and social peace and which defines the fundamental commitments and guidelines of the government, employers and trade unions. This is only the fifth time in the history of independent Slovenia that social partners have managed to reach such an agreement and the third such modern pact.

Social enterpreneurship as a new opportunity


In the past week, the government focused particularly on determining priority projects that will be carried out in 2015 or later. One of the crucial criteria was the developmental aspect and direct benefit or improvement it will bring to users and providers. One of such projects is definitely the project of promoting the development of social entrepreneurship, cooperatives, creative industries and economic democracy, which was the subject of consultations between the representative of the government, social economy sector and the support environments.

Credibility, the key to Slovenia's success


The year behind us was demanding in many ways, but it also brought some success. We are particularly happy with the success achieved in finance and the economy, where the economic indicators have improved and become positive. Naturally, several issues and dilemmas remain for which the Slovenian government will have to find appropriate, credible responses. In order to implement structural reforms and austerity measures, it will have to gain wide social consensus and the cooperation of social partners. The government faces many challenges in investments, health reform and foreign policy, where Slovenian diplomacy is already hard at work. At the recent annual three-day consultations, the 19th in a row, the discussions centred mainly on Slovenia's international role, the significance of economic diplomacy and taking a coordinated approach to international activities. They also focused on security issues, which is particularly appropriate in the light of Wednesday's terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The Slovenian Prime Minister strongly condemned the attack on media freedom, which is a crucial achievement of civilisation. In this respect, foreign minister Erjavec highlighted dialogue as the basic tool of the policy of peace.

2015 – a breakthrough year for Slovenia?


When the government headed by Miro Cerar took office, its crucial priorities were balancing the budget, strengthening the social state and restoring people’s faith in the country. At the end of the year, 100 days will have passed since the government took office. During this time, the revised budget for 2014 has been adopted (while the revised budget for 2015 is being intensively prepared), several measures have been taken to reduce youth unemployment and significant shifts in the area of respect for the rule of law.

Small, yet dynamic economy


Economic cooperation and attracting foreign investors or finding new foreign direct investment was the focus of several government activities this week. As a promising economic partner, Slovenia also looked for new opportunities for foreign direct investment at the China–CEEC Summit, this time held in Belgrade.

Time for consensus


Structural reforms, austerity measures and ambitious investment projects prepared by the government to achieve financial consolidation are essential if Slovenia is to regain the path of economic growth and development. As the Prime Minister Miro Cerar said at the meeting with the President of Slovenia, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the National Council, wide social consensus and cooperation must be reached for their implementation. Such consensus is possible only if the planned changes are tailored to the person, not to the interests of the capital. A new opportunity to find a common vision of Slovenia’s development emerges today, when representatives of the government, the unions and the industry will try again to conclude a social agreement for 2015-2016.

Improving economic situation also by fighting grey economy


Important government decisions that will improve the economy include a new package of measures aimed at fighting the grey economy. One of the main measures is the introduction of certified cash registers, which the government will expand to all companies.

Joint decisions that are not bad compromises


Taking decisions based on wide agreement is usually the hardest, yet the most necessary. This also applies to public finances and the fiscal rule requiring a balance between the projected revenues and expenditures of the state in the medium-term without borrowing or a revenue surplus.

Small can be big


In many ways, Slovenia is a small country, which in many respects is also its biggest asset. It is definitely not small in terms of the opportunities that its geographic and strategic position offers to potential domestic and foreign investors, who see Slovenia as a base to enter our and other European markets.

Investments for the future


Anti-flood measures were highlighted by the PM in his recent working meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claud Juncker, where they discussed a planned € 300 billion investment project.

Indicators for Slovenia turn upwards


The Commission’s autumn forecast for Slovenia is very favourable, as it is even better than the current government projections.

The new Slovenian government embarking on an ambitious project of economic consolidation


The first foreign trip of the Slovenian PM, Miro Cerar, was to Slovenia's biggest and the most significant economic partner, Germany. With his host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he discussed bilateral relations, relevant policies, the situation in the EU, Slovenia and the region. They focused on budgetary consolidation, privatisation in Slovenia and economic conditions.

Slovenia is a great opportunity for investors


Slovenia needs foreign direct investment. Therefore, the government will seek to provide a stable political and business environment, particularly by stabilising public finance by lowering excessive deficit, further stabilising the banking and financial system and continuing privatisation.

Economic recovery with strong government support


“We have the knowledge, brains, natural resources and geostrategic position. What we need is more optimism.” This statement was made by the minister for the economy Jožef Petrovič, who added to the words of PM Miro Cerar, urging the co-creation of Slovenia as a country of fair play in business, politics and elsewhere. The PM promised that creating conditions for sustainable economic growth and better competitiveness would be a central task of the Government. There is plenty to be optimistic about.

Continuation of structural reforms and long-term financing to boost economic growth and employment


At the recent Employment Summit, PM Cerar stressed that, in order to achieve more sustainable public finances and improve the competitiveness of the export-driven Slovenian economy while preserving the pillars of the social state, the new Slovenian Government will continue to implement structural reforms and privatisation procedures.

Crucial priorities: rule of law and sustainable development


The new cabinet under Miro Cerar has given new impetus to Slovenia. His Government will focus on restoring people's trust in the state and its fundamental pillars of governance.


Every friday the Slovenian Weekly Newsletter brings you the latest updates on the work of the Slovenian Government.

Newsletter before 2014

If you wish to browse through the Slovenia News Newsletter , that was sent out by the Government Communication Office from 2007 until 2014, you can find it on the Government Communication Office website.