By H.E. Ambassador Mihael Zupančič and Elizabeta Kirn Kavčič, I. Counselor
Exactly a year ago Republic of Slovenia celebrated a quarter of a century of independence… a year later, we also celebrate a quarter of a century of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Slovenia and Romania and tenth anniversary of opening the Embassy of Republic of Slovenia in Bucharest.
25th Anniversary is far from being irrelevant… both of our nations liberated themselves from tyranny followed by thorny path to international community and international organizations like EU and NATO. Establishing bilateral relations was, especially for Slovenia as a new member of the international community, of crucial importance. Diplomatic relations with Romania were established on August 28, 1992 by signing the Protocol on establishment of diplomatic relations. Since then, relations between two countries, not only in political terms but also cultural, economic and last but not list in the field of science have been crescendo. Close cooperation in everyday life is the best symbol of friendship between the two countries.
In recent years our countries recorded an increase in the trade. Romania stands on the eighteen place among Slovenian economic partners in export as well as in export. In 2016 economic exchange reached 685 million EUR with 1,5% of growth in export from Slovenia. In first quarter of 2017 the figures show jet another increase of 2,2% in export from Slovenia and 13,2% increase of import from Romania. There is an interest on both sides for even further strengthening of economic cooperation in some the areas. Many Slovenian companies see Romania as a promising market; in this regard Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Bucharest strives to bring business communities closer together to increase business and investment activities. A few most promising Slovenian companies active on the Romanian market are Studio Moderna, Unor – Tepid, Gorenje, Eti, Krka, Kovintrade, Fluidmaster, Perutnina Ptuj, Montero Vet and ProKolekt.
However bilateral relations are much more then mere numbers… like the exchange of students, cooperation in the field of tourism, cultural and sports events… all the fields that our countries experience deepening of the relations. Recently Slovenia participated at the Transylvania Film Festival in Cluj Napoca with the biggest retrospective of Slovenian films from last year’s, Embassy also participated at the conference dedicated to Smart cities where Slovenia was presented as a model of sustainable development of the cities. Many more positive examples can be indicated shoving the exchange of good practices and shoving the fact that cooperation is blooming in different spheres.
On the occasion of proclamation of independence Slovenia’s fist president Milan Kučan said: “… today dreams are allowed, tomorrow is a new day.” We must pursue our dreams every day for ourselves and especially for the next generations to which we have an obligation to ensure a better future. It is our mission to continue strengthening the bilateral relations and prevent the return to the dark path of isolationism which is unfortunately for some a “dream solution” to the current EU problems. Fortunately We glad that such thinking is the minority thinking that both in Slovenia and in Romania.
This success story of cooperation is also reflected in opening of the Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Cluj Napoca in April 2016, led by Honorary Consul H.E. Lucia Nora Morariu, also a director of successful tourist agency Eximtur as well as the opening of the Consulate of Romania in Koper, led by the very big fan of Romania Honorary Consul H.E. Ludvik Glavina.
25th Anniversary of diplomatic relations show that two countries advocate the same or similar views on major international issues and stand close together on the EU agenda which can be evaluated also on the bases of mutual support seen in everyday policy.
Photo: Mediterranean Slovenia by Barbara Kožar