Slovenia 30 years after independence – Still the region’s ‘frontrunner’?
Presentation: Democracy and Party Politics
Alenka Krašovec, Professor, Chair of Policy Analysis and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Meta Novak, Assistant Professor, Chair of Policy Analysis and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Presentation: Economic Development and Prospects
Niko Korpar, Economist and Country Expert for Slovenia, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), Vienna
Presentation: Constitutional Backsliding in Slovenia?
Matej Avbelj, Professor of European Law at the New University, Ljubljana
Presentation: Media Freedom
Špela Stare, Secretary General of the Slovene Association of Journalists, Ljubljana
Christian Hagemann, Deputy Director of the Southeast Europe Association, Munich
2021 is a special year for Slovenia. On 25 June, the small Adriatic republic celebrates its 30th independence anniversary from Yugoslavia. Only a few days later, Slovenia will take over the rotating EU Council Presidency for the second time since becoming an EU member on 1 July 2021. We will use this occasion to take a closer look at Slovenia in 2021, both when it comes to its domestic (political) developments, as well as its plans for its EU Council Presidency with relevance for Southeast Europe.
After independence in 1991, Slovenia experienced a politically very stable first decade, not only in comparison to other former Yugoslav republics, but also to most of its EU candidate peers from Central Europe. Endowed with comparatively high-quality administrative capacities, a stable party system and considered and economic powerhouse in the region, Slovenia topped most rankings as the region’s ‘frontrunner’. Still, during the last 20 years the country has seen a de-institutionalization of its party system and an ever more personalized style of politics, which has culminated in a high degree of polarization and the emergence of right-wing populism. Economically, the Euro member has witnessed a deep crisis during the global financial meltdown, and not yet returned to the high growth levels it experienced right after EU accession.
In our second round of discussion, we will take stock of the state of Slovenia’s democracy, constitutional order, media and economy thirty years after independence to ascertain in how far the country kept up with its regional frontrunner status. Besides a data-driven evaluation of the country’s performance, special attention will be given to the current state of democracy, media freedom and the recent debates about its deterioration. This is the second event of our two-part series on Slovenia on the occasion of its independence anniversary and upcoming EU Council presidency.