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Map of Slovenia

The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria until 1918 when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new nation, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state. In December 2002, Slovenia received an invitation to join NATO, and it is scheduled to accede to the EU along with nine other states on 1 May 2004. In a March 2003 referendum on NATO and EU membership, Slovenes voted 90% in favor of joining the EU and 66% in favor of joining NATO.