About

bajuk-predsednik-vlade-300x216The New Slovenia was established on August 4, 2000, only months after the then Slovenian People’s Party (the SLS) and Slovenian Christian Democrats (the SKD) had merged. This merger resulted in the breakup of the government coalition of the time and the united SLS+SKD and the SDS managed to forge a new coalition. The more powerful of the two, i.e., the united SKD+SLS was entitled to nominate the Prime Minister and Andrej Bajuk, PhD was proposed for this position. He could not win sufficient support at two secret ballots, whereas at the public ballot, on May 3, 2000, he was finally elected by 46 votes in favour and 44 against. The entire Government cabinet was confirmed by the National Assembly on June 7, 2000, with Lojze Peterle as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

One month after the new Government had been appointed, all the Members of the National Assembly comprising the faction of the united SLS+SKD voted for a constitutional act that was supposed to introduce the proportional vote system, although the deal at the unification of the two parties had been different. The vice-presidents of the unified party, i.e., Andrej Bajuk, PhD and Lojze Peterle insisted on the implementation of citizens’ will as had been expressed by the referendum vote, which was in favour of a majority vote system.

big_Andrej-Bajuk-001During the week following the contentious vote, Andrej Bajuk, PhD and Lojze Peterle withdrew from the united SLS+SKD as they were opposed to the noncompliance with the accord and the disregard for citizens’ will as expressed by the results of the referendum, and on August 4, 2000, they established a new party in Ljubljana, in a hall filled with audience, the newly established party bearing the name New Slovenia – Christian People’s Party, which had the objective to integrate all the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia who adhere to Christian, Slovenian and European cultural, democratic, moral and social values. Andrej Bajuk, PhD thus became the first president of this newly established party. The New Slovenia experienced rapid growth, with prominent members of the former SKD entering its membership. The party began to create a broad local-level network

Soon, the electoral campaign before 2000 National Assembly parliamentarian election started. The party concluded it with a grand electoral convention before a large audience that filled the Križanke (open-air theatre) in Ljubljana. At the convention, Andrej Bajuk, PhD made a speech in which he said that the new political party was in part also established because of the dissatisfaction with the circumstances of the time, marked by “political rhetoric and conduct that speak one thing while doing the other”. In the very centre of the New Slovenia lies trust in people. “Only a party that trusts people can in turn be trusted by the people. It is only such a political party that stays true to its words,” claimed Bajuk, concluding his thought with the electoral slogan of the New Slovenia “Word is to be kept.

In October 2000, only two months after it had been established, the New Slovenia made an independent appearance at parliamentarian election and gathered 8.66 per cent of votes cast, winning eight seats in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. Its Members of the National Assembly were: Andrej Bajuk, PhD, Jožef Bernik, PhD, Janez Drobnič, MA, Ivan Mamić, Lojze Peterle, Alojz Sok, Marija Ana Tisovec and Majda Zupan. In the term of 2000-2004, the New Slovenia was part of the opposition to the Government led by the LDS at the time.

In April 2001, first associations of the party were established: the Mayors’ and Municipal Councillors’ Club at the New Slovenia and only a fortnight later, the Young Slovenia – New Slovenia’s Youth Organisation. Six months later, the Women’s Union at the New Slovenia was founded. In November 2001, the New Slovenia was characterised by the first regular party congress in Rogaška Slatina, which took place under the slogan “For Europe on Slovenian Soil” and which saw Andrej Bajuk, PhD being re-elected as president of the party. The congress’ fundamental resolution, also entitled For Europe on Slovenian Soil, emphasised the values of dignity, freedom, responsibility and solidarity, as well as it reminded of the unfinished and encumbered process of Slovenia’s transition. Also, the fundamental programmatic guidelines for New Slovenia’s political activities were set down. They were derived from the abovementioned findings and were based upon the primary goal of the completion of the transition process. In 2001, the electoral campaign preceding the referendum on artificial fertilisation of single women was the focus of much attention, during which the Young Slovenia and the New Slovenia stood against the enactment of the envisioned arrangement.

