Among former Yugoslavia's successor states, Slovenia is the only one to have already become a member of the EU. As a result of conflicts that raged in its immediate neighbourhood, as well as a dispute with Italy, Slovenia got off to a late start in the EU accession process. Thanks to sound political leadership and a gradualist approach to economic reform, however, Slovenia performed impressively and soon managed to catch up with the Central European frontrunners. In 1998 it started accession negotiations together with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Cyprus, and became an EU member in 2004. The small country (of 2 million citizens) became the first of the new member states to introduce the Euro in 2007 and the first to hold the EU presidency in 2008.
In 2009 Slovenia's reputation suffered a setback on the European stage after Ljubljana began to block EU accession negotiations with Croatia. ESI will publish a special report on this issue in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, learn more about Slovenia's road to the EU, read portraits of Slovenian Europeanisers, check out basic facts about Slovenia's EU accession or consult the background documents section with more than 60 key documents on Slovenia's EU accession and its dispute with neighbouring Croatia.