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Statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

Borut Pahor, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

On the 5th Anniversary of Slovenia's Accession to NATO

 

It has been five years since the Republic of Slovenia became a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO. The decision to join NATO was based on the common desire of the majority of the Slovenian electorate, which was expressed in the most democratic way, thus giving this historic decision taken by Slovenian politicians all the necessary credibility and legitimacy. By joining NATO, we, the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia, achieved one of the major foreign policy goals which we set ourselves when our country was born, and assured an adequate level of external national security.

 

The anniversary of our NATO membership also makes for an excellent opportunity to reflect on the journey we have taken so far and to consider plans for Slovenia’s future engagement within the Organization. Slovenia has proven itself a responsible NATO member, not least by having its troops and civilian experts participate in distant crisis hot spots in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, NATO’s role is not important merely in maintaining peace and stability in the Near and Middle East, but also in our immediate neighbourhood; I am, of course, talking about the Balkans.

 

For five years now, Slovenia has been a member of a political and security organisation that celebrates its sixtieth anniversary just days from now. Since the signing of the Washington Treaty in 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has undergone enlargement and change so that it can continue to act as a major political and security player in international relations in the 21st century. Being a NATO member remains a foreign policy goal for a number of countries, such as Croatia and Albania, and after all, France, which recently took the decision to re-enter the military structure of the alliance.

 

The forthcoming NATO Summit will be vital in terms of the future of the alliance, trans-Atlantic relations and the development of Europe’s defence capacities. This will also be the first opportunity for Slovenia to co-shape, actively and on an equal footing, NATO’s new Strategic Concept, a cornerstone of the alliance’s success in fulfilling its mission in the coming decades.