11th SDS congress brings fresh energy to the Slovenian centre-right, new ideas and a winning mentality ahead of next year’s elections
- With large majority of the vote, party members overwhelmingly re-elected two-time Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, as the President of the biggest Slovenian party; Delegates also elected new members of the Executive and Supervisory Boards;
- SDS delegates defined the main programme points and the path forward by adopting a resolution titled “Slovenia in our hearts”. The resolution will present the basis for SDS election programme next year which will return Slovenia to the path of stability, growth, prosperity and justice. Party delegates also had an important responsibility with updating the SDS statutes;
- Among more than 1000 delegates and party members, gathering also included some high-ranking international guests such as Viktor Orban, Vice-President of the CDI and Hungarian Prime-Minister and Mikuláš Dzurinda, former Prime-Minister of Slovakia. EPP President, Joseph Daul; EPP Group Chairman in the European parliament Manfred Weber and Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, KAS president and the former President of the European parliament all greeted congress delegates via the video link.
With more than 1000 delegates, party members and international guests gathered in Maribor, the 11th Congress of the Slovenian Democratic Party was by far the most important political event in Slovenia this year.
The Congress organizers prepared a packed congress agenda, including exciting cultural and entertainment performances. Nevertheless, the Congress was also rich in its political content. Party delegates debated and voted on the SDS’s main Congress resolution titled “Slovenia in our hearts.” The resolution is that more important because it will present the basis for SDS’s election programme next year and should return Slovenia to the path of stability, growth, prosperity and justice.
Slovenian Democratic Party is known for having built true alliances in its families - the European People’s Party, the CDI and the in the IDU. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that its Congress again hosted some of the highest-ranking international guests. EPP President, Joseph Daul, EPP Group Chairman in the European parliament, Manfred Weber and Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European parliament all greeted congress delegates via the video link.
Viktor Orban, Vice-President of the CDI and Hungarian Prime-Minister and Mikuláš Dzurinda, former Prime-Minister of Slovakia were both present at the congress and held great speeches. In his speech, Prime-minister Orban pointed out that “we're in the middle of a big European debate: migrants vs our own families.” He continued by saying that “there are vaults that are preserving European values, but these vaults are not based in Brussels but rather in the hearts of Slovenes, Hungarians, Poles, Germans, Frenchmen - all European citizens.” PM Orban finished his speech by wishing the Slovenian Democratic Party members and its president “the courage, strong heart in endurance in your struggle.”
Mr Dzurinda, president of the Wilfried Martens Centre also held an excellent speech in which he emphasized that “the EU is facing serious challenges from outside as well as inside our Union, and needs a new vision, that will have to take account of the interests of big and small, of old and new members. But it will also mean that every country has a moral duty to contribute, to share the burden, and show solidarity when it is needed.”
SDS also invited all centre-right Slovenian parties to join forces, attend the Congress and hold welcoming speeches. Therefore, a strong Slovenian cenre-right presence was felt with Marko Zidanšek, president of the SLS (EPP), Aleš Primc, president of GOD (Movement for Children and Families) and Željko Vogrin, president of the New Peoples Party, all in attendance.
But the Congress highlight rightfully came with the announcement of election results. With a large majority of the vote, party members overwhelmingly re-elected two-time Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, as the President of the biggest and most successful Slovenian party. In his speech, former prime minister thanked the party members for entrusting him with another term leading the party and expressing overwhelming confidence in his leadership. He pointed out that “SDS has always been and remains pro-European and pro-NATO party. But we take the Lisbon Treaty seriously. Our interests are equivalent to the interests of others in the EU and we want to co-decide on the issues of our common European future. And we will be co-deciding.” President Janša also announced a merciless fight for the eradication of second class citizenship in Slovenia. “SDS will continue to fight for each individual, whom centralized management, various bureaucratic obstacles, unequal treatment, long judicial procedures, ignorance of the welfare state bodies, etc. are preventing the equal starting opportunities for success and happiness in his or her life.”
Delegates also elected new members of the Executive and Supervisory Boards.
Slovenian opinion polling, Parsifal SC, 14.5.2017