Slovenia

Author: 
Introduction / Definiton: 

To a large extent self-determination and, particularly, independence of Slovenia were accidental byproducts of processes of democratization and democratic transformation of ex-Yugoslavia in the beginning of the 1990s. Specific historic developments of the 1980s and early 1990s were marked with deepening economic, social and political crisis that paralyzed the political system, its institutions and constitutionally/legally determined processes of decision making, finally leading to the collapse and explosive disintegration of the Yugoslav federation. Although high hopes existed regarding the democratic transition and reforms initially, the actual development turned out differently and tragically for some parts of ex-Yugoslavia that experienced violence, wars and ethnic cleansing confirming that states might die hard and violently.[1] Most parts experienced economic hardships and setbacks in democratic development. Of the successor states, Slovenia seems to be the only lucky exception: successful in its democratic transition, in building and sustaining democratic political system with functioning institutions.[2] Although Slovenia was a latecomer in the accession process, it became EU member state in the first wave of its Eastern Enlargement in 2004. Simultaneously, Slovenia’s economic growth, indicators and performance have continued to be relatively good until 2008.[3]

Diverse and complex cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic reality in ex-Yugoslavia conditioned its establishment, development and demise. Often, ethnicity had been (mis)used for political mobilization, particularly by nationalism(s); the (negative) impact of such practices became evident in the 1980s and 1990s, when all cleavages and conflicts were perceived as predominantly ethnic ones. This was true also for the main political conflict between two opposing concepts of which one advocated “centralist” while the other favored “decentralist” arrangements. Schematically, it could be said that the cleavage between supporters of these options to a large extent corresponded to borders of two cultural circles that evolved in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia in history.[4]

The conflict between those who advocated unitarism and centralized state and those who demanded decentralization and decentralized federation (possibly confederation) that had existed even before the creation of the Yugoslav state after World War I, persisted throughout its existence. This conflict shaped its political and political development, and finally contributed to its collapse. In the late 1980s these conflicting concepts existed within the Yugoslav communist leadership reflecting social and economic differences, especially different levels of democratization in republics and provinces. The Slovenian and (later) Croatian leadership advocated democratization, the introduction of political pluralism (multiparty political system and elections), further decentralization of the federation and stronger autonomy of federal units, while the Serbian political leadership – with the support of Montenegro and some federal institutions – demanded (re)centralization of the federation, the reinforcement of "democratic centralism" in the LCY[5] and the strengthening of its political monopoly, a strong federal center and limited autonomy for the federal units. The public soon started to interpret this conflict as ethnic conflict between the Slovenes and Serbs. The fear of expansionist Serbian nationalism and the escalating crisis and conflicts increased the support for further decentralization of the federation in Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the beginning of the 1990s. However, neither of the options prevailed. Escalating conflicts paralyzed the existing constitutional system, rendering it incapable of coping with the crisis.[6]

Almost all of Slovenia’s reform proposals were rejected, while attempts to centralize the federation intensified in the late 1980s. Simultaneously, the feeling that Slovenia was economically exploited and politically ignored within the federation was intensifying in Slovenia, stimulating and strengthening its claims for increased autonomy and in 1991 for independence. There was a consensual agreement in Slovenia that based on its inalienable right to self-determination, proclaimed by the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of 1974, reforms and independence should be realized in a democratic way, respecting the rule of law.

[1] See, e.g., Klemenčič, Matjaž & Žagar, Mitja (2004). The former Yugoslavia's diverse peoples: A reference sourcebook, (Ethnic diversity within nations). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004, pp. 194-286; Ramet, Sabrina P.(2002), Balkan Babel: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia from the Death of Tito to the Fall of Milošević. 4th edition, Boulder: Westview Press, 2002; Ramet, Sabrina P.(2002), The three Yugoslavias: State-building and legitimation, 1918-2005. Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Bloomington, Indianapolis : Indiana University Press, 2006.

[2] See, e.g., Ramet, Sabrina P. & Fink-Hafner, Danica, ed. (2006), Democratic Transition in Slovenia: Value Transformation, Education and Media. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2006; Rizman, Rudolf Martin (2006), Uncertain Path: Democratic Transition and Consolidation in Slovenia. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2006; etc.

[3] See, e.g., UMAR - Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Government of RS (http://www.umar.gov.si/ - 29 September 2010); Eurostat, particularly their databases on economy (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/ - 29 September 2010).

