Slovenia: EU enlargement process must remain alive, says Logar

Slovenia: EU enlargement process must remain alive, says Logar

Ahead of the beginning of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency, Foreign Minister Anže Logar told in the interview to the Euroactiv web portal that the EU enlargement process must remain alive. He added that Slovenia strongly supports the territorial integrity of the Western Balkans.

Regarding the expansion of the connection to the Western Balkans, the European Union should replace the “let’s see what happens” approach with a problem-solving strategy as soon as possible, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar told Euroactiv.

Minister Logar added that the EU enlargement process must remain alive. “Countries need to know that if they do meet certain conditions, enlargement is the next step for them,” he said, citing Albania and North Macedonia as examples.

When asked about the so-called non-papers that appeared at the beginning of this year and indicated changes in the borders in the Balkans, Minister Logar answered that Slovenia strongly supports the territorial integrity of the Western Balkans. According to him, Bosnia and Herzegovina represent the biggest challenge in the region, but he has high hopes for the new EU High Representative in BiH, Christian Schmidt, who recently succeeded Valentin Inzko.

“If we start with Northern Macedonia and Albania and if there is progress in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, this will certainly be a very positive message to the region, which would consequently lead to a more efficient BiH,” said the Slovenian Foreign Minister.

Regarding EU-Russia relations, Minister Logar acknowledged that relations were “actually not very good”. “The EU should speak with one voice and we should have a thorough debate on where we are before the next steps.”

Regarding relations with China, the Slovenian Foreign Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic showed that “we have become too dependent on Beijing”. “There is an imbalance in trade between EU member states and China, and there are different views on the importance of relations that should be put on an equal footing within the EU,” Logar said.