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Slovenia and NATO

Slovenia and NATO
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National Strategy for Integration of the Republic of Slovenia into NATO

  1. Reasons for Integration of the Republic of Slovenia into the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO)
  2. NATO and the Republic of Slovenia
    2.1. Development of relations between the Republic of Slovenia and NATO
    2.2. Parliamentary activity of the Republic of Slovenia
    2.3. Consequences arising from membership
  3. Strategic Activities of the Republic of Slovenia to Join NATO 1998-1999
    3.1. Foreign policy activities
    3.2. Activities within state institutions
    3.3. The Slovenian Army
    3.4. Achieving the interoperability of the Slovenian Army
    3.5. Economic aspects regarding joining NATO and the development of defence industrial cooperation with NATO member countries
    3.6. Activities in the field of information
    3.7. Organisation at the governmental level
    3.8. Financial and other resources

The National Strategy was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 26 February 1998, submitted to the National Assembly and presented to the North Atlantic Council in the 16+3+1 format on 11 March 1998 on the occasion of the Individual Dialogue between Slovenia and NATO.

1. Reasons for Integration of the Republic of Slovenia into the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO)

In implementing its foreign policy and security priorities, the Republic of Slovenia follows the values, interests and aims which are the basis and at the same time the driving force of the progress of the Slovene nation and Slovene state, which determines Slovenia's position in the international community. Among the most important values, the following should be stressed:

  • peace and security of the citizens
  • territorial integrity and state sovereignty
  • democratic state governed by the rule of law
  • protection of human rights and minorities
  • prosperity of individuals and society

Following the fundamental values and long-term interests, the aims of the foreign policy of the Republic of Slovenia include in particular:

  • strengthening Slovenia's international position
  • stable and good neighbourly relations with countries in our immediate vicinity,
  • full membership of the European Union,
  • full membership of NATO and the WEU,
  • active role in the UN, OSCE, WTO, CEFTA, EFTA,
  • closer cooperation with the countries of Central Europe within the CEI and within the trilateral coopeation (Italy, Slovenia, Hungary), and
  • enhanced economic cooperation.

The Republic of Slovenia - being a member of the UN, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the period 1998-1999, a member of the Council of Europe, OSCE, CEFTA, an associate member of the EU, and an associate partner of the WEU - has the status of the state signatory to the Agreement on the Partnership for Peace and the EAPC within the NATO framework and that of a member in the most important international economic and financial organisations; Slovenia is actively participating in resolving international issues as, for example, international security, disarmament, peace-keeping operations, protection of national minorities and human rights etc.

Slovenia's strategic interest is to establish relations between the countries based on mutual confidence and intensive multilateral political, security, defence, economic, scientific, informative and other kinds of cooperation.

Within this context, full membership of NATO remains the strategic goal of the Republic of Slovenia. Since gaining independence, Slovenia has effectively and gradually established institutional relations with NATO with a view to becoming a full member of the most important European and transatlantic collective security organisation.

The basic reasons for the above are:

  • Membership of the Republic of Slovenia in NATO will strengthen the security of the Republic of Slovenia and will contribute to its long-term development. Membership of NATO has important and far-reaching consequences that comprise different aspects such as: foreign policy, security and military considerations, and also economic, scientific, research, technical and organisational issues.

Prospective membership of NATO would signify:

  • inclusion of the Republic of Slovenia in the political and security framework of the most developed Western European countries and countries of North America;
  • promotion of social and economic development and cooperation of the Republic of Slovenia with the NATO member countries;
  • strengthening credibility, furthering promotion of international status, negotiating power and reaffirmation of the security and international and legal status of Slovenia in Europe and in the world;
  • consolidation of the international identity of Slovenia as a democratic, peaceful country, committed to the integration processes.

Integration into NATO represents the basic foreign policy and national security priority and interest of the Republic of Slovenia. Considering the importance and the role of organisations that constitute the present European security architecture Slovenia's national interest will be fully realised and ensured by full membership of NATO Alliance.

Slovenia believes that NATO is the only efficient organisation for collective security in the existing European security architecture. The role and importance of NATO lies not only in the fact that it is the political and military alliance of the democratic European and two transatlantic countries, providing collective security assurances to member countries, but that it is also an organisation which assumes responsibility for assuring security and stability in Europe, particularly for the "out of area" part of Europe. Putting a stop to the most brutal armed conflict after the Second World War in Europe in the close neighbourhood of Slovenia (Bosnia and Herzegovina), was made possible only by the military intervention of the NATO Alliance; within the Alliance the role of the US prevailed.

It can be claimed with certainty that NATO will continue to have a crucial role in the future. This has also been confirmed by the assessments according to which the most developed European countries will be trained in terms of organisation, technically and logistically, over a ten year period - in order to conduct demanding "out of area" operations.

In this context, Slovenia's endeavours towards the soonest possible integration into what is presently the one and only effective and capable organisation for collective security in Europe, represent of the priorities of our country's foreign policy and are therefore logical, reasonable and understandable.

These endeavours by the Republic of Slovenia are not only dictated and defined by the above facts but are also the consequence of Slovenia's relative closeness to one of the potential crisis areas or territories of instability in Europe, although at the moment Slovenia is not exposed to any direct military threat.

The invitations extended (Madrid 1997) to three countries of Central Europe (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) to join NATO represent the fourth round of enlargement to-date. The Madrid Declaration states in Article 8 that NATO remains open to new members and that it will review the process of enlargement on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in April 1999. Among other things, the document also mentions Slovenia as a country which has achieved positive developments in the fields regarded as criteria for membership of the North Atlantic Alliance. At the December meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the member countries reaffirmed the content of this Article. We believe that substantial reasons exist for Slovenia's being invited to join NATO in 1999, or at a later date when new invitations will be extended. The decision as to which countries may form a group for the next round of NATO enlargement - or the question of whether NATO is prepared to admit individual new members - has not yet been taken or given a response.

Taking into consideration the wide political and security aspects and consequences of the integration of the three countries that were invited to join NATO last year, to meet the required criteria for membership and adjustment to NATO standards, is of crucial importance for the credibility and realization of Slovenia's candidature; the active and constructive role of Slovenia in international relations, particularly in our neighbourhood and South-eastern Europe, is also of considerable importance.

