The new year has brought a daunting new responsibility for Slovenia. It is now at the helm of the European Union – the first former Communist country to take on the bloc’s rotating presidency.
Revellers in Ljubljana were joined by Slovenia’s President Danilo Turk, looking back over the past year. “On the one hand, we have enjoyed good political and economic progress,” he said. “However we also have some inflation. So there is some uncertainty. I hope we will overcome it, early in 2008.”
Major challenges lie ahead for the Alpine republic in its EU role, not least over Kosovo’s status. But despite having a tiny diplomatic network, Slovenia could make a difference.
It was once within the Yugoslav Federation along with Serbia and its breakaway province Kosovo. And Western officials expect Slovenia to use past “family” ties to help find a solution.