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Annual Review of Slovenian Foreign and EU Affairs

Ljubljana, 4 December - The key foreign affairs event for Slovenia in 2005 is the country's presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The one-year presidency is to be crowned with the organisation's Ministerial Council, which is to take place in December in Ljubljana. The presidency has taken a lot of time and effort, especially burdening Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel. Nevertheless, top Slovenian politicians assessed that heading a 55-countries strong organisation increased Slovenia's reputation and recognition among the international community. Meanwhile, the country has also been gearing up for a new project, as it is to head the European Union in the first half of 2008. Slovenia's first year as a member of the bloc brought no major shocks, even though the initial euphoria soon gave way to a more sober attitude as the EU 25 ran into trouble regarding its constitution and the 2007-2013 financial framework. Within NATO Slovenia is participating in peacekeeping missions and hosted a session of the organisation's Parliamentary Assembly. Among the country's neighbouring states, the relationship with Croatia is the most difficult. The big news this year was Croatia's official arbitration proposal for the ongoing maritime border dispute and Slovenia's decision to declare its own ecological zone in the Adriatic. Relations with Austria and Italy, although good overall, were marred by historical issues and troubles regarding the treatment of Slovenian minorities in both countries. Meanwhile, the succession talks on the assets of the former Yugoslavia advanced at a snail's pace.

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