While not without its own internal problems, Slovenia was first among the former Yugoslav republics to join the rest of communist Eastern Europe in undertaking a genuine reform effort during the late 1980s and early 1990s that included respect for human rights and tolerance of independent political activity. The Helsinki Commission acknowledged and supported this progress, including by warning against efforts by federal authorities to thwart it. In April 1990, a Helsinki Commission delegation visited Slovenia in order to observe that republic’s multi-party elections, the first not only in that republic but in all of communist Yugoslavia. Subsequently, Commission efforts focused on supporting Slovenia’s aspirations for NATO and EU membership, engaging its leadership during Slovenia’s 2007 chairmanship of the OSCE, and relaying any lingering concerns regarding its tolerance of ethnic diversity, especially as it relates to the country’s Muslim and Romani populations.
Staff Contact: Everett Price, senior policy advisor