[4] Western and Eastern (cultural) circles were first shaped after the division of the Roman Empire, and especially after the fall of the Western Empire. The schism of Eastern and Western Christian churches into Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism in 1054 divided the South Slaves that were Christianized after their settlement in that territory into the Catholic South Slavs (nowadays the Slovenes and Croats) and Orthodox South Slavs (nowadays the Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians and Bulgarians). The advancement of the Ottoman Turks and defeats of Medieval Balkan States led to the inclusion of the Eastern circle into the Ottoman Empire, an Islamic state. Any individual who converted to Islam could have joined the ruling group, and many of them made successful careers especially in the early period of the Ottoman rule. Though the Muslims and non-Muslims were not treated equally, observing from historical perspective the Ottoman Empire was tolerant to non-Muslim religions, cultures and peoples, thereby contributing to the religious, cultural and ethnic diversity of the region. The Habsburg Empire/Austria-Hungary played a central role in the development of the Catholic Western Cultural Circle. (See, e.g., Klemenčič & Žagar, 2004, pp. 1-39.)

[5] The Communist Party of Yugoslavia was renamed the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) in the 1950s to reflect the transformation of this party and its social role after the introduction of socialist self-management in Yugoslavia.

[6] See, Žagar, Mitja (2000), "Yugoslavia: What went Wrong? Constitutional Aspects of the Yugoslav Crisis from the Perspective of Ethnic Conflict" – in Spencer, Metta, ed.: The Lessons of Yugoslavia, Research on Russia and Eastern Europe Series. Volume Three. An imprint of Elsevier Science JAI Press: Amsterdam, London, New York, Oxford, Paris, Shannon, Tokyo, 2000, pp. 65-96, 86.

[7] See the tables (1a, 1b) in the appendix presenting the ethnic structure of the population detected by censuses in ex-Yugoslavia.

Historical Evolution: 

In the relatively small territory of ex-Yugoslavia (255,804 sq km after World War II) six constituent “Yugoslav” (ethnic) nations coexisted with a number of national minorities,[1] two scripts and alphabets were used,[2] and four main languages were spoken that since the disintegration of the federation have been evolving into six separate languages.[3] Historic attempts to reduce diversity and reshape ethnic identities (e.g., by development of Yugoslav civic identity) proved unsuccessful, although ethnic structure has been changing constantly, sometimes substantially, influenced by processes and events such as migrations and/or wars. This was true also for promotion of “Yugoslavism” as a new ethnic category and identity advocated by diverse political ideologies in pre- and post-WW II Yugoslavia. Although a new ethnic category of the “Yugoslavs” (by nationality) was officially introduced in post-WW II censuses, it did not replace or, at least, weaken traditional ethnic identities. Slovene national identity, for example, and ideas of national autonomy and self-determination remained present and strong throughout the existence of the common Yugoslav state.

When it was reestablished after WW II, Yugoslavia transformed from a unitary state into a multi-national federation of predominantly ethnically based federal units. A specific feature of this federation was that the Serbs, the largest Yugoslav nation, represented only a bit more than one third of the total population. Although they were the dominant nation and their political leaders attempted to exercise their dominance, especially in pre-WW II period and in the 1980s, they had to take into account ethnic reality and fact that the Serbs were still a minority in comparison with the total population. Such attempts were disapproved and rejected by other nations and their political leaders that demanded equality or, at least, power sharing and autonomy.[4]

Claims for national sovereignty of Slovene nation existed as early as the 19th century and continued later mostly formulated as the request for (increased) national autonomy, first within the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later on throughout the existence of Yugoslavia. At the end of WW I and occasionally later, requests for self-determination and independence of Slovenia appeared as well. Slovenia’s declaration of independence and sovereignty in 1991, however, was a product of historic developments and circumstances at the end of twentieth century.[5] After WW II, especially after the split with Stalin and introduction of socialist self-management, development of the Yugoslav communist regime was specific: although the regime in Yugoslavia was monistic and authoritarian, based on the political monopoly of the communist party, the level of repression – most of the time – was lower while the level of human rights and personal freedom was much higher than in other communist regimes; since the 1960s people were allowed to travel abroad and they had access to and communication with the western world and culture. Even some form of pluralism was allowed within political system; this formal space, however, was limited by the central role and monopoly of Communist Party/LCY. The Constitution of the SFRY of 1974 guaranteed broad autonomy to republics that were defined as sovereign nation-states of respective "Yugoslav nations", while its Preamble referred also to their self-determination.

