Slovenia's 15th anniversary of NATO membership
Slovenia had been a part of the Non-Aligned movement in the era of former Yugoslavia, but when it became independent the country set out to become a member of all significant global as well as Euro-Atlantic organisations, in particular the EU and NATO.
It had had aspirations of being one of the first countries from the former Eastern bloc to be invited to join NATO, but to its chagrin, the alliance invited only Czechia, Hungary and Poland in 1999.
The invitation to begin accession talks was issued three years later at the Prague summit. According to the then foreign minister, Dimitrij Rupel, the US decided to open the doors wider in part due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Popular support for NATO membership was weaker than support for the EU, as demonstrated during both accession referendums on 23 March 2003. While the EU membership was backed by almost 90%...