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Vision of Slovenia – a step forward towards delivering a common, better future

Ljubljana, 9 February 2017 – Amid perpetual change, political and economic turmoil, global connectedness and commitment to enhancing national identity, current Slovenian government launched a topical discussion on the future of Slovenia. During eighteen months, a number of workshops, panels and discussions were held to explore what kind of country people want to live in in the future. More than 600 individuals of different profiles, from all walks of life and different Slovenian places discussed and helped create a long-term vision of Slovenia in the scope of 27 events. Today’s public presentation featured some of them – Ksenija Špiler Božič, Darja Matjašec, Gregor Deleja, Matej Feguš and Aleksander Doplihar – to share their views of the Vision. The latter encompasses five intertwined key areas, i.e. quality of life, trust, learning for life, identity and innovative society.

"We have proved on many occasions that we can do it if only we set our mind to it and clearly identify the path and the goals. Hence, our nation’s history includes ground-breaking events, such as the independence, accession to the European Union and NATO, adoption of the euro," underlined minister Alenka Smerkolj. According to Smerkolj the vision was created by the people for the people. "My team and I have wanted to make the process of shaping this vision a whole-of-society one, bringing together each and every Slovenian citizen and Slovenians living beyond the border," she said and explained the vision was an apolitical document. "Now, I am not going to launch the document making big promises, instead, my sincere wish is for the vision to be received as genuinely and warmly in all walks of our society as it was received by its designers and developers.’’ The minister thanked each and every individual that participated in the process of vision’s shaping, and quoting famous words of one of Slovenia’s biggest impressionist painters Ivan Grohar ‘’The future must be brighter’’ concluded that, hopefully, the vision actually comes true. Smerkolj added that only when we act together we become strong and that each individual bears responsibility for vision’s realisation and for a better common future. Or, as written in the Vision of Slovenia:

"In  harmony  with  our  environment  and  our  era,  we  have  achieved  a  balanced,  high-quality standard of living. By learning throughout our lives, we are well-equipped to  take on the biggest challenges. We are innovative and translate ideas into actions. We  create positive relationships based on trust and are building a society of solidarity and tolerance. With confidence, we open Slovenia to partners willing to cooperate. We are proud that our cultural uniqueness makes a difference around the world."

"Our responsibility now is to develop a national development strategy that pursues the vision," continued minister Smerkolj. She explained the government would make sure all key population groups would be integrated in its creation process, including most vulnerable groups. "We focus on what should be done to get to where we want to be in the future; we do not linger on what is wrong and what cannot be done. Of course, it is important to address current challenges and issues, but we need to have an open discussion on how to tackle them together in the future. The widespread negativity and distrust in the country call for fresh documents, such as the vision, to help us move forward and progress."