I spent my first 42 years in the communist Yugoslavia. In the time of the political change I even thought I was not talented for political work. In March 1989, a group of friends established Slovenian Social Christian movement, which in November of the same year transformed into the true Christian Democratic Party.
I remember how difficult it was to convince fellow Christians to take political responsibility for the future of free, independent and European Slovenia. Many people were warning us not to do that because politics is not for Christians. By surprise, my party won the first democratic elections in Slovenia among new established democratic parties within the Democratic opposition of Slovenia in 1990. I never dreamed that I will or should be the Prime Minister, but I jumped into water. Since then I can speak from my own experience about the democratic transition.
Almost 25 years later I have to say that democratic transition in Slovenia has achieved many results, but has not been accomplished yet. It has been easier to adopt new legislation and to establish new democratic institutions than to change the mentality and attitudes of people which were developed in the communist time. Today I understand much better why the Jewish people needed 40 years to reach the Promised Land. Despite all the weaknesses which were revealed by the European crisis, I am pleased that mine and other former communist countries have a new political and cultural framework, which is based on shared values and principles. The more effectively we will introduce rule of law and social market economy, the less our societies will be affected by the remnants of the communist regimes. The problems we are facing on the eastern side of the former Iron Curtain have not been caused by democracy or the European Union – they are first of all rooted in an unaccomplished transition.