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Ljubljana – President of the republic Nataša Pirc Musar has awarded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, and the core negotiation team for Slovenia’s accession to the EU with the Golden Order of Merit on the 20th anniversary of Slovenia’s membership in the EU and NATO, for their contributions to the realization of these two key foreign policy goals of the country.

“Many of you sitting here are, as my predecessor once said, part of the lucky generation. You were there when the country was born,” said Pirc Musar in her speech. Among other things, she emphasized that Slovenia is a symbol of a country that has endured a lot in its history but was able to demonstrate maturity and wisdom in uniting key national goals when needed.

The Ministry of Defense, together with the Slovenian Armed Forces, began active preparations for Slovenia’s entry into NATO by joining the Partnership for Peace 30 years ago. Concurrently with the implementation of Slovenia’s individual partnership program with NATO, the military was restructured to achieve a structure and scope suitable for functioning within the alliance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responsible for Slovenia’s integration into European and regional integrations. In this regard, the role of the government’s office for European affairs was crucial in providing support to the core negotiation team during the EU membership negotiation processes.

“It was the central and most important national group through which Slovenia’s positions were formed in negotiations, which were then presented in the relevant procedures in European institutions,” states the rationale for the award given to the core negotiation team for EU accession.

Slovenia joined the EU and NATO 20 years ago, thus fulfilling two key foreign policy goals set at its independence in 1991.