The article sheds light on the main characteristics of the relations between the Catholic Church and the state in the Slovenian territory in the following three consecutive periods: the period from the end of WWII to the beginning of democratization (1945–1989), the period marked by the process of attaining political independence of the Republic of Slovenia (1989–1991), and the period from the declaration of independence in 1991 until today. The article gives a schematic outline of the most important characteristics of the aforementioned periods, with the special features of the first two periods crucially affecting the current relations between the Catholic Church and the state in the Republic of Slovenia. The author discusses the role of the Vatican and the Catholic Church in Slovenia in the process of dissolution of Yugoslavia. At the beginning, Vatican diplomacy was very careful and tried to avoid any clear statements, but after the initial conflicts in Slovenia and Croatia the Vatican abandoned its “neutral” orientation and opted for activities in favour of both republics being officially recognised as independent states. At the same time, the disintegration of Yugoslavia and Slovenian independence were for the Church a chance to solve some of its own problems and to affirm some of its interests in Slovenia.
The article deals with the question of how the Slovenian political establishment defined and realised the economic interests of the SRS abroad and how the characteristics of the domestic-policy development and the overall situation influenced the orientation of the republic economic policy. Different ways to promote international collaboration (with the neighbouring countries, the EEC, EFTA, the USA and the developing countries) are presented. Based on the analysis of selected cases, the author also shows what the actual role of the republic leadership and economic representatives abroad was in setting up new forms of economic collaboration and in what way political and economic interests intertwined, and uses this as a foundation for some of his findings about the characteristics of “socialist” economic diplomacy.
The article addresses the process of Slovenia’s accession to the EU, with special emphasis on the dilemmas and problems accompanying it. According to the author, the Slovene attitude to the EU and its predecessors (EEC, EC) also involves the issue of identity as a result of Slovenia’s previous position in supranational entities such as Austria-Hungary and Yugoslavia (both royal and socialist). In the case of the former, Slovenia considered itself as part of Europe and, consequently, ascribed itself a central European identity, whereas in the case of the latter, it saw itself as part of the Balkans. Such a division is artificial, arising from the given geostrategic relations and dependent upon definitions of and demarcations in the region called southeastern Europe covering both central Europe and the Balkans, as well as the territory that used to be part of Russia and the Soviet Union. Proceeding from the Slovene historical experience, the author tries to answer the question how the EU as a community or (con)federation differs from Yugoslavia given the fact that it struggles with similar problems between its constituting nations and that it strives to solve the economic crisis in a similar manner.