Once Slovenia signed a Europe agreement in 1996, its EU accession process was smoother than those of the other candidate states. In the early 1990s, when Slovenia's EU path was anything but secure, people like the late Janez Drnovsek and Dimitrij Rupel helped pave the way for association and, subsequently, accession. After reading Drnovsek's and Rupel's portraits, see the impact that EU accession has had on the work of Simon Humar, an environment inspector.

Janez Drnovsek. Photo: Borut Peterlin

"I think that I should do a little more to help the others."

Alojz Peterle

“The only real obstacle at that time was Italy. We were blocked for one year.”

Dimitrij Rupel. Photo: Borut Peterlin

"You know, if we manage to put everyone in the same package and everyone became a member at the same time, it would be much easier."

Simon Humar. Photo: Miro Majcen/ESI

"In 1995 we had about 15 pieces of legislation and you could list them on one piece of paper. Now the list covers 15 pages."

To read portraits of "member state builders" from other countries, click here.