In the electoral year of 2002, the party achieved a result at local elections that was similar to the one of the 2000 parliamentarian election – 8.33 per cent, winning 254 seats in Municipal Councils. Six candidates of the New Slovenia were elected to become mayors. At the presidential election that same year, the New Slovenia, together with the SDS, supported the independent presidential candidate Barbara Brezigar who managed to enter the second round of presidential election in which she competed against Janez Drnovšek and received 43.5 per cent of votes cast. The year 2002 also witnessed the founding of the Convention on the Future of Europe, with Lojze Peterle being a member of its presidium. Convention’s primary objective was the preparation of proposals for European Union’s institutional reform, which was primarily necessitated by the coming enlargement scheduled for 2004, which has been the largest so far, as ten new Member States entered the EU. In August 2002, the Farmers’ Alliance at the New Slovenia was established.

In 2003, the New Slovenia maintained its coordinated opposition policy in unison with the then Social Democratic Party, featuring the “famous” six demands made early that year, which, if met, were supposed to increase the level of democracy in Slovenia. The demands, among other things, referred to the plurality of media, a more equal representation of coalition and opposition in state-owned business enterprises and Euro-Atlantic institutions plus a more equitable distribution of assets of the former socio-political organisations. That same year, the New Slovenia also organised its first party camp in Selce near Železniki. At the end of 2003, the European Voice proclaimed Lojze Peterle as the European of the year 2003 for the achievement of the year. Lojze Peterle earned this title as the first official coming from EU accession countries who managed to gain entrance into the European Union’s corridors of power by the virtue of becoming a member of the abovementioned Convention’s presidium. In 2003, the New Slovenia also applied for associate membership in the European People’s Party and actively participated in the campaigns preceding the referenda on Slovenia’s entry into the European Union and the NATO Alliance. The campaign concerning the latter saw especially active engagement on the part of the Young Slovenia – New Slovenia’s Youth Organisation.

The year 2004 was a turning point for the New Slovenia. With Slovenia’s entry into the European Union, the New Slovenia became a full member of the European People’s Party. In 2004, first elections to the European Parliament took place as well. The New Slovenia came up with an innovative campaign, featuring the European Bus that carried it throughout Slovenia – from heart to heart. The culmination of the campaign was the European camp of the New Slovenia in Trebnje. At the European Parliament election held in June, the New Slovenia achieved electoral victory with 23.6 per cent of the votes cast, bringing it two seats in the European Parliament. Lojze Peterle and Ljudmila Novak were elected as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and joined the political faction of the European People’s Party – European Democrats (the EPP-ED). Lojze Peterle was replaced by Matjaž Falkner in the National Assembly, whereas Ljudmila Novak renounced her position of mayor of the Municipality of Moravče. In August that year, the Seniors’ Association at the New Slovenia was established.

HA0K7372-300x180In the fall of 2004, the party was faced with the challenge of National Assembly election. During the election campaign, the party used a modified lorry to visit larger Slovenian towns and organised meetings and public presentations of its candidates. By the virtue of the New Slovenia Bus, the party once again went from heart to heart in its campaign. The New Slovenia commenced the electoral campaign with a convention in Križanke open-air theatre, predicting the victory of the so-called “Spring Parties” before a large audience. Both Lojze Peterle and the party president, Andrej Bajuk, PhD, stressed the efforts for a new family policy and family-friendly environment as the New Slovenia’s important tasks. At the parliamentary election, the New Slovenia won 9.09 per cent of votes, giving it nine seats in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. New Slovenia’s deputies thus became: Alojz Sok, Marjetka Uhan, Martin Mikolič, Drago Koren, Anton Kokalj, Jožef Horvat, Andrej Bajuk, PhD, Janez Drobnič, MA, and Mojca Kucler Dolinar.

Following the election, the New Slovenia forged a coalition together with the SDS, the SLS and the DeSUS. The New Slovenia took over four demanding and responsible Ministries of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia: Andrej Bajuk, PhD became the Minister of Finance, Janez Drobnič, MA, became Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Lovro Šturm, PhD became the Minister of Justice and Dr Jure Zupan was appointed as the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia. In the National Assembly, the vacant seats of Andrej Bajuk, PhD and Janez Drobnič, MA were assigned to Ciril Testen and Franc Capuder, MA, respectively.

