The Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar, the Minister of Economy Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister of Interior Aleš Hojs, the Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti and the Minister of Health Janez Poklukar, had a virtual meeting with the President of Europe Parliament David Sassoli and the leaders of the political groups of the European Parliament. Following the meeting, the President of the European Parliament and Prime Minister Janša issued a joint statement to the media.
According to the government press release, Janša thanked everyone for the very constructive discussion between the ministers and the leaders of the political groups of the European Parliament on the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of the year. “Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament is an extremely important, initially democratic, EU institution, and any progress can only be achieved through close cooperation, so we are counting on close cooperation between the Council and the European Parliament and on the fact that this cooperation will be at least as good as in 2008 when Slovenia was the first new EU member state to chair the Council of the EU and the European Council at the time, “said the Prime Minister, adding that under the Lisbon Treaty, the role of the European Parliament is even more important and thus Slovenia ‘s commitment to make this co – operation the main point of the proceedings in the second half of 2021.
The main topic of today’s meeting was the stability and recovery of the EU. “We are happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel after an epidemic of over a year, and that recovery is ahead. However, this should also be a time of achieving greater EU resilience in the event of similar crises, and Slovenia is determined to make this a priority during its presidency, as memories are still fresh and because it is easier to make progress in such conditions, ”Janša said. He added that this was also necessary for the EU to be more resilient and for Slovenia to achieve EU strategic autonomy on all critical issues, where many shortcomings had become known in the last year and a half. “We are hoping that the European Commission will adopt national recovery plans as soon as possible in the coming weeks,” Janša said, adding that our great common success is the Next Generation EU agreement. and resources needed. According to the Prime Minister, the latest forecasts of macroeconomic indicators at the EU level are more favorable than the forecasts of last fall, so “we expect it to be possible to ensure a recovery in the second half of this year and next year to make up for last year’s losses. “
“In terms of crisis management and preparations to make the EU more resilient, we are also working for the EU’s cyber stability along with the previous German and Portuguese presidencies. “We are the target of individual cyber attacks almost every week and our goal is to ensure to the greatest extent possible that Europe builds its defense capabilities against cyber attacks, both symmetrical and asymmetric,” he added.
One of the events to be held during Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU is the Conference on the Future of Europe, which is important because it comes in the post-epidemic period, at a time of recovery and efforts for greater resistance, in the post-Brexit period and at a time of much turmoil that Europeans have experienced over the past decade and a half. “This debate should be open, and everyone should be able to participate,” Janez Janša said, adding that the research shows a great interest of people to take part in this debate. “An interest in participation has also been expressed by two thirds of our citizens, and Slovenia will try to open a space for discussion for all,” Janša said, announcing that this will be the central topic of the Bled Strategic Forum. in early September, where different participants from different European institutions are expected. “We are also discussing the participation of parliamentary group chairmen from the European Parliament in this forum,” he added.
The topics of today’s conversation with the chairmen of the political groups of the European Parliament also included the European way of life and respect for the rule of law. “The rule of law is not a rule of arbitrary policy, nor is it a matter of selective justice and various criteria; instead, it presupposes equal rules for all and equal treatment of all EU Member States under the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. “In this context, some progress can be made, both in the individual Member States and in the EU as a whole,” said the Prime Minister.
Furthermore, he spoke about freedom of speech and expression of the individual, which is a fundamental block of democratic processes in both the Member States and the European Union, as well as in all legal procedures. “This freedom of speech can not be limited by any freedom or high interest that was invented in the totalitarian regimes and in the situation we see in Belarus today,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša. He also stressed that Slovenia proposes the establishment of a European Institute of Constitutional Law. “When faced with a dilemma, the EU usually sends the Venice Commission, which is a Council of Europe institution. “We need a similar institution and one of our proposals is aimed at,” he said. “The situation in Belarus was also mentioned at the meeting.” Everyone who is a victim of the oppressive regime in Belarus deserves not only our solidarity and support. , but also the assistance and measures taken at the recent EU summit.These measures need to be updated in the future and at their heart should be our efforts for security, human rights and respect for political freedoms, including those of the EU. “Political prisoners in Belarus,” he said.
He concluded: “Our goal is a Europe, whole, free and at peace with itself, and a Europe capable of extending this area of freedom to the highest standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms in its neighborhood, because “The wider and wider this area is, the safer we will be together.”