The Slovenia Times

Slovenia closing embassies in Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Ireland


Erjavec explained that the decision to close the embassy in Sweden instead of that in Denmark was based on reciprocity, as Sweden also closed its embassy in Ljubljana.

He added that the embassy in Copenhagen would easily cover Slovenia's diplomatic needs in Scandinavia.

The foreign minister stressed that his ministry would strengthen the role of honorary consuls.

Erjavec said he and Türk agreed that Slovenia's strategic policy was "not to close the embassies and save money, but rather to reorganise the diplomatic network".

The ministry however plans to save some EUR 1.8m per year with this measure.

The current network was established in the 1990s and was aimed at facilitating Slovenia's joining international organisations like the EU and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

This is why it was important to be present in EU members, according to the minister, who stressed that the country's ambitions had changed and it wanted to have a greater presence in other parts of the world, especially in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Central America.

While austerity also hit the Foreign Ministry, Erjavec expects to open at least one embassy in this term, most likely in central Africa, where Slovenia has great business interests. The minister would also like to open an embassy somewhere in the Gulf.

Erjavec announced that a new foreign policy strategy would have to be drawn up, while he expects that Slovenian foreign interests would be analysed by the end of the year and the strategy drafted in line with the conclusions.

The president has to sign every closure or opening of a diplomatic representation upon the proposal of the government and the backing of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee.

Apart from the four embassies, the government decided to close two general consulates, reportedly those in Düsseldorf and New York.

Slovenians living in New York have however urged the government to abandon its plans to close the consulate in the US metropolis, stressing that the move would cause irreparable economic and cultural damage, and undermine Slovenia's reputation in the US and the world.


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