Less than one week before Slovenia officially will take the helm of the European Union, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar outlined the priorities and objectives of the Slovenian Presidency, which comes at a crucial moment, when the European Union is adopting important packages on green and digital renewal and building its resilience. “The Presidency is an opportunity to strengthen integration within the EU and within its institutions, and to steer development towards an innovative and creative community based on sustainable development,” stressed Minister Logar.
The Presidency will be based on four substantive pillars, brought together under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe.” Slovenia has given priority to strengthening the Union’s resilience, recovery and strategic autonomy. Minister Logar stressed the need for the Union to actively build on the lessons learned during the pandemic. As we strive for a recovery that will cover all sectors of the economy and all parts of society as quickly as possible, special attention will be paid to the Recovery Mechanism and the Next Generation EU recovery package. The latter is based on green and digital transitions.
Together with the three key European institutions, Slovenia will have a unique opportunity to lead the debate on the future of Europe. Most of the Conference on the Future of Europe will take place during the Slovenian Presidency when Slovenia will also be co-chairing the Conference on behalf of the Council of the European Union. The debate on the future of Europe will also be in the focus of the 16th edition of the Bled Strategic Forum, where European leaders will address the main strategic challenges for Europe and discuss the future course of development of European values. “We will invest our efforts in promoting the debate on the kind of Europe we want to live in in the future,” stressed Minister Logar.
Strengthening European values that form the basis of cooperation and our understanding of common challenges will be at the heart of Slovenia’s third objective. The rule of law and its strengthening are the values on which the European Union is founded and stands firm. Therefore, Slovenian Presidency will strive for synergies between the various mechanisms of the European Union as regards the rule of law and for a better understanding of the different systems in the Member States. In this context, Minister Logar said that “we believe that a good understanding of constitutional, socio-economic, political, historical and all other similarities and differences between the Member States can help strengthen the rule of law in the EU”.
“We cannot ignore the active and visible role of the Union in the international community,” stressed the Minister. Slovenia will devote particular attention to the situation in the immediate neighbourhood and the development of transatlantic relations. “The European future of the Western Balkan countries and the continuation of the enlargement process must become the Union’s strategic interest”, the Minister said.
“Our roadmap is focused on socio-economic recovery and the integration of the Western Balkans into different European policy areas, ranging from infrastructure, transport and energy connectivity to research and innovation, decarbonisation, digitalization and cyber resilience. All this is crucial for a credible and secure European Union, which we would like to highlight at the EU-Western Balkans Summit, hosted by Slovenia this autumn.”
On 1 July, Slovenia will take the helm of the EU for the second time. “The success of the Slovenian Presidency, as well as of the European Union as such, depends on joint efforts by the Member States and European institutions to seize the opportunity and improve the Union’s functioning before future crises. At the same time, let us make sure that we can successfully face the current economic, social and also geostrategic challenges,” urged Minister Logar.