The Slovenia Times

Former foreign minister starts new platform

The founding assembly of the Cooperation Platform led by Anže Logar, an SDS MP and the runner-up in last year's presidential election, held at Grand Plaza Hotel.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Anže Logar, the former foreign minister, who has ranked as the most popular politician since he unsuccessfully challenged Nataša Pirc Musar in the 2022 presidential election, has started a new platform to discuss Slovenia's key challenges. Some speculate the forum might develop into a new party.

Logar, an MP of the opposition Democrats (SDS), founded the association, called Cooperation Platform, together with eleven other well-known public figures, who have been affiliated with both the conservative and the liberal blocs.

The goal of the new association, which Logar first indicated he will form in the 13 November run-off presidential election, is to discuss the country's challenges and promote dialogue. "There will be no taboo topics," Logar, 47, said at the founding event on 31 May.

"Let's leave the comfort zone of silent observation and start shaping an open, untroubled Slovenia that is based on common sense," said Logar. The platform will provide an opportunity for everyone to join in, present their views and proposals, and become part of a convention on the future of Slovenia.

The association is planning to hold round-table discussions on topics such as ways to create conditions conducive to business, modern technologies and artificial intelligence, healthcare, youth, mental health, the judiciary, media and the environment.

The platform will aim to set out concrete proposals based on a broad consensus and offer them to political parties. Should the ruling coalition reject them, it will show its attitude to "what experts and citizens think, which will probably reflect in the election result later on."

Party an option

Asked whether he might form his own party by then, Logar told reporters that this was an option should the association fail with their proposals.

He believes Slovenia is unable to benefit of its huge potential, as administrative barriers often hinder creativity while "the ideology explodes" all too often.

It seems the status quo is being preserved to suit a minority at the expense of the majority, he said, adding that the incumbent government lost trust in a record time.

He disagrees with his party leader Janez Janša that Slovenia is at the start of "a civil war", but believes the situation is hard and the government is not aware well enough at what an important crossroads Slovenia is.

Prominent founding members

The founding members include economist Igor Masten, European law professor Matej Avbelj, Mark Boris Andrijanič, the digital transformation minister in the most recent Janša government, and Jernej Pikalo, a former vice-president of the Social Democrats (SD) who had served as education minister in two centre-left governments.

Alja Brglez, the chief of staff of the former President Borut Pahor, who served as the government's chief PR officer under late Prime Minister Janez Drnovšek, is also one of the founding members.

The association also includes Mitja Čander, an author and director of publisher Beletrina who is considered one of the most influential people in culture in Slovenia, as well as Romana Jordan, a former SDS MEP, and SDS MP Eva Irgl.

The founding members also include Rok Ravnikar, a GP who heads the Medical Chamber's committee on primary health care, and businessmen Igor Hustič and Mirko Požar.

In the week before the platform was founded, SDS leader Janša said Logar's association was a welcome addition to the Slovenian political arena, but added he neither supported nor rejected the project.

Matej Tonin, the leader of the Christian democratic party New Slovenia (NSi), commented for the STA on 26 May that Logar should form a political party.

He said the NSi's internal survey suggested Logar's party might cost them one MP. "If this is the price of getting a broader, more powerful story in the centre-right, we're obviously willing to pay it," he said. The NSi would be willing to form a pre-election coalition with Logar's party, thus sending out a clear message that a centre-right government without Janša was possible, he added.


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