Slovenia

 

The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter’s dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow’s rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia’s transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

 

Geography:
Location: Central Europe, eastern Alps bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Austria and Croatia
Geographic coordinates: 46 07 N, 14 49 E
People:
Population:  1,996,617 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.4% (male 138,604/female 130,337)

15-64 years: 69.8% (male 703,374/female 692,640)

65 years and over: 16.8% (male 132,069/female 203,068) (2011 est.)

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 913,600 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 2.122 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 16 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 7

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Slovenian Army (includes air and naval forces)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2003 (2012)

Economy:

Slovenia, which on 1 January 2007 became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro, is a model of economic success and stability for the region. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of highest levels of state control in the EU. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for somewhat greater foreign participation in Slovenia’s economy and have helped to lower unemployment.

 

In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. In December 2007, Slovenia was invited to begin the accession process for joining the OECD. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the region average, and taxes remain relatively high. Furthermore, the labour market is often seen as inflexible, and legacy industries are losing sales to more competitive firms in China, India, and elsewhere.

Transnational Issues:

The Croatia-Slovenia land and maritime boundary agreement, which would have ceded most of Piran Bay and maritime access to Slovenia and several villages to Croatia, remains unratified and in dispute; Slovenia also protests Croatia’s 2003 claim to an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic; as a member state that forms part of the EU’s external border, Slovenia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through south-eastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia