Slovenia: Making steady Gains in Foreign Policy

THIS MAY PROVE A WATERshed year for Slovenian foreign policy.1 Ljubljana has scored a series of foreign policy gains under Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler’s guidance, particularly in bilateral relations with neighboring Italy.2 Thaler, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) – which is part of the governing coalition – assumed his post in January, replacing Lojze Peterle, who tendered his resignation in fall 1994 after a series of long-standing disagreements with other government members. Whether Thaler’s diplomatic skills and overall strategies were crucial to Slovenia’s recent foreign policy gains – and whether his achievements will prove irreversible – remains to be seen. What is beyond doubt, however, is that the new minister’s personality and management style are assets to his department’s work – and perhaps to his country’s goal of integration into Western political and economic structures.