Brussels – A short ceremony was held in Brussels on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence. Among the attendees were MEPs from Slovenia and both Slovenian ambassadors in Brussels. Officials pointed to the path Slovenia has walked in the 30 years and the challenges ahead, especially the EU presidency in the second half of the year.
According to MEP Romana Tomc (EPP/SDS), who gave the initiative for the ceremony, Slovenia has achieved a lot in the last 30 years but there are still things that need to be improved and changed. She said the country had tackled the Covid-19 crisis successfully.
Slovenia’s Ambassador to Belgium Rado Genorio said the “30th birthday is a big deal”, when “we can say we have left puberty and must show maturity”. He expressed the wish for Slovenia to continue to show maturity.
Slovenia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Iztok Jarc and several Slovenian MEPs as well as some Slovenians living in Belgium also attended the ceremony, held near the Schuman roundabout.
The MEPs and ambassadors laid a flower bouquet at the marble monolith that Slovenia set up to commemorate its first EU presidency in 2008. The monolith near the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the Council of the EU, features a verse from Slovenia’s national anthem in 23 languages that were the official languages of the EU at the time.
MEP Tanja Fajon (S&D/SD), who attended the ceremony with her fellow party member MEP Milan Brglez, expressed the wish that Slovenia’s next 30 years would bring unity and solidarity, cooperation and creating of good stories for the country. She also expressed hope that the country’s second stint at the helm of the EU would be successful.
Franc Bogovič (EPP/SLS) pointed to the challenges the country was dealing with, stressing that Slovenian MEPs were always united when they needed to be and represented the country with pride.
A number of events marking Slovenia’s independence anniversary will be held in Brussels in the coming days. On Statehood Day on Friday, the famous Manneken Pis bronze fountain sculpture will be dressed in the new Slovenian national costume and a performance will be held featuring singers Dada Kladenik and Mojca Potrč.
The Slovenian Embassy in Brussels will meanwhile set up a projection of Slovenia’s national symbols and natural sights on the building of the embassy.