Demands for democratization and democratic political reforms increased after the death of President Tito (in 1980) in the period of a growing economic, social and political crisis in the 1980s. The process of democratic transition was not an easy and linear one; in Slovenia it started in the early 1980s, however, its historic roots are older and can be traced to the 1960s, the period of Yugoslav liberalism. Although civil society – in which especially the official youth organization, the Union of Socialist Youth of Slovenia was instrumental – played a central role in this process initially, the true momentum was gained with the formal introduction of political pluralism and the establishment of first oppositional political parties in the late 1980s and with the first multiparty elections in 1990 that truly transformed the existing political system.[6]

A few characteristics that marked Slovenia’s democratic transition and, consequently, self-determination were the following:[7]

(i) Democratization in Slovenia was a long, gradual process that had its roots already in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, but intensified in the 1980s and culminated with the formal introduction of political pluralism and democratic political reforms at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s.[8]

(ii) Transition – as collaborative process with participation of the opposition and based on broad public consensus – was evolution (evolutionary process) rather than revolution.

(iii) Not only did the opposition (organizations, parties) that emerged after 1988, demand changes, but the ruling Communists and other official (socio-political) organizations in Slovenia joined these demands and initiated reforms in economic and political system.

(iv) Consensual public support that ensured legitimacy did not exist only regarding democratization and transition to democracy, but also regarding the use of the principle of the rule of law in this process, which established their legality. Although its proposals to democratize and decentralize the federal system and increase autonomy of federal units were not accepted, Slovenia participated in amending the federal constitution of 1974. Simultaneously, the process of amending the republic constitution of 1974 started in the late 1980s that resulted in the adoption of some hundred amendments prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia[9] in December 1991, when the actual independence and sovereignty of the new state had already been achieved.[10]

It is believed that such a consensus and specific developments were conditioned also by a relatively homogenous ethnic structure of the population of Slovenia.[11] However, Slovenia’s self-determination was supported by majority of its population regardless of ethnic background. The position and policy of Slovenia was consensually supported also by Slovene national minorities in neighboring countries and by Diaspora world-wide that tried to mobilize public opinion and authorities in their countries to support Slovenia’s independence.

General consensus and broad public support for democratization, democratic political reforms and transition, but also for autonomy and independence of Slovenia were also shown with the participation and results of the Plebiscite on the Independence and Sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia at the end of 1990.[12] The plebiscite was called when almost all Slovenia’s proposals to reform the federal system were rejected, thereby substantially reducing Slovenia’s interests to remain in the federation that Slobodan Miloševi?, then communist leader of Serbia, tried to control and take over. Nevertheless, the decision adopted at the plebiscite still determined a six month period to build a necessary consensus for democratic transformation and decentralization of the federation. The new Slovene government – established after the first multi-party elections in Slovenia in 1990 won by the coalition of opposition parties to the former communist regime – tried to use the public support expressed by plebiscite to strengthen its negotiating position, but the Serbian led coalition in Yugoslavia that dominated federal institutions rejected all proposals and tried to impose its views on Slovenia. The initiative to introduce the model of “asymmetrical federation” as well as proposals by Slovenia and Croatia to transform Yugoslavia into a confederation were rejected and declared unconstitutional and counter-revolutionary by Miloševi? and other advocates of centralization, who refused even to discuss them. It was not until then that the independence and (external) self-determination of Slovenia was officially mentioned. Even then it was declared that Slovenia wanted to realize this right in a peaceful way without threatening anyone and that it was ready to join a loose union of former Yugoslav republics - a possible Yugoslav confederation.

All political options and key Slovene politicians elected in democratic elections[13] consensually supported such a policy, negotiations and process of self-determination. When there was no success in negotiations and it was impossible to reach a compromise, six months after the plebiscite Slovenia declared its independence and sovereignty by the adoption of the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia[14] in the Republic Assembly. In the evening on 25 June 1991 there was a huge public festivity in the capital city Ljubljana celebrating the declaration of independence with a famous speech of Milan Ku?an, who said that dreams were allowed that day, but tomorrow a new day would come.

Intervention of the federal army, in Slovenia perceived as military aggression, followed the next day. The "Ten Day War" marked the beginning of dissolution of Yugoslavia.[15] The federal army was neutralized, the truce signed and after the negotiations the federal Presidency decided to withdraw the federal army from Slovenia.

