Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a coastal Alpine country bordering Italy and the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia has been part of the Roman Empire, the Duchy of Karantania, the Holy Roman Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991.
The boundaries of Slovenia today are as they were as a Socialist Republic prior to independence, but a series of border disputes arose between Slovenia and its neighbor Croatia. Slovenia joined the United Nations on May 22, 1992. Historical ties to Western Europe made Slovenia a strong candidate for accession to the European Union, which occurred on May 1, 2004, while the other Yugoslav Republics had to remain outside the union. Just a few weeks earlier - in March 2004 - Slovenia became a member of NATO.
The Slovenian tolar became part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 2004. Slovenia joined the European Monetary Union and adopted the Euro as its currency on the January 1, 2007, as the first of the new member countries.