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Germany and Slovenia: Bilateral relations

22.02.2022 - Article

Diplomatic relations between Germany and Slovenia were established on 15 January 1992. The two countries enjoy very good relations based on mutual trust. These friendly ties have been underscored by numerous high-level visits. The German-Slovene Action Plan, which seeks to intensify bilateral cooperation, was signed by both Foreign Ministers in Berlin on 22 May 2019. Slovenia assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2021 and was thus, together with Germany and Portugal, part of the Trio Presidency since July 2020. Numerous high-level politicians visited Slovenia as part of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Federal Chancellor Merkel attended the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brdo pri Kranju at the beginning of October. Moreover, Minister of Health Spahn, Finance Minister Scholz, Foreign Minister Maas and Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer travelled to the country for their respective informal EU ministerial meetings in autumn 2021. Foreign Minister Logar travelled to Germany for a two-day visit in May 2021.

Bilateral economic cooperation is extremely close. Germany is Slovenia’s most important trading partner by far, accounting for 19 percent of the country’s foreign trade. It is also one of the principal foreign investors in Slovenia. The German-Slovene Chamber of Industry and Commerce celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2016.

A cultural agreement between Germany and Slovenia has been in force since 1993. The most recent consultations took place in Ljubljana in May 2002.

With its politically ambitious programme work and successful language courses, the Goethe-Institut, which opened in the country in 2004, is an important cultural stakeholder. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a lector in the country.

At 23 of the country’s schools, students can obtain the German Language Certificate (DSD) of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. They are supported by an advisor from the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) and a number of seconded teachers as well as by volunteers from the “kulturweit” programme. There is also a FIT school in Slovenia – Beltinci Primary School, which is likewise part of the Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) network. A total of some 70,000 pupils are learning German. German is the most frequently taught language after English. However, it has been in decline since pupils are now only required to learn only one foreign language at school.

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