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Formal sitting of the National Assembly and national celebration to mark Independence and Unity Day

On Tuesday, 26 December, the Independence and Unity Day commemorates the announcement of the results of the plebiscite, in which 88.5% of all eligible voters decided 33 years ago in favour of an independent Slovenia. A number of ceremonies will be held during these days to mark the anniversary of the landmark events.

National celebration

This year's national celebration of Independence and Unity Day will take place on Friday, 22 December 2023, at 8 pm in the Gallus Hall of the Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana. The keynote speaker will be the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Robert Golob.


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The celebration of Independence and Unity Day, just a few months after the catastrophic floods, carries a meaningful message of national and political unity in a crisis situation similar to the time of independence. The authors, Rok Golob as composer and conductor and Klemen Dvornik as director, have conceived the celebration as a concert of top musicians with short film interludes, with an illustrative visual depiction of the dramatic moments of the cataclysm, the struggle and solidarity of the people with the merciless nature and the responsible and rapid response of the state, where there is no need for big words, because the music and the picture are eloquent enough. Bridges of Worlds, as the artistic part of the celebration is entitled, builds bridges between different artists through the fusion of different musical genres.

All the compositions are either new original works or newly created arrangements. Sabina Cvilak, Nuška Drašček, Andraž Hribar, Aleksandra Josić, Raiven, Gregor Ravnik, Žiga Rustja, Luka Sešek, Nina Strnad, Luka Sešek will perform with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the choir of the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana under the baton of Rok Golob, Domen Lorenz, Lana Trotovšek, Benjamin Ziervogel, Marko Črnčec, Mihael Hrustelj, Jure Pukl, Uroš Pele, Andrej Hočevar, Aleš Marjetič, Jure Rozman, Marko Zorec, KiNG FOO, Orkester Mandolina Ljubljana, Zvezdana Novaković and Čaralice.

The celebration is organised by the Protocol of the Republic of Slovenia and the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the Coordination Committee for National Celebrations and Events.

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"Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?"

The then Assembly adopted a law on the plebiscite on Slovenia's independence and sovereignty, which also formally set the date for the plebiscite, 23 December 1990. The law was adopted by 203 votes. There were no votes against and four abstentions. It was precisely the great unity of policy on this issue that, according to many, convinced and united the electorate, which turned out in large numbers for the plebiscite.

The question in the plebiscite was: "Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?" With a 93.2% turnout, around 95% of voters who cast their ballot answered in the affirmative, which represented 88.5% of all eligible voters. It was known that the plebiscite had been successful shortly after 10 p.m., when around 60 per cent of the votes had been counted. Jože Pučnik then uttered the famous sentence that Yugoslavia was no more and that it was now about Slovenia.

The results of the plebiscite, which led to preparations for the confirmation of independence on 25 June 1991, were officially announced in the Slovenian Assembly three days later, on 26 December. This is why we mark Independence and Unity Day every year as a public holiday and a day off work.

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 22. December 2023

Time to read: 2 min