The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Joined EU Ten Years Ago


The main state ceremony marking the anniversary will be held at the Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in the small town of Vitanje near the city of Celje on 9 May, Europe Day.

A day earlier a photo exhibition will open in the Ljubljana city centre dubbed "At Home in Europe". The opening of the display organised by the Government Communication Office will be addressed by Speaker of the National Assembly Janko Veber.

Joining the EU was the country's main goal following its gaining independence in 1991. The membership was supported by nearly 90% of the Slovenian voters in a 2003 referendum.

Slovenia entered the bloc as part of the EU's biggest enlargement so far alongside another nine countries - seven from the former eastern bloc, as well as Malta and Cyprus.

Slovenia became the first new member to be entrusted with presiding over the bloc in the first half of 2008, the first to introduce the euro in 2007 and the first to enter the Schengen zone in December 2007.

But after the optimistic first years in the bloc, the once model pupil slowly started slipping into an economic and financial crisis in late 2008.

Last year Slovenia managed to avoid a troika intervention by supplying its banks with fresh capital of over EUR 3bn. Although the situation is still rather grim, growth projections have slowly started to turn up over the past months.


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