Foreign relations of Slovenia

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Slovenia

Since Slovenia declared independence in 1991, its Governments have underscored their commitment in improving cooperation with neighbouring countries and to actively contribute to international efforts aimed at bringing stability to Southeast Europe. Resource limitations have nevertheless been a problem hindering the efficiency of the Slovenian diplomacy. In the 1990s, foreign relations, especially with Italy, Austria and Croatia, triggered internal political controversies. In the last eight years, however, a wide consensus has been reached among the vast majority of Slovenian political parties to jointly work in the improvement of the country's diplomatic infrastructure and to avoid politicizing the foreign relations by turning them into an issue of internal political debates.

Multilateral[edit]

Slovenian embassy in the Hague.

Meeting NATO/Partnership for Peace/EAPC goals[edit]

  • Slovenia's 10th battalion for international cooperation, established in 1996 as its primary "out-of-country" operation unit, will soon be upgraded to a NATO-interoperable rapid reaction peacekeeping force;
  • In November 1998, Slovenia hosted its first major multinational exercise, "Cooperative Adventure Exchange," involving almost 6,000 troops from 19 NATO and PfP countries; otherwise it participates actively in PfP and EAPC;
  • Slovenia is an active participant in Southeast European Defense Ministerial (SEDM) activities. It agreed to be lead country for several initiatives in 1999, including hosting an environmental security seminar.

Contributions to Bosnian stability[edit]

  • Slovenia contributed to IFOR (logistical support) and is very engaged in the SFOR effort, providing VIP support helicopter and light transport aircraft missions and use of an airbase in southern Slovenia;
  • Slovenia has provided a platoon of military police (about 22) for the Italian-led Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU) in Sarajevo since January 1999;
  • Slovenia's latest initiative is its International Trust Fund for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will finance up to $56 million in mine removal and victim rehabilitation services in the region. (The U.S. has contributed over $35 million in matching funds.)

Relations with neighbors[edit]

Slovenia's bilateral relations with its neighbors are generally good and cooperative. However, a few unresolved disputes with Croatia remain. They are related mostly to the succession of the former Yugoslavia, including demarcation of their common border. In addition, unlike the other successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia did not normalize relations with the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (Serbia and Montenegro) until after the passing from power of Slobodan Milošević; although the Slovenes did open a representative office in Podgorica to work with Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović's government.

Succession issues, particularly concerning liabilities and assets of the former Yugoslavia, remain a key factor in Slovenia's relations in the region. On the whole, no conflicts mar relations with neighbors, which are on a sound footing. Numerous cooperative projects are either underway or envisioned, and bilateral and multilateral partnerships are deepening. Differences, many of which stem from Yugoslavia's time, have been handled responsibly and are being resolved.

 Austria[edit]

Relations between Austria and Slovenia are close. Austria was, next to Germany and the Holy See, the most firm supporter of Slovenia's independence. It firmly endorsed Slovenia's path into the European Union. Economic cooperation between the two countries is very important and has been expanding since the early 1990s. Regional cooperation, especially with the states of Carinthia and Styria, is well developed: as a concrete manifestation of the excellent state of regional relations, Slovenia, Austria, and Italy entered a joint bid to organize the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

 Croatia[edit]

Relations between Slovenia and Croatia have been friendly, but burdened with constant disputes, including several unresolved minor border disputes, namely:

Other opened issues are the implementation of the joint management of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, the financial compensation for the Croatian depositors who lost their savings in the liquidation of the Slovenian-based Yugoslav bank Ljubljanska banka.

Although, the most important disputed issue with Croatia is Slovenian and Italian opposition to the proclamation of the Croatian Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (Exclusive Economic Zone) in the Adriatic sea.

In a series of high-level meetings since the latter half of 1998, Slovenia and Croatia have been engaged in settling bilateral differences, a process which accelerated after the death of Croatian President Franjo Tuđman in 1999. Slovenia has supported Croatia's entry in the European Union, but has at times demanded that the opened bilateral questions be resolved before Croatia's accession to the Union.

 Hungary[edit]

Relations with Hungary are excellent. Unlike with some of Hungary's other neighours, minority issues have not been a problem in Hungarian-Slovene relations. The Hungarian minority in Slovenia is granted a policy of positive discrimination under the Slovene constitution, and the legal status of Hungarian Slovenes is good.

Within the Multilateral Cooperation Initiative between Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, cooperation exists in numerous fields, including military (Multinational Land Force peacekeeping brigade), transportation, combating money laundering and organized crime, non-proliferation, border crossings, and environmental issues.

 Italy[edit]

The bilateral relations between Italy and Slovenia have improved dramatically since 1994 and are now at a very good level. In the early 1990s, the issue regarding property restitution to the Istrian exiles was hindering the development of a good relationship between the two countries. By 1996, however, the issue had been set aside, with Italy renouncing any revision of the Treaty of Osimo, allowing a significant improvement in relations. Italy was a firm supporter of Slovene EU and NATO membership, helping Slovenia technically and legislatively master its bid for membership in European and transatlantic institutions.

In 2001, the Italian Parliament finally approved the legislation resolving the last open issues regarding the Slovenian minority in Italy. The legislation, welcomed by both the representatives of the Slovenian minority in Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Slovenian government, started to be implemented in 2007, removing the last pending issue between the two countries. Since then, Italo-Slovene relations can be characterized as excellent. Although interestingly there do not appear to be any scheduled flights between the two countries and the train service, which used to be frequent, has been limited to one train a day in each direction (a night service from Budapest to Venice and back) until December 2011, when it was discontinued, thus leaving no railway connection between the two countries.[1][2]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania
 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Slovenia relations
 Croatia See Croatia–Slovenia relations

Before 1991, both countries were part of Yugoslavia. On June 26, 1991, a mutual recognitial agreement was signed by both countries. Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on February 6, 1992. Croatia has an embassy in Ljubljana and 2 honorary consulates in Maribor and Koper. Slovenia has an embassy in Zagreb and an honorary consulate in Split. Both countries shares 670 km of common border.

