From wise-men to reflection group

So, Sarko’s idea has been properly watered down. The initial idea of the “wise-men” group was first properly renamed not to sound discriminatory and then also weakened substantially. It will now NOT discuss: institutional issues, existing policies (=enlargement) and financial arrangements. So what is there left for it to do and what is there for Sarkozy to be happy about?

OK, there is a long list of things like: energy and climate questions, European social and economic model, Europe’s role in the world…But isn’t this all “existing policies” and isn’t thus the mandate a bit contradictory? And the groups is only supposed to report back in 2010. I bet these “cosmetic” changes to Sarko’s idea have been done by coincidence… Continue reading

EU Presidency Media Handbook: 200.000 Slovenians in 2100

The Slovenian EU Presidency is about to start and the official website has been launched. It comes along with a nicely designed and well prepared Media Handbook (PDF). But there is one element that should make us think (thanks Uroš for pointing it out), the welcome words by the Director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM). The

“Foreigners tell us that we are courageous, but fortune, as they say, favours the bold. We like to joke by saying that we are lucky primarily because we are the first to preside – and the reason is demographics. The most pessimistic projection of the Slovenian birth rate forecasts that there will be 200,000 fewer Slovenes during the next Slovenian presidency. Even now, questions of how – in terms of human resources – we will be able to pull off such an important project often seem to be imposing themselves. One cannot help wondering what questions will arise in the run-up to our eighth Presidency somewhere around the year 2100, when (according to projections), only some 200,000 Slovenes will be left.” Continue reading

Slovenia: when misinformation becomes institutionalised

The story about the petition against censorship went as far as to the Parliamentary plenary, vote of confidence, then to the Parliamentary Committees and it surely doesn’t want to disappear from the daily life in Slovenia. The last “effort” to strengthen the barricades comes from the Foreign Minister prof. dr. Dimitrij Rupel.

There is a generally pleasant and harmless magazine published by the Slovenian Government’s Office for Communication (UKOM) called SINFO. It’s a bit of a promotional leaflet for Slovenia in English that probably mostly ends up in embassies (foreign in Slovenia and Slovenian abroad) and foreigners who need to get the first glance of Slovenia. All this would be fine, it’s nicely designed, with bright colours and it features also foreign faces praising Slovenia. But, the problem comes when the editor fails to recognize material that should not be published. There is one article I have in mind in particular, written by prof. dr. Dimitrij Rupel himself for the section “What makes the news” under a self-explanatory title: Slovenian EU Presidency under fire at home. Continue reading

Slovenia goes Economist!

So, we made it! For the second time!

The first success of the Slovenian Presidency is to appear in the Charlemagne column in the last edition of The Economist. All media gurus should see how to repeat it again. The previous piece dealt with the same issue and was also the reason behind Rupel‘s ignorance towards The Economist ever since…It’s nice to see him being quoted again, it means he talks to them.

What did they write in the previous post about our seasoned diplomat?

“The foreign minister, Dimitrij Rupel, is oddly abrasive for someone with two decades’ diplomatic experience.” Continue reading