The Slovenia Times

Thirty years pass since W European countries recognised Slovenia


Ljubljana - Thirty years passed on Sunday since Slovenia's independence was recognised by Western European countries. The first to recognise it was Iceland. Germany and Sweden followed the same day, with their decision taking effect on 15 January 1992, the day when the European Community, the predecessor of the EU, recognised Slovenia.

The first country to recognise Slovenia was its neighbour Croatia, which did so the day after independence declaration on 26 June 1991.

Some other countries, successors to the former Soviet Union, including Baltic countries, followed suit in the second half of the year.

Initially, the government and the Foreign Ministry feared nobody would recognise the country, Slovenia's first Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel told the STA.

"The most clearly negative signals came from the US, and in Europe from countries and colleagues linked to the Socialist International," Rupel said.

The turnaround happened in Brijuni, Croatia, on 7 July 1991, where the European Community decided for a schedule "to end three months of uncertainty".

The first Western European countries to recognize Slovenia were Iceland, Sweden and Germany on 19 December 1991. The latter two adopted the decision that day, but it took effect on 15 January 1992, when all members of the European Community recognised the country.

This is considered the decisive moment. The European Community followed the Brijuni Declaration, adopted on 7 July 1991 that ended the ten-day war in Slovenia.

Rupel said the delay in when the decision of Sweden and Germany's decision will take effect was interesting as the Soviet Union dissolved for Christmas 1991.

He wondered whether the delay was diplomatic caution, as after the break-up of the Soviet Union the argument of the advocates of Yugoslavia that its break-up could affect the Soviet Union was no longer valid.

The Vatican and San Marino recognised Slovenia's independence on 13 and 14 January 1992, respectively. The first overseas countries to do so were Canada and Australia on 15 and 16 January 1992, respectively.

Slovenia was recognised as an independent country by Russia on 14 February, and by the US on 7 April 1992.

By August 1992, 92 countries had recognised Slovenia and today the country has diplomatic relations with over 180 countries around the world and is a member of most international organisations.

It joined the predecessor of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in March 1992 and the UN in May 1992 as the first of the former Yugoslavian countries.

A year later, Slovenia was already a member of the Council of Europe, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It was accepted to NATO in March 2004, and a month later, on 1 May 2004, it became an EU member.

In 2010, the country joined the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Slovenia took over the rotating six-month presidency of the EU for the first time less than four years after it became a member, on 1 January 2008. Now, it holds the presidency for the second time.

Since 2010, Ljubljana is home to the EU's Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators).


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