Initially, the international community and especially the West opposed the independence of Slovenia and Croatia and still wanted to preserve Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity, unity and independence. Their messages were mixed as on the one side they supported democratic transformation, while on the other side they demanded territorial integrity and unity of Yugoslavia. The statement of 21 June 1991of then U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, on the occasion of his visit to Belgrade that the United States did not intend to recognize Slovenia and Croatia as independent states was understood by the federal army and “centralists” as support for any action against the “secessionist” republics. Following the aggression in Slovenia the international community and public changed their position soon. However, the Brioni Agreement of 8 July 1991 sponsored by the European Community (EC) declared a three month moratorium on Slovenia’s and Croatia’s declarations of independence. When the moratorium was over, Slovenia resumed the implementation of its independence also by the introduction of its own currency – tolar.

Developments followed very fast after the federal army left Slovenia in October 1991. In a way, the formal process of democratic transformation and self-determination was completed by the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia in December 1991. The independence of Slovenia was officially recognized by the majority of EC countries on 15 January 1992. Slovenia became a full member of the CSCE on 24 March and a member of the United Nations on 22 May 1992. Slovenia was accepted as a full member by the Council of Europe on 14 May 1993, and on the same day signed the European Charter of Human Rights.

Already the statement of good intentions before the plebiscite and the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence declared and guaranteed democracy and the respect of human rights, including the adequate protection of minorities based on the principle of the preservation of acquired rights. Slovenia stated that it recognized the international frontiers of the former Yugoslavia as its frontiers and that the former republic border with Croatia should become the new international frontier. This way Slovenia followed intentions of the Hague Peace Conference and principles and conclusions of the Badinter Committee on the frontiers and protection of minorities.[16]

Self-determination of Slovenia did not produce a refugee crisis or large migrations.[17] Although direct war damages in Slovenia were not enormous, the consequences of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and consequent wars destabilized the whole region of South-Eastern Europe and damaged Slovene economy that, however, managed to recover relatively quickly by the mid 1990s.

[1] See the tables (1a, 1b) in the appendix presenting the ethnic structure of the population detected by censuses in ex-Yugoslavia.

[2] Latin alphabet and script are used in the West, while Cyrillic ones in the East.

[3] From West to East these languages are: Slovene, Croat, Bosnian, Serbian, Montenegrin and Macedonian.

[4] A case in point was also the Cvetković-Maček Agreement of 1939 that can be observed as a power-sharing agreement between Croat and Serbian political elites that resulted in increased autonomy of Croats, consequently also of others, and might be observed as the possible beginning of federal reform that did not occur because of WW II. (Klemenčič & Žagar, 2004, pp. 121-123.)

[5] See e.g., Bučar, Bojko & Kuhnle, Stein, eds. (1994), Small States Compared: Politics of Norway and Slovenia. Bergen: Alma Mater, 1994, especially, ?agar, Mitja (1994), “National Sovereignty at the End of the Twentieth Century: Relativization of Traditional Concepts; The Case of Slovenia” – in Bučar & Kuhnle, eds. (1994), pp. 235-252.

[6] See, e.g., Rizman, 2006, pp. 49-70.

[7] More see, Žagar, Mitja (1996), "The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia: An Aid on the Way to Europe." - in Fink-Hafner, Danica & Cox, Terry, eds., Into Europe? Perspectives from Britain and Slovenia, Scientific Library – 18. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences, 1996, pp. 123-145.

[8] Initially, the Yugoslav political system after WW II was shaped after the Soviet model; the federation was highly centralized. The formal introduction of self-management in the 1950s brought a new official rhetoric and ideology; the everyday life and political environment did not change rapidly. However, a few new concepts were the basis of the reforms in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The constitutional reforms in the 1960s redesigned the federation and increased autonomy of federal units; they also democratized the political system and opened some political space. Reforms were slow and controlled by the ruling regime to eliminate any danger to the existing regime and its official ideology. Whenever such fears existed the leadership intervened immediately and stopped the reforms as in the case of "Liberalism" and "Mas-pok"-(mass-movement) in the beginning of the 1970s. Nevertheless, some elements of reforms survived and the political space was slowly expanding; decentralization and autonomy of federal units and local government were increasing – building the foundation for future reforms. The constitutional reform of 1974 further decentralized the federation and increased autonomy of federal units; it introduced a specific kind of social/political pluralism that was described as "pluralism of self-managing interests." These reforms paved the way for the process of democratization in Slovenia in the 1980s. The case of Slovenia and the former Yugoslavia shows that the introduction of (social/political) reforms could be compared with the "Pandora's box": when the reforms are introduced nobody can predict all their consequences or control them totally. When a change occurs and impacts a certain society it is usually impossible to reverse it and do away with all its consequences. Some trends of development could be slowed down or changed, but it is very difficult to reverse them. (See, e.g., Klemenčič & Žagar, 2004, pp. 194-286; Ramet, 2002.)