In February 2005, the Worker’s Union at the New Slovenia was founded. In September, the 3rd party camp took place, which was visited by a lot of people despite bad weather. Also in September, the referendum on the entry into force of a new law on the national radio and television broadcasting company was held. The New Slovenia upheld the act (the act eventually withstood the referendum). At the second regular party congress, organised in Nova Gorica, which featured a slogan “Offering New Possibilities to Slovenia”, Andrej Bajuk, PhD was re-elected as party president. The congress also passed fifteen resolutions, amended party statute and party’s programme; the latter featuring guidelines for a party of a political centre with popular breadth and a clear Christian-democratic profile that would be capable of winning a relative majority at elections.

zgodovina1-300x209In the spring of 2006, a congress of the European People’s Party took place in Rome, at which Lojze Peterle was elected as Vice-President of the European People’s Party. At the 2006 local elections, the New Slovenia won 6.33 per cent of votes cast, corresponding to 190 seats in municipal councils. 11 of the New Slovenia’s candidates for mayors were successfully elected. The year 2006 is also going to be remembered for New Slovenia’s camp in Velenje and for Andrej Bajuk’s crucial role as the Minister of Finance in the introduction of the Euro on January 1, 2007. His merits and efforts for the introduction of the Euro brought him a prestigious Financial Minister of the Year Award. In December 2006, Janez Drobnič, MA was dismissed from the office of the Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs and the position was taken over by Marjeta Cotman.

In 2007, following the example set by the Young Slovenia, the New Slovenia began its educational courses under the auspices of Political Academy. At the presidential election in autumn that year, the party, together with the SDS and the SLS, supported the independent candidacy of Lojze Peterle who was running for the office of President of the Republic of Slovenia. In the second round of presidential election, Peterle received 31.97 per cent of votes. In October 2007, Minister Jure Zupan, PhD was replaced by Mojca Kucler Dolinar and she was in turn replaced by Majda Zupan in the National Assembly. That year, the party camp took place in Velika Polana.

At the 2008 National Assembly election, the New Slovenia received only 3.40 per cent of votes, thus failing to cross the parliamentarian threshold. Immediately after the results had been announced, Andrej Bajuk, PhD resigned from the position of party president and the Executive Committee of the New Slovenia appointed vice-president Ljudmila Novak as acting president until the irregular electoral party congress would be held. Party delegates present at the irregular electoral congress organised on November 15 in Ljubljana elected Ljudmila Novak as the new President of the New Slovenia, ushering in the era of construction of the party’s new foundations. The party decided to continue its operation, to become close to people and to rise again.

thumb_Kava_s_poslanciLNjulijIn 2009, the New Slovenia’s European Bus once again visited most Slovenian places during its campaign. The electoral campaign in preparation for the European Parliament election culminated in the party camp in Lukovica. Hard work of both the party and its candidates resulted in the third place among candidate lists at the election to the European Parliament. The New Slovenia won 16.58 % of votes. New Slovenia’s voice in the European Parliament is represented by the MEP Lojze Peterle, who is also a member of the political faction of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. In the summer of 2009, the party held its first summer camp on Kolpa River, intended for socialising and evening debates. In November, the 3rd regular congress of the New Slovenia took place in Maribor, which adopted a new fundamental programme of the NSi, entitled “Close to people” plus a new party statute, which introduced changes to the party’s very organisational structure. The fundamental programme of the New Slovenia is a programme for responsible politics that is close to people. The programme heralded a policy of being close to people and for the good of all people, since future generations require responsible work in politics and need the New Slovenia – Christian People’s Party. All this is to be done for the human being, Slovenia, Europe and the world, acting in the spirit of Christian values. In 2009, Melita Kelenc was elected as vice-president of the Young European People’s Party.

