History of the Development of Slovenian Economic Diplomacy: from Politics to Economy?

  • Boštjan Udovič Fakulteta za družbene vede Univerze v Ljubljani, Center za mednarodne odnose, Kardeljeva pl. 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: Slovenia, economy, diplomacy, economic diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, history


The article is a concise presentation of the historical and institutional development of economic diplomacy of the Republic of Slovenia since 1991 to date. The author underlines three mutually complementary methodological approaches: the official (primary) sources, supplemented by semi-structured interviews as well as secondary sources in the form of memoirs. The author establishes that the development of the economic diplomacy of Slovenia may be divided into five stages. The first stage (1990–1992) and the final stage (2009–) are the most important, since in their context the economic diplomacy has been developed the most or has been closely connected to the political diplomacy. The analysis also resulted in the information that for almost 15 years economic diplomacy has been artificially separated from political diplomacy. Here we should emphasise the substantive as well as institutional separation (i.e., shifting between various state administration bodies) at the detriment of the development and effectiveness of economic diplomacy. The latter was most noticeable in Slovenia during the current crisis, when the economic diplomacy only began to create the environment which would minimise costs and maximise gains. Had the economic diplomacy developed through evolution – and not revolution, like in Slovenia – then the onset of the economic crisis would have been easier to overcome.