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Stability

02.12.2016

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

25.11.2016

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

18.11.2016

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

11.11.2016

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!

04.11.2016

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

28.10.2016

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

21.10.2016

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

14.10.2016

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

07.10.2016

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

30.09.2016

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

23.09.2016

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

16.09.2016

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

09.09.2016

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

02.09.2016

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.

29.07.2016

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.

Crossroads

22.07.2016

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

15.07.2016

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

08.07.2016

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

01.07.2016

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

24.06.2016

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.

Revelations

17.06.2016

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

10.06.2016

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

03.06.2016

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

27.05.2016

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

20.05.2016

“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

13.05.2016

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

06.05.2016

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

29.04.2016

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

22.04.2016

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

15.04.2016

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

08.04.2016

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

01.04.2016

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

25.03.2016

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?

18.03.2016

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

11.03.2016

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

04.03.2016

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

26.02.2016

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

19.02.2016

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

12.02.2016

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

05.02.2016

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”

29.01.2016

“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?

22.01.2016

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

15.01.2016

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

08.01.2016

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

24.12.2015

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

18.12.2015

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

11.12.2015

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

04.12.2015

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

27.11.2015

"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

20.11.2015

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

13.11.2015

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

06.11.2015

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…

30.10.2015

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

23.10.2015

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

16.10.2015

"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

09.10.2015

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

02.10.2015

“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

25.09.2015

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

18.09.2015

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

11.09.2015

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

04.09.2015

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

28.08.2015

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

31.07.2015

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

24.07.2015

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

17.07.2015

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

10.07.2015

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

03.07.2015

“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!

26.06.2015

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

19.06.2015

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

12.06.2015

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

05.06.2015

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

29.05.2015

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

22.05.2015

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

15.05.2015

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?!

08.05.2015

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…

30.04.2015

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

24.04.2015

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

17.04.2015

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

10.04.2015

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

03.04.2015

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

27.03.2015

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

20.03.2015

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

13.03.2015

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

06.03.2015

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

27.02.2015

"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

20.02.2015

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

13.02.2015

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

06.02.2015

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

30.01.2015

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

23.01.2015

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

16.01.2015

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

09.01.2015

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?

26.12.2014

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

19.12.2014

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

12.12.2014

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

05.12.2014

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

28.11.2014

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

21.11.2014

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

14.11.2014

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

07.11.2014

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

31.10.2014

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

24.10.2014

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

17.10.2014

“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

10.10.2014

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

03.10.2014

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.

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