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Long-Haul Champions

Despite political changes nationally, Slovenia has remained dedicated to EU values and continues to advocate strongly for EU enlargement, particularly to encompass the Western Balkans

Slovenia’s two-decade journey within the European Union reflects a consistent and unwavering positive approach to integration and cooperation. Since its 2004 accession, Slovenia has embraced EU membership as a central pillar of its foreign policy and national identity. This commitment is evidenced by various official documents, including the Basics of the Strategy of Foreign Policy of Slovenia and the Foreign Policy Declaration, which have consistently underscored Slovenia’s alignment with EU values and objectives.

One of Slovenia’s key foreign policy priorities has been its unwavering support for EU enlargement, especially in the Western Balkans. This commitment has transcended changes in government and political orientation, highlighting the country’s bipartisan consensus on the importance of EU membership for regional stability and prosperity. Slovenian leaders, regardless of their political affiliations, have consistently advocated for the swift integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU, emphasising the positive role of EU membership in promoting peace, security and economic development across the region.

At the institutional level, Slovenia has established mechanisms such as the Committee for EU Affairs within its National Assembly to facilitate discussions and decision- making on EU-related matters. These forums serve as platforms for deliberating issues related to EU integration, differentiated integration and the adoption of EU regulations and policies. While there may be differences of opinion on specific policy approaches, there is a general consensus on the need for Slovenia to align itself more closely with the core of the EU and accelerate its integration efforts.

The Slovenian business community has forged strong ties with the EU, with a significant portion of the country’s exports directed towards EU member states. This close economic relationship underscores the importance of EU membership to Slovenia’s economic stability and growth. Slovenian companies prioritise research and development in order to remain competitive on the EU market, with support from EU funds that play a crucial role in driving innovation and technological advancement.

Slovenians show strong trust in the EU, with notable support for EU intervention in areas like security and defence (42%), migration and refugees (38%), and foreign policy (36%). Moreover, citizens value the impact of diverse EU projects, which range from infrastructure development to social initiatives targeting the improved wellbeing of various age groups.

Despite fluctuations in the public’s perception of the EU, as a result of economic crises and other challenges, Slovenians maintain a strong belief in EU integration and Slovenia’s role within the EU. And while there may be ongoing debates and discussions on specific policy issues, Slovenia’s overall commitment to EU membership and integration remains steadfast under the new government.

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