The Slovenia Times

Slovenia's 10 years in NATO


Slovenia first expressed a political will for membership in the alliance in 1994 and started officially bidding for a spot in it in 1996.

While it was not invited to join NATO at the 1997 Madrid summit, where some believe the alliance made a political decision dictated by the US to invite only the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, the invitation arrived five years later in Prague.

Apart from Slovenia, NATO invited Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia Romania and Slovakia to join it at the summit, which analysts believe was the result of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent pressure from the administration of then US President George Bush.

Despite low public support for joining NATO before the Prague summit, 66% backed joining the alliance in a referendum in March 2003. The country officially entered NATO on 29 March 2004.

Slovenia is today active in international operations and missions, with most of its personnel deployed in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Currently, it earmarks 1.16% of GDP for defence, despite its promise to allocate 2% of GDP for defence by 2008.


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