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New year message from the President of the Republic of Slovenia dr Janez Drnovšek

Ljubljana, 12/31/2002  |  press release

My fellow Slovenians, citizens,

New Year is always a time for assessing and reviewing everything that has been achieved, and also for making new plans: as we go from the old to the new year, we try in some way to measure where we are, how far we have come, and what still awaits us. This applies to our personal lives, and to the work we do, but it also applies to the country we belong to, and with which we all wish to be in a creative, interactive relationship, for through our country and its institutions we may fulfill the common interests that ensure prosperity, decent mutual coexistence, and a view toward the future that is filled with confidence.

At the same time, the Christmas and New Year holidays provide an opportunity for us to withdraw for a short time into privacy, and to forget the less agreeable cares and difficulties which otherwise we must frequently face and confront. At this time state and public affairs seem more removed than usual – and this is of course only right and proper. The holiday moments of relaxation and cheer are intended primarily for ourselves and for those who are dearest to us. But the joyful mood to which we may surrender, at the same time links us with many other people, including unknown people, for it would indeed be hard to find true enjoyment without feeling enjoyment all around us.

I feel the pleasant duty to greet and toast every one of you, and in this way also to return the compliment for the trust you have shown, a trust that will be of great support to me in performing the offices and duties I have accepted.

I have been entrusted with demanding assignments and challenges, and I intend to face them using my knowledge and experience, but most of all using my firm awareness and conviction of the importance and consequences of the great common decisions for the life and work of each individual: through them we are weaving for ourselves and future generations our today and tomorrow, and creating new spaces in which each person will be able to fulfill their desires and aspirations. I shall strive to ensure the kind of climate in which it will be possible to include fully the developmental capacities of Slovenian society and all of its individuals. In this we should strive not only to achieve the greatest prosperity possible, but also to secure respect of values.

The omnipresent processes of globalization are undoubtedly a primary challenge, demanding our greatest sensitivity and attention, since globalization is not just shaking up world politics and economies, but is also now stepping relentlessly into our homes and our personal relations. We have no desire to be affected excessively by the negative forces of globalization. For this reason we must respond to it actively and prudently – for only in this way will we be able to control it in its less agreeable forms, and avoid certain of its destructive effects. But in cases where such effects and consequences nevertheless appear, concern for mitigating such consequences must be one of the primary tasks for those who hold the authority of the state. Indeed an enhanced sensitivity to social hardship and problems should become one of the fundamental characteristics and distinctions of the Slovenian state.

I am pleased to observe that Slovenia, including the great majority of its citizens, consciously established itself in support of such a view and approach through the very process of independence, and has now come a very long way on the road of opening up to the world, chiefly, I would add, because for the most part we share with each other such views and encouraging expectations. This is proof of the will, strength and self-confidence we all have, which allow us not just to follow the ongoing events in the world, but also to participate in them through roles and assignments of equal value.

The Prague and Copenhagen summits just before the end of the year were in this respect milestones on our common path toward affirmation in the international community, and represent fine sustenance to accompany our endeavors and efforts along the way. I am convinced that as citizens of Slovenia you have already identified and recognized the importance and far-reaching significance of the fundamental changes to which both events are opening wide the door – changes which will undoubtedly inspire us, both as a society and as individuals, with a new vigor and new ambitions. And if we are able to take good advantage of them, the opportunities offered to us by membership in international associations and partnership with the most advanced countries will be stimulatory for us in all respects – economically, socially and culturally.

My fellow citizens, I therefore wish sincerely to assure you of my firm conviction that our path is well-considered and correctly charted, that it will be both worthwhile and essential to persevere in it, and that this awareness can be a part of our common, yet also personal, contentment which is a part of the New Year holiday. And with my very best wishes for the happiness, health and success you desire, I greet you in the festive mood that we all share.
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