Independence Anniversary Marked in Brussels
Brussels, 22 June (STA) - The seven Slovenian members of the European Parliament organised a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's independence at the parliament building in Brussels on Tuesday, while another ceremony was hosted by the Slovenian embassies to Belgium and the EU.
The event organised by the MEPs began at the Schuman Roundabout by the marble plaque set up during Slovenia's presidency of the EU that bears the first line of the Slovenian national anthem in the 23 official EU languages.
The ceremony continued at the European Parliament with addresses by the seven MEPs and Jacques Santer, the president of the European Commission in 1995-1999 when Slovenia started accession negotiations with the EU.
Santer spoke about the historical context of Slovenia's independence and its accession to the EU, noting that the country set an example among the new EU member states.
The MEPs Tanja Fajon, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Jelko Kacin, Mojca Kleva, Alojz Peterle, Ivo Vajgl and Milan Zver made a joint statement in which they congratulated Slovenians on the 20th independence anniversary and called for dialogue. "Two decades of independence, the successfully completed projects of accession to the EU and NATO, presidency of the UN Security Council, Council of the EU and the Council of Europe, entry to the euro and Schengen areas and membership of the OECD encourage, unite and commit us in the belief that Slovenia can achieve more yet."
Calling for mutual respect and cooperation, the MEPs pledged to contribute to the development and progress of the EU, all candidate countries for membership and future candidates and to the prosperity of citizens.