[9] The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia (of 23 December 1991) with amendments, Official Gazette of RS, Nos. 33/1991, 42/1997, 66/2000, 24/2003, 69/2004, 69/2004, 69/2004, 68/2006. Translation (with amendments): http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=351&docid=25&showdoc=1 (20 November 2006).

[10] Based the on human rights, principles of democracy and inclusion and searching for (political) compromise(s) and broad consensus, the process of democratization (transition) and constitutional reforms took several years and involved all relevant political actors as well as experts. (See, e.g., Žagar, 1996)

[11] Slovenia was the most ethnically homogenous among the former Yugoslav republics, which can be seen also from the census data on ethnic structure of its population (Table 2 in Appendix).

[12] The plebiscite was held on 23 December 1990; the overwhelming majority of voters voted in favor of greater autonomy (within Yugoslavia), independence and sovereignty of Slovenia. The right to participate in the plebiscite was given to every Yugoslav citizen who had the permanent address (residence) in Slovenia and who had the right to vote on the day of the plebiscite (altogether 1,457,020 voters: 100%). (Law on the Plebiscite on the Independence and Sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia, Official Gazette of RS, No. 44/1990) The result was the following: 1,289,369 or 88.8 % voters voted for the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia; 57,800 or 4% voters voted against the independence and sovereignty; there were also 12,412 or 0.9% invalid ballots. (Report of the Republic Electoral Commission on the Results of the Plebiscite of 23 December 1990, Official Gazette of RS, No. 2/1991.)

[13] Among them the Prime Minister Alojz Peterle, who led the new coalition government, President of the Presidency of the Republic of Slovenia Milan Kučan, the former communist leader who was instrumental in democratic transformation, and the member of the Presidency of the SFRY Dr. Janez Drnovšek, who represented Slovenia in this collective Head of State of the SFRY.

[14] The Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia, Official Gazette of the Republic of RS, Nos. 1/91-I and 19/91. See also: http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=351&docid=25&showdoc=1 (20 November 2006).

[15] During Ten Day War in Slovenia some 40 soldiers of the federal army, 8 members of the Slovene Territorial Defense and 13 civilians (most of them were foreign truck-drivers killed in air-raids). During the movement of tanks, battles and air-raids some roads, factories and private houses were destroyed or damaged; there was some damage to Ljubljana airport and planes (of Slovene airline) parked there.

[16] The Arbitration Committee, established by the EC in August 1991 and chaired by Robert Badinter, President of the French Constitutional Council (hence called the Badinter Committee), was called upon to evaluate some relevant issues and give its legal opinions, often formulated in a form of principles based on the established international law. It declared that the former Yugoslav federation was disintegrating and that all successor states were equal (in their succession rights). In its opinion on the frontiers it followed the principle of uti posseditis juris (used also in the context of decolonization), while it stressed the importance of the protection of minorities – determining it as one of criteria for the international recognition of new states by the EC/EU. Its Opinion No. 2 among others states:

II. ... the right to self-determination must not involve changes to existing frontiers ...except where the states concerned agree otherwise.

III. ...one or more groups within a state constituting one or more ethnic, religious or language community, ... have the right to recognition of their identity under international law. ... population ... must therefore be afforded every right accorded to minorities under international convention as well as national and international guarantees ...

4.ii. ...the Republics must afford the members of those communities and ethnic groups all the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized in international law...

(For the texts of Opinions 1-3, see: Alain Pellet (1992), “The Opinions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee: A Second Breath for the Self-Determination of Peoples - Appendix: Opinions of the Arbitration Committee.” European Journal of International Law, Vol. 3, No.1 (Art. 13), http://www.ejil.org/journal/Vol3/No1/art13.html#TopOfPage (28 December 2006).)

[17] However, a few years after its independence at the peak of fights in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina up to 70,000 people from warring found refuge in Slovenia as temporary refugees. Most of them returned to their homes when the situation improved there or emigrated to Western Europe, the United States, Canada or Australia.