In 2010, the party camp was organised in Rogatec, serving as an introduction to the local elections of that fall. At the 2010 local elections, the New Slovenia received 5.93 % of votes and currently has 201 municipal councillors and 10 mayors in Slovenian municipalities. The mayors elected in 2010 are the following: Mirko Cvetko, Damjan Jaklin, Janko Jazbec, Janez Komidar, Franci Krepša, Martin Mikolič, Janez Pavlin, Alojz Sok, Franc Šlihthuber and Janez Žakelj. At the 4th regular party congress taking place in December 2010 in Kranj, a vast majority of delegates re-elected Ljudmila Novak as party president. In 2010, the party also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its establishment, with Anton Kokalj elected to become a member of the leadership of the European Association for Workers’ Issues. In 2010, several prominent members of the New Slovenia acted together to establish the foundation called “Inštitut dr. Janeza Evangelista Kreka” (English: “Institute of Dr Janez Evangelist Krek”), with a view to strengthening Christian democracy within the civil society and to becoming the leading Christian democratic institution.

The year 2011 was a turning point for the party. March that year saw the establishment of a new association within the party, namely the Economics Club, which produced its own 2011–2015 economic policy programme already for the coming early elections that fall. Slovenian political crisis was escalating, especially after the Government lost at a triple referendum on retirement scheme reform, on the so-called small labour and the archive regulations. The New Slovenia, on the other hand, had a position of three NO’s on these issues. In the spring of 2011, the party also managed to collect the required 5000 voters’ signatures to officially submit a legislative proposal on voluntary membership in the Agricultural and Forestry Chamber of Slovenia.

This was followed by the party camp, held in Loška dolina, at which the President Ljudmila Novak announced that the party was ready for elections and predicted that it would return to parliament. On August 16, the party was shocked by the news of sudden death of Andrej Bajuk, her founder. The party commemorated its former president’s death by opening the official condolence book, by a mourning session of the party’s Council and by the Holy Requiem Mass offered by Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ljubljana, Anton Stres, PhD. In October, the party bid the final farewell to its cofounder and its first National Assembly Deputy, Jožef Bernik, PhD, as well.

Because of the disintegration of the government coalition and the summoning of early National Assembly election, the 5th party congress took place in November, in Ribnica, where President Ljudmila Novak foretold the return of the New Slovenia to the parliament. This was followed by a special campaign New Slovenia is going to Parliament and the actual election campaign designated Let’s return Hope to Slovenia, which together yielded decisive results during the pre-election period and the rise in support as expressed by public opinion polls. Hard work and heart-to-heart campaign resulted in a historic day for both New Slovenia and the state of Slovenia.

NSiGrevParlamentOn December 4, 2011, the New Slovenia became the first Slovenian party so far that has managed to return to the National Assembly. With the electoral result of 4.88 per cent or 53,758 votes cast, the following Members of the National Assembly from among the NSi’s candidates were elected: party president Ljudmila Novak, Matej Tonin, MA, Jožef Horvat and Iva Dimic. The National Assembly met at its constitutive session on December 21, 2011, when President of the New Slovenia, Ljudmila Novak, was elected to become vice-president of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia by 70 votes of its Members.

After the party which had won the relative majority at the election failed to compose its own government coalition, the NSi’s President, Ljudmila Novak, initiated the negotiations among the right and centrist parties on the creation of their own government coalition. On February 10, 2012, the tenth Slovenian Government was elected by the National Assembly, which was formed on the basis of a coalition treaty concluded by the SDS, the DL, the SLS, the DeSUS and the NSi.

The Government included two members of the New Slovenia, Ljudmila Novak as Minister for Slovenians abroad and Aleš Hojs, Minister of Defence. The two related offices of State Secretaries were assigned to Matjaž Longar and Peter Stavanja, respectively. In the National Assembly, Ljudmila Novak’s seat was occupied by Janez Vasle.