2. NATO and the Republic of Slovenia

2.1. Development of relations between the Republic of Slovenia and NATO

A set of initial contacts at parliamentary and governmental level with the North Atlantic Assembly and its bodies Beginning of informal cooperation between the RS and NATO
29 December 1993
National Assembly of the RS adopts the Resolution on General Principles of National Security of the Republic of Slovenia First formal document to formalise accession to NATO and relations with the Alliance in the field of foreign and defence policy
30 March 1994
Signing of the "Partnership for Peace Framework Document" Prime Minister of the RS, Dr Janez Drnovsek, signed the document on formal accession of the RS to NATO PfP Programme
18 July 1994
Government of the RS adopted the Presentation Document RS in Partnership for Peace RS presented to NATO its reasons for the accession to PfP Programme, implementation of measures for its realisation as well as planned activities in the military and civil fields
15 to 18 November 1994
Slovenia was granted associated partner status within the framework of the North Atlantic Assembly Beginning of formal parliamentary cooperation and activity by the RS within the framework of the North Atlantic Assembly
May 1995
Adoption of the first individual partner programme on cooperation between NATO and the RS. Delineation of generic and specific fields of cooperation between the RS and NATO Stress on adjustment of the defence system and military structure, on education, military exercises, on standardisation and compliance with the five starting points from the PfP Framework Document in the civil-political and military fields
20 April 1995
The RS completed PARP harmonisation (NATO Planning and Review Process) Formal beginning of the first phase of the implementation of the PARP Programme, i.e. establishment of national capacities for cooperation in joint exercises, training and conduct of humanitarian and peace activities within the PfP framework
28 September 1995
Presentation of the study on the enlargement of NATO Alliance NACC presented the Study on enlargement to partner states. Reasons, basic objectives and principles are highlighted in the document underlying NATO enlargement
October 1995
NATO working delegation (Mr A. Cragg), presented a Study on enlargement. The study was presented to the expert and political public. Special presentation and talks also with the members of the National Assembly Defence Committee
1 November 1995
NAC adopted a decision on the beginning of the individual dialogue with the candidate states for membership of NATO RS joined ten states in expressing interest in the beginning of the individual dialogue.
22 December 1995
Ratification of the Agreement between NATO Alliance member countries and countries participating in the PfP regarding the status of their forces (SOFA) Agreement and Additional Protocol to the Agreement were signed in Brussels on 19 June 1995
22 December 1995
By signing the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation regarding transit arrangements, Slovenia joins the Combined Endeavour Operation Agreement regulates the transit of NATO forces and all other forces in the IFOR composition.
11 April 1996
The National Assembly of the RS adopted a decision that the RS wishes to ensure its fundamental security interest within the framework of the collective defence system, enabled by NATO membership The National Assembly of the RS confirmed and reiterated the interest of the RS in full membership of NATO
17 April 1996
Beginning of the individual dialogue with NATO on full membership The delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence presented the views of the RS regarding NATO enlargement and the significance of the process for the entire European security
10 July 1996
The second round of individual dialogue with NATO Political and economic structure of the RS was presented
30 September 1996
The third round of the individual dialogue with NATO Slovenia presented its security defence organisation
17 April 1997
The National Assembly of the RS adopted the Joint Declaration of Parliamentary Parties in Support of Slovenia's Integration into NATO The Declaration states that the RS meets all the requirements for joining NATO and is capable and willing to cover its share of expenses linked to full membership of the NATO Alliance
22 April 1997
The fourth round of individual dialogue with NATO Meeting of the North Atlantic Council, attended by Prime Minister of the RS. Dr Drnovsek presented the progress made in the dialogue and future activities.
29 May 1997
Establishment of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), the RS as an active member of the PfP became an EAPC member Formation of the new cooperation mechanism, based on the NACC and PfP fundamental principles. The EAPC represents the framework for the consultations on political and security issues as well as for the participation in the military activities on the basis of self-differentiation.
9 July 1997
Session of the Heads of State and Government of NATO and EAPC member countries, adoption of the Madrid Declaration Invitation extended to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, to start negotiations with NATO; NATO enlargement defined as a process; reaching of the agreement with the Russian Federation; formation of the strengthened PfP
August 1997
President of the Republic Milan Kucan signed the Order on the establishment of the Mission of the RS to NATO Formal beginning of work of the Mission of the RS to NATO
1 October 1997
Beginning of the active cooperation of the RS and of the Slovenian army in the SFOR Slovenia ranks as the 37th country to participate in the SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina

2.2. Parliamentary activity of the Republic of Slovenia

Slovenian deputies actively participate in several international interparliamentary fora, among which - viewed from the perspective of integration into NATO - one of the most relevant appears to be the North Atlantic Assembly (NAA). The permanent delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia was granted the status of an associated delegation. According to this status the delegation may participate in deliberations but has no right of voting. The delegation has been participating in this field ever since the 1995 spring session of the NAA. The Slovenian parliamentary delegation has also been participating within the framework of five committees and at the plenary sessions of the NAA.

Members of the Slovenian parliamentary delegation as well as other deputies regularly attend the "Ross-Roth" seminars, which are held every year within the NAA framework and at which several security issues are addressed, among them also those including NATO enlargement.

During the period of its sovereignty, Slovenia has been visited by the delegations of two subcommittees. The last delegation to visit Slovenia in 1997 was the one representing the subcommittee on enlargement issues, of the NAA Political Committee.

In 1997, in compliance with the decisions and positions of the National Assembly, the Slovenian associated delegation in 1997 addressed a letter to the chairman of the NAA with the initiative of organising one of the future NAA sessions in Slovenia. With regard to the existing and already completed schedule of the sessions, the Slovenian parliamentary offer might come under review after the year 2000.

The National Assembly participates - with its committees on international relations and on defence - in the Individual Partnership Programme of the RS for NATO, above all in fields, such as: transparency of defence policies, budgets, civil-democratic control over the armed forces etc.