Prospects / Analysis: 

Although a byproduct of democratization and disintegration of ex-Yugoslavia, Slovenia’s self-determination is an almost perfect dream-case scenario. Successful in its democratic transition and development, economically relatively well-off and the EU member-state Slovenia might be seen as an example of successful self-determination and a possible precedent for self-determination of stateless nations[1], such as the Basques, Catalans or Coriscans. However, such a scenario was possible only in very specific historic circumstances and time. Stimulated by the worsening economic and political situation and crisis in ex-Yugoslavia, self-determination of Slovenia was influenced also by the changing international situation after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, support of the international public and community after the aggression, successful democratization and broad public consensus regarding main political goals, possibly – in the view of some – also by Slovenia’s relative ethnic homogeneity. Consequently, outcomes in Slovenia should not be generalized, which other cases including other successor states of ex-Yugoslavia show.

A remaining problem from the period of self-determination for Slovenia seemed to be a border dispute with Croatia. For almost twenty years two countries had been unable to formulate an acceptable compromise solution, until the arbitration agreement was signed in Stockholm by Prime Ministers – Jadranka Kosor and Borut Pahor – in November 2009 and latter ratified by the parliaments.[2] Simultaneously, the problem of the “erased” is being resolved following the decision by the Constitutional Court.[3]

The existence of the right to self-determination of Slovene nation has never been questioned in Slovenia and was recognized by post-WW II Yugoslav constitutions. Furthermore, the formation of the Yugoslav federation after WW II was declared the act of Slovenia’s and other Yugoslav nations’ self-determination. However, the constitution did not regulate the procedure for the realization of this right. The idea of Slovenia’s self-determination – within or outside Yugoslavia – was elaborated in "Contributions to a Slovene National Program" published in the Writer's Journal "Nova Revija" (New Journal) in 1987,[4] then criticized by the ruling communist regime that still believed successful democratic transition and reforms in Yugoslavia were possible. When the reforms failed and the crisis worsened, a consensual decision was made that Slovenia had to become independent and sovereign state first to become an equal actor in the international community that could be integrated into European integration processes. In retrospective, this decision and determination to insist on democratic transition and rule of law in realizing Slovenia's independence proved to be a successful strategy.

[1] Concept of stateless nations see, e.g. Guibernau, Montserrat (1999), Nations without states: political communities in a global age. Cambridge: Polity press, 1999.

[2] See, Arbitration Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, done at Stockholm on 4 November 2009 (original in English): http://www.mzz.gov.si/nc/en/tools/cns/news/article//26207/ (29 September 2010).

[3] The “erased” are former Yugoslav citizens with permanent residency in Slovenia who upon its independence did not acquire Slovenia’s citizenship, but also failed to regulate their status as foreign residents. Consequently, they were erased from the register of permanent residents, which resulted in the loss of some of rights and other problems.

[4] Hribar, Valentin (Tine) (1987), “Slovenska drñavnost” (“Slovene Statehood”). - in Nova revija, Vol. VI, No. 57, Ljubljana, 1987, pp. 3-29; and Jambrek, Peter (1987), “Pravica do samoodlo&ldots;be slovenskega naroda” (“The Right to Self-determination of the Slovene Nation”). - in Nova revija, Vol. VI, No. 57, Ljubljana, 1987, pp. 161-174.

References / Further Reading: 

Alain Pellet (1992), “The Opinions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee: A Second Breath for the Self-Determination of Peoples - Appendix: Opinions of the Arbitration Committee.” European Journal of International Law, Vol. 3, No.1 (Art. 13), (http://www.ejil.org/journal/Vol3/No1/art13.html#TopOfPage - 28 December 2006).

The Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia, Uradni list Republike Slovenije - Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia (RS), Nos. 1/91-I and 19/91. See also: http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=351&docid=25&showdoc=1 (20 November 2006).

Bučar, Bojko & Kuhnle, Stein, eds. (1994), Small States Compared: Politics of Norway and Slovenia. Bergen: Alma Mater, 1994.

The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia (of 23 December 1991) with amendments, Official Gazette of RS, Nos. 33/1991, 42/1997, 66/2000, 24/2003, 69/2004, 69/2004, 69/2004, 68/2006. Translation (with amendments): http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=351&docid=25&showdoc=1 (20 November 2006).

Eurostat (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1090,30070682,1090_33076576&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL - 22 November 2006).

Guibernau, Montserrat (1999), Nations without states: political communities in a global age. Cambridge: Polity press, 1999.

Klemenčič, Matjaž & Žagar, Mitja (2004). The former Yugoslavia's diverse peoples: A reference sourcebook, (Ethnic diversity within nations). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.

Ramet, Sabrina P.(2002), Balkan Babel: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia from the Death of Tito to the Fall of Milošević. 4th edition, Boulder: Westview Press, 2002.

Ramet, Sabrina P. & Fink-Hafner, Danica, ed. (2006), Democratic Transition in Slovenia: Value Transformation, Education and Media. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2006.

