Foreign relations of Slovenia

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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]

  • Slovenia is engaged with 29 countries in bilateral military exchange - most actively with the United States - and in regional cooperative arrangements in Central and Southeast Europe. Slovenia participates in five major multinational regional peacekeeping bodies;
  • Together with Hungary and Italy, Slovenia formed a Multinational Land Force (the so-called Trilateral Brigade) in April 1998 with regional peacekeeping ability. Further non-military cooperation within the Trilateral includes the fields of transportation infrastructure, fighting money laundering and organized crime, WMD non-proliferation, border controls, and environmental protection;
  • Slovenia is a member of Central European Nations Cooperation on Peacekeeping (CENCOOP), together with Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Within this organization, a combined infantry peacekeeping unit was formed March 1998;
  • Slovenia has observer status, like the United States, in (the Turkish proposed) Multinational Peacekeeping Force Southeast European (MPFSEE), with other participants being Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, and Turkey;
  • Slovenia joined 13 other nations in forming the brigade-sized Standby High-Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG), headquartered in Copenhagen;
  • From May to July 1997, Slovenia contributed to Operation ALBA in Albania with a 25-person medical unit, which was well received and commended by the Italian commander. Thereafter, it continued to support efforts to restore stability in Albania by participating in the WEU's Multinational Advisory Police Element (MAPE) helping to reconstitute and train Albanian police. The government has pledged to the Albanian Government its continuing support;
  • Since November 1997, Slovenia has participated in its first United Nations peacekeeping operation, contributing 27 troops to an Austrian UNFICYP contingent on Cyprus. Slovenia also has peacekeepers with the UN at Naharya Ogl, Israel, on the Lebanese border.
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.

Bilateral relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 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.

 Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is represented in Slovenia by an honorary consulate in Ljubljana[1][2].

 South Africa 9 November 1992
  • 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.


Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Belize

Belize is represented in Slovenia through its embassy in Vienna.[3]

 Colombia July 2004
  • Colombia is represented in Slovenia through its embassy in Vienna (Austria).[4]
  • Slovenia is represented in Colombia through its embassy in Brasilia (Brazil).
 Dominica

Dominica is represented in Slovenia through its embassy in London.[3]

 Mexico 22 May 1992 See Mexico–Slovenia relations
 United States 7 April 1992 See United States–Slovenia relations
  • Slovenia has an embassy in Washington, DC and a consulate-general in Cleveland.[6]
  • United States has an embassy in Ljubljana.[7]
  • The first Lady of the United States, Melania Trump (Melanija Knavs) comes from Slovenia.


Asia[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 27 June 1994
  • Diplomatic relations between Slovenia and Armenia began on 27 June 1994.
  • Armenia has an honorary consulate in Ljubljana.
  • Slovenia has an honorary consulate Yerevan.
 India 11 May 1992[8]
 Israel 28 April 1992 See Israel–Slovenia relations
 South Korea 18 November 1992
  • The establishment of diplomatic relations between Slovenia and South Korea began on 15 April 1992
  • Upon the invitation of H.E. Yun Byung-se Foreign Minister of South Korea, H.E. Karl Viktor Erjavec Foreign Minister of the Slovenia paid an official visit to Seoul on 11–13 March 2015, for a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 13 March 2015.[12]
  • Bilateral Trade in 2014
    • Exports 1665 million US dollars
    • Imports 126 million US dollars
  • The number of South Koreans living in Slovenia in 2013 was about 25.[13]


Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania
 Austria

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.

 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Slovenia relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Ljubljana.[14]
  • Slovenia is represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Budapest (Hungary).[15]
 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 two 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.

 Hungary

Relations with Hungary are excellent. Unlike with some of Hungary's other neighbors, 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.

 Ireland 1991
  • Ireland has an embassy in Ljubljana.[16]
  • Slovenia has an embassy in Dublin.[17]
 Italy

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 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.[18][19]

 Kosovo See Kosovo–Slovenia 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.[20] Slovenia has an embassy in Pristina since 15 May 2008.[21] 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.[22] Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on 17 March 1992.[23] Slovenia supports Macedonia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, its Euro-integration and visa liberalisation.[22][24] A significant number of Slovenian investments ended up in the Republic of Macedonia. In 2007, about 70 million euros were invested.[25] In January 2009, the Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski announced, that he expects more Slovenian investments in infrastructure and energy projects.[25] Over 70 Slovenian companies are present on the Macedonian market.[22]

 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 21 June 2006 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.[26]
 Netherlands 25 June 1991 See Netherlands–Slovenia relations
 Romania 28 August 1992 See Romania–Slovenia relations
 Russia 25 May 1992 See Russia–Slovenia relations
 Serbia 9 December 2000 See Serbia–Slovenia relations
  Switzerland 1992
 Ukraine 10 March 1992
 United Kingdom


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b [3]
  4. ^ "- Cancillería". Cancillería. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Bienvenidos a la portada". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Embassy of the RS Washington". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Home - Embassy of the United States Ljubljana, Slovenia". Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  8. ^ Indo-Slovenia Relations Archived 2016-10-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Embassy of India in Ljubljana. Indianembassy.si. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  10. ^ Embassy of Slovenia in India
  11. ^ Slovenian embassy in Tel Aviv
  12. ^ http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20&sp=/webmodule/htsboard/template/read/engreadboard.jsp%3FtypeID=12%26boardid=302%26seqno=314977
  13. ^ http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/europe/countries/20070823/1_24595.jsp?menu=m_30_40[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Ljubljana Archived 2009-04-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Slovenian Foreign Ministry: directions of diplomatic representation of both countries Archived 2007-11-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Department of Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  17. ^ Website of the Slovenian embassy in Dublin Archived 2010-03-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Timetable Ljubljana-Sežana-Italy
  19. ^ Timetable Italy-Sežana-Ljubljana
  20. ^ "Slovenia Recognizes Kosovo". Slovenian Press Agency. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  21. ^ "Republic of Slovenia opens Embassy in Kosovo" president-ksgov.net 15 May 2008 Link accessed 16/05/08 (Albanian)
  22. ^ a b c Republic of Slovenia - Government Communication Office[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Established full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Macedonia Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Government of the Republic of Macedonia". Archived from the original on 2017-03-05. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  25. ^ a b Vecer Online Archived 2009-02-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: directions of contacts with Montenegro". Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  27. ^ Dutch embassy in Ljubljana[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Hague". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  29. ^ "Romanian embassy in Ljubljana".
  30. ^ "Slovenian embassy in Bucharest".
  31. ^ Russian embassy in Ljubljana Archived 2009-11-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ Slovenian embassy in Moscow
  33. ^ Serbian embassy in Ljubljana (in Serbian and Slovenian only) Archived 2009-04-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Belgrade". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  35. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Bern". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Ambassade de Suisse en Slovénie". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  37. ^ Slovenian embassy in Kiev
  38. ^ "Посольство України в Республіці Словенія". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  39. ^ "The Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia London". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  40. ^ "UK and Slovenia". Retrieved 20 February 2015.