EU Presidency Media Handbook: 200.000 Slovenians in 2100

The Slovenian EU Presidency is about to start and the official website has been launched. It comes along with a nicely designed and well prepared Media Handbook (PDF). But there is one element that should make us think (thanks Uroš for pointing it out), the welcome words by the Director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM). The

“Foreigners tell us that we are courageous, but fortune, as they say, favours the bold. We like to joke by saying that we are lucky primarily because we are the first to preside – and the reason is demographics. The most pessimistic projection of the Slovenian birth rate forecasts that there will be 200,000 fewer Slovenes during the next Slovenian presidency. Even now, questions of how – in terms of human resources – we will be able to pull off such an important project often seem to be imposing themselves. One cannot help wondering what questions will arise in the run-up to our eighth Presidency somewhere around the year 2100, when (according to projections), only some 200,000 Slovenes will be left.” Continue reading “EU Presidency Media Handbook: 200.000 Slovenians in 2100”

Slovenia: when misinformation becomes institutionalised

The story about the petition against censorship went as far as to the Parliamentary plenary, vote of confidence, then to the Parliamentary Committees and it surely doesn’t want to disappear from the daily life in Slovenia. The last “effort” to strengthen the barricades comes from the Foreign Minister prof. dr. Dimitrij Rupel.

There is a generally pleasant and harmless magazine published by the Slovenian Government’s Office for Communication (UKOM) called SINFO. It’s a bit of a promotional leaflet for Slovenia in English that probably mostly ends up in embassies (foreign in Slovenia and Slovenian abroad) and foreigners who need to get the first glance of Slovenia. All this would be fine, it’s nicely designed, with bright colours and it features also foreign faces praising Slovenia. But, the problem comes when the editor fails to recognize material that should not be published. There is one article I have in mind in particular, written by prof. dr. Dimitrij Rupel himself for the section “What makes the news” under a self-explanatory title: Slovenian EU Presidency under fire at home. Continue reading “Slovenia: when misinformation becomes institutionalised”

Slovenia goes Economist!

So, we made it! For the second time!

The first success of the Slovenian Presidency is to appear in the Charlemagne column in the last edition of The Economist. All media gurus should see how to repeat it again. The previous piece dealt with the same issue and was also the reason behind Rupel‘s ignorance towards The Economist ever since…It’s nice to see him being quoted again, it means he talks to them.

What did they write in the previous post about our seasoned diplomat?

“The foreign minister, Dimitrij Rupel, is oddly abrasive for someone with two decades’ diplomatic experience.” Continue reading “Slovenia goes Economist!”

The logo of the Slovenian EU Presidency made public

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The logo of the Slovenian EU presidency (due to start on the 1st January 2008) has been released at the launch of the new Congress Centre in Brdo pri Kranju.

You can also have a look at the Presidency draft website: www.eu2008.si.

Will let you judge, but the logo leaves me wondering. Especially if put close to the Portuguese logo

Laibach: controversial yet brilliant

I went to see the concert of Laibach, a Slovenian band that rarely performs in Slovenia. They have always had a very controversial image, since they play with Nazi insignia and leftish texts. It’s all a bit of political provocation and as Richard Wolfson wrote once:

“Laibach’s method is extremely simple, effective and horribly open to misinterpretation. First of all, they absorb the mannerisms of the enemy, adopting all the seductive trappings and symbols of state power, and then they exaggerate everything to the edge of parody… Next they turn their focus to highly charged issues — the West’s fear of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the power games of the EU, the analogies between Western democracy and totalitarianism. [Wolfson, 2003, source Wikipedia] Continue reading “Laibach: controversial yet brilliant”

EU debates Globalisation: why now?

I lost the feeling how nice letters are. We normally send emails, SMSs, post comments on blogs….but letters? This is why I was so fascinated when numerous letters started to float around just before the informal EU Summit in Lisbon, all addressed to the Portuguese PM Socrates. First came the Merkel-Sarkozy letter, then Brown‘s, then Merkel-Sarkozy-Brown (can’t find it on-line—)…even the Slovenian PM Janša sent a letter (also impossible to find, but comment here) – to President Barroso. But I’m actually not going to focus on the format, but on the content of most of them: globalisation. Continue reading “EU debates Globalisation: why now?”

Slovenia: after a chaotic week

Linked to the previous post about the editorial comments. The Saturday editions of the main newspapers Dnevnik and Delo feature interviews with Danilo Türk and Borut Pahor, while the opening editorials are openly hostile against the actions of PM Janša last week. Clearly an attack on the journalists doesn’t generate a positive outcome.

I have a slight feeling that the start for the next parliamentary elections has just started and thus we might try to assess the position of various actors. Let’s take a look at Social Democrats, Zares and Janša/SDS. Continue reading “Slovenia: after a chaotic week”

Slovenia: after the vote of confidence – who trusts the Prime Minister?

Few days after Peterle’s defeat in the Presidential elections and the lost referendum on the partial privatization of the Slovenia’s largest insurance company “Triglav”, the PM Janša shocked virtually everyone by stating that “all options are open, including the resignation of the government“. A week later, and few bizzare TV appearances, the PM held a 2 hours speech in the Parliament and got the vote of confidence he asked for. Continue reading “Slovenia: after the vote of confidence – who trusts the Prime Minister?”

Slovenia: a new president and everything around

For many reasons the past weeks have been probably those defining the rest of the mandate of the current government under Prime Minister Janša. The most obvious reasons are three:

  1. The election of a new President and the campaign around it.
  2. The referendum on the partial privatization of the insurance company “Triglav� that the government badly lost.
  3. PM Janša’s appearance in the Parliament and the vote of confidence. Continue reading “Slovenia: a new president and everything around”

EU after the Lisbon Treaty: How to sort out the new institutions – High Representative

The Lisbon Treaty has interesting provisions for the new High Representative that will, similarly to the EU President’s post, take the spotlight away from the Member States chairing the EU. The new High Representative will sit both in the Commission and chair the Foreign Affairs Council. Just how schizophrenic will the person end up being, we’ll see. Continue reading “EU after the Lisbon Treaty: How to sort out the new institutions – High Representative”