Ljubljana – The daily Delo distinguishes between two periods of Slovenia’s statehood, before and after EU entry 2004, as it argues in Saturday’s front-page commentary that Slovenians do not really know what to do with their own country.
Until 2004, a relatively united Slovenian political class shared a common goal – membership of the EU and NATO. After that, Slovenia entered a lull, becoming passive; the political elite could no longer articulate key objectives.
“This void, this neglect, this foreign-policy vacuum has been exploited in the last term by the government to equate Slovenian foreign policy objectives with the partisan objectives of the SDS, which are in turn politically and business-wise tied to the illiberally oriented Višegrad space.
“If the SDS puts together a new government, this direction will be affirmed; if not, Slovenia is in for a long return to the Copenhagen criteria,” the paper says in reference to the criteria for membership that European Community countries put in place in 1993.
For most of our history Slovenians did not have our own country, which remains a big national frustration. Now an even bigger frustration is that the political elite does not know what to do with the country.
“And when it does, it veers away from expectations of the citizens and the political consensus achieved at the independence referendum and the referendum where we unanimously backed EU membership,” the paper concludes in Frustration of a Lulled Slovenia.