Our Beautiful Homeland
- Former Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020 - 2022)
"I, brothers, believe in the homeland that we all sense coming. What was forcibly taken from us, what we have been cheated out and deprived of, shall be returned and repaid a hundredfold! Our homeland is a fight and it is the future; it is worth the noblest of bloods and the best of men."
The words of Ivan Cankar from his sketch story Our Beautiful Homeland (Lepa naša domovina) reveal the nation’s longing for its own country. The longing of generations of Slovenians to be able to decide their own fate and future. To be masters on our own land and live in a free and independent country.
Thirty years ago, we won the freedom to decide for ourselves. On Slovenian soil, we became our own masters. The dream became a reality. The efforts of generations of Slovenians finally bore fruit and culminated in a free and independent Slovenia. We were honoured and privileged to have been a part of this sacred time for the Slovenian nation.
We won the battle for freedom and an independent Slovenia by first ensuring democracy, which we obtained by fighting for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Thirty years ago, we proudly and enthusiastically achieved all these goals. At that time, unimaginable strength welled up in our people, uniting us. A strength whose roots ran deep.
As a sovereign state, we have since joined European and Euro-Atlantic alliances and integrated into the global international community. Together with others, we are striving for our welfare and for peace among nations. So that all nations may live in freedom. We can be proud of and look forward to this.
None of the above, however, happened overnight or without sacrifice and effort. The path we took once again confirmed that nothing in life – both that of a person and a nation – happens by chance or is given freely. It was again proven that everything in life serves a purpose and has a meaning. Every challenge faced in life serves as a preparation for the next one.
It has been a difficult year. With plenty of patience, sacrifices and willpower, we have managed to pull through. After a year, it is understandable that the willpower is waning and that it does not take much to get overwhelmed by discontent and pessimism. Creating tensions, spreading hatred and intolerance, calling for exclusions and even death of persons, which is something that is encouraged and deliberately fuelled by certain political parties and individuals, is extremely irresponsible and dangerous in these difficult times.
Thirty years is a short and, at the same time, a long period. When we embarked on our journey of independence, we knew it would not be easy. But we were driven forward by our heart's desire that filled us with courage and faith that everything we did was right and good. We wanted to live in a free and democratic country, in which the values of freedom, justice, solidarity and fairness went hand in hand with economic success and prosperity. In a country that would be a motherland for us all. Looking back, we can see that we achieved a lot, but that we also let many an opportunity pass. That we forgot about some of the values on which independent Slovenia was founded. That somewhere along the way we even began to lose touch with what our nation and we carry within us, and what has always united us and gave us strength 30 years ago to achieve the impossible.
However, nothing has been lost. We are still the same nation that can be strong, resolute and courageous if necessary. On the 30th anniversary, let us remember the importance of finding the courage to persevere and to not give in to gloom and dismay. We know from experience that honest work and cooperation reap incredible, sometimes even inconceivable, rewards.
Let this time of celebration, as we remember those June days 30 years ago, be a time when we remember the acts of greatness and bravery that paved our way to independence. First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to the Slovenian people, who showed their maturity and courage during those trying times. Thank you to each and every one of you, who took up arms in defence of the referendum result for an independent Slovenia. There will always be a special place in my heart, and in our homeland's heart, for those that sacrificed the utmost for it – their lives. Thank you to all Slovenian citizens home and abroad. Thank you also to all Slovenia's friends across the globe that supported and encouraged us on our journey.
The challenges of our time are considerable. However, if we base our future on mutual respect, embracing diversity, establishing dialogue between different-minded people and, above all, the respect for the values on which independent Slovenia was founded, we have nothing to fear.
On 1 July, Slovenia will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. We will be at the helm of the community of 27 European countries for the second time since we became a member state. We will tackle this difficult task in earnest and well-prepared. We also see it as a vote of confidence and one of the most wonderful gifts to all of us on our 30th birthday.
Dear Slovenia, our beloved homeland, happy birthday. Let us celebrate proudly and uprightly. Let Slovenian flags fly in honour of our homeland, at home and everywhere in the world where Slovenian hearts beat. Stay healthy and God bless Slovenia.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia