Slovenian EU Presidency Stumbles In Its First Weeks



As most of you, highly intelligent regulars to this puny blog know, the tiny Alpine country that goes by the name of Slovenia is currently chairing the EU (cue applause). Which is all fine and dandy. The more cynical amongst us (yours trully included) went “OK, let’s just hope we don’t fuck up big time“.

But, so far so good. The EU is still there, despite the fact that every multinational entity Slovenia has ever been a part of disintegrated in bloodshed.

That is not to say, however, that our beloved leadership is not working hard at raising as many eyebrows as possible – even an occasional voice…

It all started even before New Year’s takeover, when the Eternal Foreign Minister held a briefing for foreign representatives, where he was expected to outline Slovene priorities during the presidency. Instead he embarked upon sharing his version of the state of media freedom, specifically, he slammed the “petition 571” as being nothing more than a load of bollocks (not in those exact words, of course). His line of thought is detailed here.

Only ten days later, Rupel’s boss caused quite a stir in Lisbon and – somewhat surprisingly – in Sarajevo, when he said during the inaugural press conference that a) Portugal should take the whole of EU into consideration if and when voting on the referedum on the Lisbon treaty and b) that Bosnia is a bigger problem than Kosovo. More here(*).

It did not stop there, however… Later that same day it transpired that the Government Communications Office compiled a press kit about media freedom in Slovenia. This particular press kit included a document entitled Situation Regarding Media Freedom in Slovenia, which terribly skewes statements by journalists usually highly critical of this government and makes them appear as approving of the way things are. The whole thing did not go unnoticed by foreign press(*)

And it is not as if this presidency is short on problems, you know… Dubya is comming into town in mid-March when Janša and Rupel (two of his most faithful disciples) will have to press him on climate change.

Errrrr…. Mr. Bush…. I really hate to ask, you see, but, ummm… how do I say this…. our friends in the EU sort of, kindda, want to know and I really don’t know why we must be the one to say it, but…. ummmmm…. errr….. whatareyourgoingtodoaboutgreenhousegases? There, I said it!.

And there will be the aftermath of yet another derailment of the Mid-East peace process to deal with and on top of that Kosovo looks up to us to help them in achieving independence. Stat!(*)

This government has already proved its talent for shooting itself in the foot on the home terrain. It’s consistency of doing so in the international terrain is breathtakingly appaling.

P.S.: All links marked with (*) were kindly provided by Adriaan. Thanks! 🙂

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

18 thoughts on “Slovenian EU Presidency Stumbles In Its First Weeks”

  1. You’re very welcome for the links. I certainly couldn’t have stitched them together half as well.

    A very interesting and concise read. Thanks.

  2. That’s a pretty good overview and agreed, Adriaan is the ultimate linkfinder 😀 If I ever need a clipping service, I’ll know where to go.

    Hey, if our guys keep up the pace, there are at least two positives sides to the Presidency already: you will always have a fresh bone to chew on AND

    No Shortage of Way Cool Caricatures and
    Political Satire

    YEAH! 😈

  3. Well, the EU IS boring… It works, it has loads of money and a jungle od laws which cover just about everything.
    High time for some opportunity to hurl indignant words at a newcomer, then. And: High time for Slovenia to show that it was EU who joined us and not the other way around 👿

  4. @ Dr. Fil. Indeed, I know. 😛 And I’ll get on it as soon as my still hefty workload allows (16 hour days are not an exception; I hope after this week it’ll be better). Don’t worry, I’ll keep my promise. I’ve got some good things in mind, wait and see… 😉

  5. nice overview, though quite unfortunate for me and other slovene, who share the burden of watching populistic, short – sighted, intelectually absent mind of our prime minister, representing our country, with his farmhand bearing and inappropriate behaviour. Probably your overview is missing its crucial part, that strucked us the most, introduction speech. Where he showed our country “as first of the iron curtian” countries. Well it is distorting histroy facts, as Slovenia was under Yugoslavia, which was part of the nonaligned nations, while iron curtain were countries under sovietcontrol. Furthermore, he was crying (his favourite way of expressing himself) about being imprisoned (one year sentence over fight with socialist party that he wanted to join in). I could go on and on, but lets leave it with that. I think opnion pools speak for themselves, today (7 months before elections) his party would get less than 20% while for others “right wing” parties that are in his coalition, getting in to the parliement is still a task they would have to fight for, this time differently or they will be remembered only in bad politics example history books.
    As for 571 petition, the message they sent was the true one, WAS as things are changing rapidly in the medias, and JJ is loosing his power mostly due to the CAPITAL that is turning its back on him and people who started to distinguish between populism and reality.
    Well as you see, JJ is not my favourite type of guy and at this time I just hope they could do their thing without causing anymore problems, leave the Kosovo problem for France (coming in next) and maybe just prepare right platform to build on.

  6. maybe so, but I think they should. There are numerous countries who deserve independence more and fought for it longer and harder. To be clear on this, I am not against it. But under different rules and within the process that will be coauthored by the serbs. Keep in mind that it is still their land and for noone to take. And as they are weaker due to the recent past (some nasty things they did), EU from her stronger position should not punish Serbia, instead EU should lead them to the way of new beggining.

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