Various specialised NATO Alliance seminars are attended also by other parliamentary bodies, e.g. the Committee on budget and public finance control.

2.3. Consequences arising from membership

The clearest direct benefits of NATO membership can be summarised in the following items:

  • ensuring a long-term, stable international politico-security environment to encourage overall social development,
  • a higher level of national security,
  • joint responsibility and joint decision-making on security issues and challenges in Europe, as well as joint responsibility and joint decision-making with the aim of settling problems in Europe's crisis areas,
  • strengthening of national respect and of Slovenia's negotiating power,
  • consolidation of Slovenia's status as a free-of-risk country with a low level of business risk and risky investments.

Further indirect benefits are to be noted, involving particularly:

  • participation in the scientific, technological and information flows of the most developed countries,
  • economic cooperation with the most developed countries, also in the military field,
  • long-term curtailment of the necessary expenses for defence and long-term price reduction or strengthening of competitiveness on the part of Slovenian military industry.

3. Strategic Activities of the Republic of Slovenia to Join NATO 1998-1999

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia will continue to strengthen its activities in the fields of internal-policy, economy and foreign-policy towards the fulfilment of basic criteria for the candidate countries for full membership of NATO:

  • strengthening of the established system of political democracy. Slovenia will thereby strengthen and enhance democratic standards and proceed with the privatisation and denationalisation processes;
  • continuation of the economic reform processes, notably economic and ownership restructuring towards strengthening the market economy and liberalisation of the foreign trade regime (a detailed delineation of the harmonisation of laws and regulations with the EU is contained in the document entitled Strategy of the Republic of Slovenia to join the European Union);
  • maintenance of a high level of human rights protection, and linked to this also constitutionally stipulated protection of ethnic communities;
  • strengthening of democratic and civil control over the armed forces (continuation of the reform processes, preparation and amendments to the legislation, consistent implementation of the existing constitutional and legal provisions regarding democratic civil control. The amendment to the Law on Defence and the amendment to the Law on the Slovenian intelligence-security agency are underway);
  • strengthening of good neighbourly cooperation, and priority settlement of open issues with neighbouring countries.

3.1. Foreign policy activities

  • conducting foreign policy dialogue, exchange of views and information with Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary on their joining NATO;
  • continuation of the individual dialogue with NATO at the level of Foreign and Defence Ministers of the Republic of Slovenia as well as at the expert level with the NATO North Atlantic Council in Brussels;
  • supplementing state positions towards questions to be discussed within the framework of the dialogue;
  • gathering and submission of data and Slovenia's views regarding the dialogue conducted between 1998 and 1999;
  • submission of detailed data, opinions, views and activities, to consolidate the credibility of the candidature for membership of the Republic of Slovenia;
  • conduct of the dialogue and consultations with NATO members;
  • conduct of the individual campaign for a NATO decision on further enlargement and an invitation to Slovenia;
  • enhanced cooperation within the framework of the Partnership for Peace;
  • active cooperation within the framework of EAPC;
  • identification, analysis, carrying out of obligations stemming from the planned and adopted obligations, as well as obligations, deriving from future membership;
  • harmonisation of Slovenian legislation with the EU and NATO standards;
  • intense following up of the security-political situation in south-eastern Europe;
  • joining initiatives to strengthen stability and trust in south-eastern Europe, as well as initiating such international activities;
  • formation of units for international cooperation to satisfy the needs of trilateral or multilateral cooperation;
  • participation in possible peace support operations in Europe;
  • candidature of the Republic of Slovenia to host a session of the North Atlantic Assembly in Slovenia after the year 2000.

3.2. Activities within state institutions

  • Measures in the field of civil-military relations with the stress on democratic control over the armed forces;
  • Measures in the field of legislative power; adoption of the legislation stipulating the type, scope and organisation of the defence; adoption of strategic and doctrinal documents in the field of defence;
  • Measures in the field of executive power; preparation of relevant laws;
  • Measures in the field of judicial power;
  • Measures in the fielda of defence policy (financing and transparency of the use of financial resources); transparency of planning and use of budgetary resources as well as the public nature of orders procurement of equipment and arms; regular reporting to the National Assembly working bodies.

