Ceremony marks 30th anniversary of international recognition

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor hosted a ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of recognition of Slovenia by the European Community members and other European countries, which was attended by the current and former foreign ministers, who stressed the importance of diplomacy and unity.

In addition to President Pahor, the event was also addressed by Dimitrij Rupel, the foreign minister at the time of recognition, and current Foreign Minister Anže Logar, who particularly emphasised the importance of unity among Slovenian people.

Meanwhile, Rupel highlighted the diplomatic efforts that led to Slovenia’s international recognition, which he believes to be underestimated by many people today.

He said that in the early 1990s, the international community was “starting to accept Slovenia’s independence efforts very slowly and with difficulties”.

But eventually, a turning point came in Europe in 1991, along with the fateful collapse of the Soviet Union. “By the end of December, expressions of congratulations upon Slovenia’s independence were coming in abundance,” added Rupel.

Looking back to the events of three decades ago, Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that “we had to recognise ourselves first, only then could the world recognise us too”.

He added that the international community had good reasons for recognising Slovenia’s independence, including “the unified desire of Slovenians for an independent state and for belonging to the European project”.

“What we need today is more self-confidence and determination, without which there would have been no independent state and no international recognition 30 years ago,” said Logar.

“Let us acknowledge that Slovenia can be a successful country,” he urged, adding that he believes Slovenia has coped very well with the economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and that the country’s second EU presidency in 2021 was highly successful.

President Pahor added one more point to those expressed by the two ministers – the peaceful settlement of disputes, which he believes to be “a part of Slovenia’s identity and a reflection of the country’s foreign policy”.

“Slovenia took the right path to independence, that is the legal path, and has always made sure to solve any problems peacefully. In this way, our country has strengthened its reputation within the international community, which is of invaluable importance,” said Pahor.

He also recalled the unity of Slovenians at the time of securing independence and said that “the achievements of that time were not made in spite of our differences, but because of them, as people were able to discuss them and find compromises that took our country forward”.

“Today, we must also do our best to find the things that unite us as people, as citizens and as a nation, to achieve a state of unity in Slovenia that will allow us to face the challenges that lie ahead,” concluded the president.