 Ireland 1991
 Kosovo See Kosovan–Slovenian relations

Slovenia has a record of supporting the U.S. position on Kosovo, both in regular public statements by top officials and on the Security Council. Prior and during the Kosovo War of 1999, Slovenian top government officials called repeatedly for Slobodan Milošević's compliance with NATO demands. Slovenia granted NATO use of its airspace and offered further logistical support. It also has pledged personnel to support NATO humanitarian operations in the region. Slovenia helped Macedonia deal with the refugee crisis by providing 880 million sit (US$4.9 million) of humanitarian aid, in addition to granting a concession for imported agricultural products. The Slovene Government allocated 45 million SIT (US$250,000) to help Albania, Montenegro, and the Republic of Macedonia, one-third of which went to the latter. Slovenia took in over 4,100 Kosovar refugees during the crisis.

Slovenia recognized Kosovo on 5 March 2008.[7] Slovenia has an embassy in Pristina since 15 May 2008.[8] Kosovo has an embassy in Ljubljana.

 Macedonia See Macedonia–Slovenia relations

The two countries have very close political and economic relations. Once part of SFR Yugoslavia, the two republics declared independence in 1991 (Slovenia in June, Macedonia in September) and recognised each other's independence on 12 February 1992.[9] Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on 17 March 1992.[10] Slovenia supports Macedonia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, its Euro-integration and visa liberalisation.[9][11] A significant number of Slovenian investments ended up in the Republic of Macedonia. In 2007, about 70 million euros were invested.[12] In January 2009, the Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski announced, that he expects more Slovenian investments in infrastructure and energy projects.[12] Over 70 Slovenian companies are present on the Macedonian market.[9]

 Moldova See Moldova–Slovenia relations

Moldova recognized the Republic of Slovenia at an unknown date. Diplomatic relations were established on October 27, 1993. Both countries are represented in each other through their embassies in Budapest (Hungary).

 Montenegro 2006-06-21 See Montenegro–Slovenia relations
  • Slovenia recognized Montenegro’s independence on June 20, 2006.
  • Montenegro has an embassy in Ljubljana.
  • On June 23, 2006, Slovenia opened its embassy in Podgorica.[13]
 Netherlands 1991-06-25 See Netherlands–Slovenia relations
 Romania 1992-08-28 See Romania–Slovenia relations
 Russia 1992-05-25 See Russia–Slovenia relations
 Serbia 2000-12-09 See Serbia–Slovenia relations
  Switzerland 1992
 Ukraine 1992-03-10
 United Kingdom

Rest of world[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Colombia 2004-07
  • Colombia is represented in Slovenia through its embassy in Vienna (Austria).[28]
  • Slovenia is represented in Colombia through its embassy in Brasilia (Brazil).
 Egypt See Egypt–Slovenia relations

Since September 2007, Egypt has an embassy in Ljubljana. Slovenia has an embassy in Cairo (opened in 1993). Both countries are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.

 Israel 1992-04-28 See Israel–Slovenia relations
 Mexico 1992-05-22 See Mexico–Slovenia relations
 South Africa 1992-11-09
  • South Africa recognized the independence and sovereignty of Slovenia on April 2, 1992.
  • Slovenia has no official representation in South Africa.
  • South Africa is represented in Slovenia through its embassy in Vienna, Austria, and through an honorary consulate in Ljubljana.
 United States 1992-04-07 See Slovenia–United States relations

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Timetable Ljubljana-Sežana-Italy
  2. ^ Timetable Italy-Sežana-Ljubljana
  3. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Ljubljana
  4. ^ Slovenian Foreign Ministry: directions of diplomatic representation of both countries
  5. ^ Website of the Irish embassy in Ljubljana
  6. ^ Website of the Slovenian embassy in Dublin
  7. ^ "Slovenia Recognizes Kosovo". Slovenian Press Agency. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Republic of Slovenia opens Embassy in Kosovo" president-ksgov.net 15 May 2008 Link accessed 16/05/08 (Albanian)
  9. ^ a b c Republic of Slovenia - Government Communication Office
  10. ^ Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Established full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Macedonia
  11. ^ Government of the Republic of Macedonia
  12. ^ a b Vecer Online
  13. ^ Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: directions of contacts with Montenegro
  14. ^ Dutch embassy in Ljubljana
  15. ^ Slovenian embassy in The Hague
  16. ^ "Romanian embassy in Ljubljana". 
  17. ^ "Slovenian embassy in Bucharest". 
  18. ^ Russian embassy in Ljubljana
  19. ^ Slovenian embassy in Moscow
  20. ^ Serbian embassy in Ljubljana (in Serbian and Slovenian only)
  21. ^ Slovenian embassy in Belgrade
  22. ^ Slovenian embassy in Bern
  23. ^ Swiss embassy in Ljubljana
  24. ^ Slovenian embassy in Kiev
  25. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Ljubljana
  26. ^ Slovenian embassy in London
  27. ^ British embassy in Ljubljana
  28. ^ http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/international/regions/europe/union/member/slovenia
  29. ^ Slovenian embassy in Tel Aviv
  30. ^ Embassy of Mexico in Vienna (in Spanish)
  31. ^ a b Embassy of Slovenia in Washington, DC (in English and Slovenian)
  32. ^ Embassy of the United States in Ljubljana