Rizman, Rudolf Martin (2006), Uncertain Path: Democratic Transition and Consolidation in Slovenia. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2006.

UMAR - Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Government of the RS (http://www.gov.si/umar/aindex.php - 22 November 2006)

Žagar, Mitja (1996), "The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia: An Aid on the Way to Europe." - in Fink-Hafner, Danica & Cox, Terry, eds., Into Europe? Perspectives from Britain and Slovenia, Scientific Library – 18. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences, 1996, pp. 123-145.

Žagar, Mitja (1994), “National Sovereignty at the End of the Twentieth Century: Relativization of Traditional Concepts; The Case of Slovenia” – in Bučar, Bojko & Kuhnle, Stein, eds., Small States Compared: Politics of Norway and Slovenia. Bergen: Alma Mater, 1994, pp. 235-252.

Žagar, Mitja (2000), "Yugoslavia: What went Wrong? Constitutional Aspects of the Yugoslav Crisis from the Perspective of Ethnic Conflict" – in Spencer, Metta, ed.: The Lessons of Yugoslavia, Research on Russia and Eastern Europe Series. Volume Three. An imprint of Elsevier Science JAI Press: Amsterdam, London, New York, Oxford, Paris, Shannon, Tokyo, 2000, pp. 65-96.

Appendix: 

Table 1a:   Ethnic structure of the population of the Former Yugoslavia according to official Censuses, 1948-1991

POPULATION/ YEAR

 

1948

 

1953

 

1961

 

1971

 

1981

 

1991

Croats

   3,784,353

   3,975,550

   4,239,860

   4,526,782

   4,428,005

   4,633,300

Macedonians

      810,126

      893,247

   1,045,530

   1,194,784

   1,339,729

   1,371,900

Montenegrins

      425,703

      466,093

      513,833

      508,843

      579,023

      534,500

Muslims

      808,921

      998,698

      972,945

   1,729,932

   1,999,957

   2,280,700

Serbs

   6,547,117

   7,065,923

   7,806,213

   8,143,246

   8,140,452

   8,527,800

Slovenes

   1,415,432

   1,487,100

   1,589,192

   1,678,032

   1,730,364

   1,750,800

Albanians

      750,431

      754,245

      914,760

   1,309,523

   1,730,364

   2,172,700

Austrians

                    -

           1,459

           1,081

              852

           1,404

                    -

Bulgarians

        61,140

        61,708

        62,624

        58,627

        36,185

        25,200

Czechs

        39,015

        34,517

        30,331

        24,620

        19,625

        14,600

Germans

        55,337

        60,536

        20,015

        12,785

           8,712

           5,300

Greeks

                    -

           2,304

           2,307

           1,564

           1,639

                    -

Hungarians

      496,492

      502,175

      504,368

      477,374

      426,866

      377,700

Italians

        79,575

        35,874

        25,615

        21,791

        15,132

        22,100

Jews

                    -

           2,307

           2,110

           4,811

           1,383

                    -

Poles

                    -

           4,440

           3,609

           3,033

           3,043

                    -

Roma (Gypsies)

        72,736

        84,713

        31,674

        78,485

      168,009

      200,100

Romanians

        64,095

        60,362

        60,862

        58,570

        54,954

        42,400

Russians

        20,069

        12,426

        12,305

           7,427

           4,463

                    -

Ruthenians

        37,140

        37,353

        38,619

        24,640

        23,285

        18,300

Slovaks

        83,626

        84,999

        86,433

        83,656

        80,334

        72,200

Turks

        97,954

      259,535

      182,964

      127,920

      101,291

      108,900

Ukrainians

                    -

                    -

                    -

        13,972

        12,813

                    -

Valachs

      102,953

        36,728

           9,436

        21,990

        32,063

                    -

Others

        19,883

           7,890

           7,381

        28,949

        22,074

                    -

Regional identity

                    -

                    -

                    -

        15,002

        25,717

                    -

Undeclared

                    -

                    -

                    -

        32,774

        46,689

                    -

"Yugoslavs"

                    -

                    -

      317,124

      273,077

   1,219,045

      700,400

Unknown / Unclear

                    -

           6,389

        14,192

        67,138

      153,333

                    -

TOTAL

15,772,098

16,936,573

18,549,291

20,522,972

22,427,585

23,690,000

 

 


Table 1b:The share (in %) in ethnic structure of the population of the Former Yugoslavia according to official Censuses, 1948-1991