3.3. The Slovenian Army

  • In order to carry out the restructuring, reorganisation, modernisation and increasing the scope of the permanent composition of the Slovenian Army, it is necessary to complete a Proposal on the scope and structure of the Slovenian Army before March 1998, as well as a general, long-term programme of the development and provision of equipment to the Slovenian Army. The activity will be carried out by the General Staff of the Slovenian Army;
  • By April 1998 the restructuring of the General Staff of the Slovenian Army should be carried out. This task will be carried out by the General Staff of the Slovenian Army;
  • By May 1998 a long-term programme for the restructuring of the Slovenian Army should be prepared. The assignment will be carried out by the General Staff of the Slovenian Army;
  • By December 1998 the Military Defence Doctrine is to be drafted. The assignment will be carried out by the General Staff of the SA;
  • Formation of the 10th battalion for international cooperation, available for training, exercises and international cooperation within the PfP, in the field of PSO, search and rescue operations (SAR) and humanitarian operations. The time limit is December 1999;
  • Cooperation of the Slovenian Army in PSO, SAR and humanitarian operations within the framework of UN, NATO, EU, WEU and OSCE as well as on the basis of other possible initiatives.

3.4. Achieving the interoperability of the Slovenian Army

  • PARP (Planning and Review Process): active implementation of the second round of the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and realisation of the 27 adopted interoperability objectives (IOs);
  • IPP (Individual Partnership Programme): implementation of the IPP 1998-2000 with the objective of realising interoperability goals; defined in the PARP.

3.5. Economic aspects regarding joining NATO and the development of defence industrial cooperation with NATO member countries

  • adjustment of the foundations for defence research and development of the defence industry and of the purchase system on the basis of NATO standards;
  • development of scientific cooperation with NATO, notably involving the work of the economic and scientific committee as well as conferences of the national armament directors;
  • drafting of the resources interoperability study to achieve accord and complementariness of state bodies in modernising infrastructure, communications and information systems in accordance with the implementation of NATO standards and requirements;
  • preparation of the concept for interoperability and cooperation of technological systems within the framework of NATO and its member countries as well as enhancement of cooperation in the NATO scientific programmes;
  • preparation of the concept of activities in the field of environmental protection in accordance with NATO standards;
  • at the latest by 2008 ensuring oil derivative reserves to an extent which, in compliance with NATO standards, will be sufficient for covering 120-day consumption in the state.

3.6. Activities in the field of information

  • implementation of comprehensive provision of information about NATO as well as on activities concerning the integration of the RS into NATO;
  • preparation of the presentation of the security and defence policy of the RS and Slovenian Army;
  • translation and publication of NATO documents,
  • preparation and implementation of the special information and education programme on NATO for the Slovenian Army officers;
  • cooperation with non-governmental organisations and associations cooperating with NATO;
  • by the end of February 1999, publication of the White Paper on the security and defence policy of the RS. Authorities in charge: all the agencies of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the Slovenian Army; coordinator is the Centre for strategic studies.

3.7. Organisation at the governmental level

  • establishment of the Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the NATO Alliance in Brussels (in the first half of 1998) and of the Mission to the Headquarters in Mons;
  • personnel reinforcement of the key sections of government departments, notably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, which are in charge of such activities, with corresponding organisational adjustments and internal personnel reinforcements or secondment;
  • organisational and programme upgrading of the inter-departmental working group of the Government of the RS for NATO.

3.8. Financial and other resources

  • drafting a comprehensive study on the financial consequences arising from joining NATO, accounting for all indirect and direct expense, particularly with regard to achieving interoperability of the SA and adoption of the necessary standards and procedures. The time limit is December 1998;
  • ensuring transparency of the RS budget;
  • ensuring gradual increase of the expenses for defence purposes to the level of 2.3% GDP by the year 2003 (the newly admitted states into NATO, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland are required to increase defence spending according to annual growth rate of 0.1% to reach the level of 2.5% GDP);
  • preparation of the financing of the next cycle of Basic development programmes.

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