Firms, Institutions, and Governance
6. Cluster Policy in Slovenia ___________________________________________________ 6.1 INTRODUCTION Slovenia has a surface of 20,273 km2 and a population of close to 2 million people. It became a sovereign state only in 1991 following an independence war1 with the Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In spite of its small size and somewhat troublesome and lateish start Slovenia pursued substantial developments in physical and business infrastructure, an accelerated reform policy agenda fully joining the EU and NATO in 2004. Slovenia was also the first new EU member state to adopt the Euro in January 2007. Slovenia has thus a special place among CEECs and new EU member states, e.g. it has the highest GDP per capita among the new member states (around 80% of the EU25 average), has EU comparable levels of inflation (around 2.5% – although rapidly increasing in recent years), reasonable unemployment (around 6.5%), and a small public debt (around 30% of GDP). Moreover, it is the first new member state to hold the EU presidency in the first half of 2008. Overall it has a rather sound economic, political, social, and ecological standing and could be considered a forerunner in many respects. The above are not to say that Slovenia is resting on its laurels. Quite the contrary, there is an ongoing extensive programme of reforms and busy legislative and policy agendas in a range of areas; from developing Slovenia as a brand, to regional devolution, new company legislation, and FDI promotion to mention but a few. Its economic development...
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