STA, 9 March 2019 - Addressing a ceremony marking 30 years since the formation of the Democrats' (SDS) precursor, Janez Janša said the SDS had stayed true to itself, its values and Slovenia even in the most challenging times. "The SDS stands for democracy and is against any totalitarianism," the party head stressed in Ljubljana on Saturday.
Janša said the party was therefore always ready to cooperate with anyone who shared this view for the benefit of Slovenia. "A party that votes against the European Parliament's resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism is not a democratic party," he added.
In the light of the EU elections, Janša stressed the importance of the EU and its future. "Perhaps never in the years since independence in 1991 have we celebrated our birthday in a time when the future ahead was so open and unpredictable. So many different possibilities lie before us. Not all of them are good," he said.
According to Janša, there is a time for every community, every nation when they need to reconsider their place in the world and such a time has come for Europe.
"The EU is strong because it gives priority to rules and the rule of law and not the rule of the stronger," Janša said, adding that the biggest threat to the rule of law were double standards.
One of such example is when EU institutions very quickly detect "actual or imaginary violations in some member states, especially in those where conservative or Christian democratic parties are on power," he said.
Janša believes it is time to opt for "a Europe that Slovenians voted for in the 2003 referendum, a Europe of European civilisation and culture that protects human rights and fundamental freedoms."
The SDS head believes that the key challenge of the new European Parliament after the economic and migration crises and Brexit will be political stabilisation, which will entail upgrading the EU's defence system and monetary policy.
Touching on the EPP's threats that Hungary's Fidesz may be expelled from the group, Janša expressed hope that "this argument in our family will be resolved as soon as possible with a smart compromise, without using force."
He believes the EPP should focus on ways to ensure prosperity for all in Europe, protect the borders and provide for the security of Europeans.
The SDS celebrates today the anniversary of the founding of the Slovenian Democratic Union (SDZ) and the Social Democratic Union of Slovenia (SDZS), which are considered its precursors.
The two parties emerged from the so-called spring movements, calling for democratisation and Slovenia's independence.
Janša said that when the two parties merged the "biggest and the most successful party in Slovenia's history" had been formed, which had so far won eight elections.
For three decades, the party has been "the main pillar of Slovenia's independence, an indivisible part of the fight for democratic transformation and Slovenia's inclusion in the European civilisation's flows," Janša said.
The event at the Cankarjev Dom centre was also addressed by the European People's Party (EPP) Spitzenkandidat for the EU vote, Manfred Weber, who warned against the danger of nationalism in Europe.
Europe is much more than just laws and must provide concrete answers to concrete challenges, including migrations, he said. He also stressed the importance of a shared culture that is based on Christian values.