Slovenia is an EU state surrounded by four other EU members – Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Italy. The landscape of Slovenia is varied, but the average topography sits at 500 metres above sea level. Slovenia’s highest point is at Triglav, which is 2 864 metres high.
Slovenia still conserves its forests, since they cover about 50% of the national territory. Despite its relatively small territory, Slovenia features different types of climates: from the Mediterranean climate on the coast to the alpine in the mountains, as well as the continental in the plateaus and valleys of the east of the country.
The industrial production of the country stands out mainly in the manufacture of chemical products, automobile components, furniture and textiles. After becoming a part of the EU, Slovenia’s economy developed at a fast pace. Also, the country’s participation in the Schengen Agreement has open doors for the tourism industry to grow, attracting travellers from Europe as well as non-European visitors.
After the process of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Slovenia has been tracing its own path as an independent EU country. This small nation by the Adriatic Sea features a tiny but beautiful coastline, while the border with Italy and Austria ensures a good extension of the Alps in the north of the country.
Slovenia has been one of the most promising ecotourism (and skiing) routes of Europe – after all, nature dictates the rule in the country. Still, the capital Ljubljana – with its bucolic atmosphere and bars scattered on both sides of the Ljubljanica River – has long since become a point of Europeans in search of differentiated nightlife. A few hours drive away, Bled is the main winter destination and probably one of the most scenic cities you will have visited in Europe.
Thanks to its location, Slovenia is connected by many European capitals – like Zagreb, Vienna, and Budapest – by train. Due to its place in the Schengen Area, Slovenia has no borders with its neighbours, which facilitates travel for EU citizens as well as nationals of Schengen visa-free countries.
Together with the Baltic States and other Eastern European countries like Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Slovenia became a member of the EU in 2004 during its largest expansion. The joining of Slovenia into the Schengen Area occurred in 2007 when the country abolished borders with its EU neighbours.
Because of its geographical location, Slovenia has been directly affected by the Syrian immigration crisis of 2016, as migrants chose Slovenian territory as a route into Europe. This uncontrolled increase in the number of unregistered arrivals prompted the Slovenian government to think of ways to better manage its borders.
Hence, when the European Commission mentioned the establishment of a new entry-exit system for the Schengen Zone, the government of Slovenia backed up the new policy. Although a decision has been made, the new legislation – named ETIAS – will only be enforced in 2021.
As its main objective, the ETIAS will gather information from non-EU travellers through an online application so as to identify individuals who may be a threat to the Schengen community. The information from an ETIAS application will automatically be shared across various databases before authorization is granted.
The ETIAS will be directed at citizens from countries that are part of the Schengen visa-waiver policy, such as the US and Canada. Thus, Canadians who plan to travel to Slovenia as of 2021 will need to fill out the ETIAS online form, pay the ETIAS fee and wait for a response which should be given within 72 hours.
Once the ETIAS is granted, it will allow Canadian applicants to travel in Slovenia and around the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in every consecutive period of 180 days.
Slovenia has been one of Canada’s strongest international partners, namely as a NATO ally and partner at UN and EU matters. The relationship between Canada and Slovenia has been founded on their shared perspectives on human rights, democracy, and open markets.
The government of Canada recognized the independence of Slovenia in 1992, and a year later the two nations established diplomatic ties. Since then, Slovenia has been represented in Canada by the Embassy in Ottawa while Canadian interests are addressed to the Ambassador in Budapest, Hungary.
After the creation of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, trade relations and investment opportunities between Canada and Slovenia have increased. In addition, the two nations signed a youth mobility agreement in 2009, when young Canadians and Slovenians under the age of 35 can live and work in the other country for one year.
Since the government of Canada introduced the eTA for visa-exempt countries, Slovenian citizens have been required to submit an online application prior to travelling to Canadian territory. The eTA was created in order to decrease the chances of terrorist attacks and illegal immigration, following the outbreak of terrorist events in 2015 and 2016.
In a similar way, Slovenia and its Schengen partners have decided to implement the ETIAS, or European Travel and Information Authorization System as of 2021. Like the Canadian eTA, the ETIAS will consist of a pre-travel electronic application for citizens of countries enlisted on the Schengen visa-waiver program, such as Canada and Japan. If the ETIAS is accepted, Canadian passport holders will be able to visit Slovenia for 3 months in any consecutive 6-month period.