Slovenia's image after the year 2000

The reasons behind the enlargement of the European Union (EU) are well known. They are based on politics, security, culture and economics. Enlargement is intended to strengthen peace and security in Europe, provide respect for the values of Europe's tradition of civilisation, enhance the wealth of European cultural diversity and increase the size of the common market. The countries joining the European Union (EU) at this point will, as a rule, be countries where the economies are - at least measured by the synthetic indicator of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita - less developed than the current least developed Member States of the Union. The ability to survive in the economic arena, to join the single market and monetary union, is of vital importance to both the candidate countries and the Union, since a country's economic problems will become the common problem of the EU once this country becomes a full member of the Union.

Slovenia has decided to become a developed market economy of the Western European type. For Slovenia, the pre-accession procedure is essentially a path to facilitate the attainment of the development objective. The great majority of tasks, reforms and the necessary restructuring of its economy are, in essence, a consequence of the need to attain this objective - from the restructuring in the entrepreneurial sector, tax reform, social system reform, financial sector reform via price liberation, to liberalisation, regulation and partial privatisation in the area of commercial public services. For Slovenia, membership of the EU will be recognition of the fact that it has successfully carried out the outlined process of transformation. Moreover, that it has created a basis for the implementation of those patterns of quality development that coincide with and reflect Slovene national interests at the turn of the millennium. This is said with Slovenia as a learning society of the 21st century in mind; Slovenia is a country of quality and excellence; a developmental society and a technologically intensive society of rapidly growing, flexible small and medium-sized enterprises positioned in the global market, with both economic and political management qualified for change; Slovenia as a socially stable society that knows what it wants and how to get it and a self-confident society open to the world.

But this is already a story about the vision of Slovenia, which may be seen as a European country established in Euroatlantic integration with its own national identity. A civil republic built on respect for human dignity and the consistent rule of human rights. A country with an optimum structure of successful enterprises in a global market. A country with élite industrial cores, excellent trademarks and a predominance of services in the GDP. A decentralised state of modern organisation with a highly professional and efficient - and therefore not too expensive - public administration at the service of citizens and their initiatives; a state with efficient instruments for maintaining a dynamic social and political balance; a state that respects any successful work and creativity of man, as well as the uniqueness of each personality. A state protecting social rights and dignity of work, as well as the security of marginalised groups whose possibilities to earn their own living have been limited through no fault of their own. A state protecting and developing its activities and ambition, as well as the activities and ambitions of its citizens within the legal order - therefore, through the rule of law.

The world and humankind are changing very rapidly. Delays may be fatal for each country. Everybody is searching for their place, for their future. What matters is knowledge, capability, innovativeness, readiness to change, and the social stability of countries. Development and the future are of great interest. Slovenia, too, has a good opportunity.

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