In the early spring of 2012, the referendum on the Family Codex was held and New Slovenia actively took part in the preceding campaign. The act did not withstand the referendum and was defeated, which was also due to New Slovenia’s efforts. In May 2012, the party camp took place in Ormož, featuring a very god turnout as this was the first camp after the party had returned to parliament. At the camp, the party leadership announced the support of the joint candidate for President of the Republic of Slovenia, who was proposed by both the NSi and the SDS, Milan Zver, PhD. In December, snowy Vipava hosted the 6th regular party congress, which was also an electoral one. A huge majority of party delegates once again elected Ljudmila Novak as President of the NSi.

thumb_seja_dz4Political atmosphere of the early 2013 contributed towards the fall of the tenth Slovenian Government, which included the New Slovenia. Already at the onset of the Government’s demise, the NSi clearly vowed not to take part in the construction of any new Government and that it was going to retreat into opposition, but assuming a constructive attitude nevertheless. At the party camp in Kamnik, which witnessed high turnout of visitors, the party president Ljudmila Novak emphasised the values that the party firmly adheres to: “Integrity, democracy, benevolence, conflict omission and, especially so, fair and responsible work are our advantages. The New Slovenia knows what it wants. It features competent and responsible people. We have an active youth and a great potential. New Slovenia’s shares are stable on Slovenian political market and grow slowly, yet steadily.”

Soon after its camp in Kamnik, the New Slovenia founded its own expert council or the so-called shadow government, which is chaired by Ljudmila Novak. At its presentation, President Ljudmila Novak said that the shadow government’s objective is to monitor the performance of current government coalition, constructive criticism and the drawing up of proposals – including acts and other legislation. New Slovenia also decided for this move in the desire to prepare adequately for the coming parliamentarian election. 2013 also witnessed Federico Victor Potočnik’s election as the Deputy Secretary General of the Youth European People’s Party.

What about the New Slovenia today? The party unites over 10,000 members and has its local-level committees set up in 190 Slovenian municipalities. The organisational structure of the New Slovenia comprises national-level bodies, such as the congress, the Council, the Executive Committee, the Honorary Court of Arbitration and the Board of Auditors, whereas at the local level, the party is organised in local, municipal and regional committees. Within the party, seven associations operate: the Youth Organisation Young Slovenia, the Women’s Union, Seniors’ Association, Mayors’ and Municipal Councillors’ Club, Farmers’ Alliance, Worker’s Union and the Economics Club. Each of these organisational forms produces several independent events every year.

New Slovenia designs and builds politics together with all those who wish to conduct a dialogue and take part in its activities. Politics is successful when it is connected to the society and remains close to it. The policy of closeness to people is the main orientation of the New Slovenia, which is also implemented through visitations of party leadership and party’s Members of the National Assembly in the regions across Slovenia. The party also organises discussion coffee meetings between citizens and party officials plus annual meetings of new party members. The party is especially active in the field on the occasions of Maternity Day, Statehood Day and the Independence and Unity Day. Local-level committees also organise traditional meetings on Mount Matajur and Mount Oljka family meetings.

In May 2014 elections to the European Parliament took place in Slovenia. NSi took a run for European elections jointly with the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS), and got two MEP; Mr Lojze Peterle (NSi) and Mr Franc Bogovič (SLS).

In July 2014 we had a national pre-election where NSi achieved better result than in the last elections. NSi got 5,59 % of votes and one MP more. In mandate 2014-2018 NSi’s Deputies are: Ms Ljudmila Novak, mag. Matej Tonin, Ms Iva Dimic, Mr Jožef Horvat and new elected NSi Deputy Mr Jernej Vrtovec.

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Three months later we had elections for local councils. New Slovenia reached 6,61 % of votes or 229 councilors and 10 mayors in the following municipalities: Beltinci, Horjul, Gornji Petrovci, Loška Dolina, Ormož, Rogatec, Sv. Tomaž, Velika Polana, Vojnik and Žiri.

MG_3315-300x172In November 2016 the party had 10th Congress, which was held in Brežice and where a new Party’s Leadership was elected. Ms Ljudmila Novak was re-elected for a new mandate as a president of the party.

It is the time of crisis which has clearly demonstrated the great need for the reintroduction of values both into society and politics, which the New Slovenia has been stressing ever since. A life of disregard for fundamental common human values can only lead to the demise of our society and civilisation. Therefore, at the New Slovenia, we are sure that our programme is also one for the future. The future requires the power of tradition and progress with simultaneous respect for values. We give answers to long-term issues of the current time.

Welcome to the New Slovenia!