POPULATION / YEAR

1948

      1953

      1961

      1971

      1981

      1991

Croats

             24.0

             23.5

             23.1

             22.1

             19.8

             19.1

Macedonians

               5.1

               5.3

               5.6

               5.8

               6.0

               5.8

Montenegrins

               2.7

               2.8

               2.8

               2.5

               2.6

               2.3

Muslims

               5.1

               5.9

               5.2

               8.4

               8.9

               9.6

Serbs

             41.5

             41.7

             42.1

             39.7

             36.3

             36.0

Slovenes

               9.0

               8.8

               8.6

               8.2

               7.8

               7.4

Albanians

               4.8

               4.5

               4.9

               6.4

               7.7

               9.1

Austrians

                    -

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

                    -

Bulgarians

               0.4

               0.4

               0.3

               0.3

               0.2

               0.1

Czechs

               0.2

               0.2

               0.2

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

Germans

               0.4

               0.4

               0.1

               0.1

               0.0

               0.0

Greeks

                    -

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

                    -

Hungarians

               3.2

               3.0

               2.7

               2.3

               1.9

               1.6

Italians

               0.5

               0.2

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

Jews

                    -

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

                    -

Poles

                    -

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

               0.0

                    -

Roma (Gypsies)

               0.5

               0.5

               0.2

               0.4

               0.7

               0.8

Romanians

               0.4

               0.4

               0.3

               0.3

               0.2

               0.2

Russians

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

               0.0

               0.0

                    -

Ruthenians

               0.2

               0.2

               0.2

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

Slovaks

               0.5

               0.5

               0.5

               0.4

               0.4

               0.3

Turks

               0.6

               1.5

               1.0

               0.6

               0.5

               0.5

Ukrainians

                    -

                    -

                    -

               0.1

               0.1

                    -

Valachs

               0.7

               0.2

               0.1

               0.1

               0.1

                    -

 

Data compiled from the yearbooks of the Statistical Office of the SFRY and Klemenčič, Matjaž & Žagar, Mitja (2004). The former Yugoslavia's diverse peoples: A reference sourcebook, (Ethnic diversity within nations). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.


 

 

Table 2:           Ethnic structure of the population in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia (Censuses after World War II)

 

Population/ Year

 

1 9 5 3

1 9 6 1

1 9 7 1

1 9 8 1

1 9 9 1

Slovenians

1415448  

1522248

1624029

1712445

1727018  (87,84%)

Italians

854[i]  

3072

3001

2187

3064   ( 0,16%)

Hungarians

11019  

10498

9785

9496

8503   ( 0,43%)

Roma (Gypsies)

1663  

158

977

1435

2293   ( 0,12%)

Austrians

289  

254

278

180

199   ( 0,01%)

Germans

1617  

732

422

380

546   ( 0,06%)

Jews

15

21

72

9

37

Croats

17978  

31429

42182

55625

54212   ( 2,76%)

Serbs

11225  

13609

20521

42182

47911   ( 2,44%)

Albanians

169  

282

1281

1985

3629   ( 0,18%)

Montenegrins

1356  

1384

1978

3217

4396   ( 0,22%)

Macedonians

640  

1009

1613

3288

4432   ( 0,23%)

Muslims [ii]

1617  

465

3231

13425

26842   ( 1,37%)

Yugoslav[iii]

           -    

2784

6744

26263

12307   ( 0,63%)

Not stated

-  

-

3073

2975

9011   ( 0,46%)

Regional affiliation[iv]

-  

-

2705

4018

5254   ( 0,27%)

Others

... 

...

...

...

...             ...

Not known or unclear

211  

1154

2964

10635

53545   (2,72%)

    S K U P A J

1466425

1591523

1727137

1891864

1965986 (100,00%)

 

Data from the Statistical Bureau of the Republic of Slovenia.

 

 

 



[i] This figure does not include Italians who at the time of the census lived in the Free Territory of Trieste (Slovenian coastal area, then the »Zone B«). This territory represents the traditional territory of the autochthonous settlement of Italian minority in Slovenia.

[ii] This category, introduced in Yugoslav Censuses after WW II included especially immigrants from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina who are now usually described as Bosniaks.

[iii] This category included especially children from mixed marriages, especially in cases when parents or at least one of them spoke Croatian, Serbian or Serbo-Croat language.

[iv] After 1971 Censuses included also regional affiliation of individuals that is not necessarily ethnically defined, but conditioned with the place of residence (e.g., Istria, Coastal area, Dolenjska, Styria, etc.).