On Tuesday, the Prime Minister Janez Janša met with the ambassadors of the Visegrad Four, with whom he talked about the key challenges the member states of the European Union are facing, and on the most regional issues. He also thanked them for their help at the beginning of the epidemic, when Slovenia lacked both protective and medical equipment. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the participants of the meeting also emphasized their common interest in strengthening further cooperation.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the participants also discussed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the migrations, the Three Seas initiative, the Western Balkans and EU enlargement, as well as the priorities of Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of the coming year.
Prime Minister Janša also highlighted the importance of the Three Seas Initiative, in terms of the region’s structural and development needs. The participants agreed that the European Union should pay more attention to the EU enlargement and the Western Balkans region. As a result, the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans will be one of the priorities of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021.
Prime Minister Janša pointed out the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic changed the priorities in the plans regarding the presidency of the Council of the EU. Thus, at Slovenia’s proposal, the Trio Presidency programme (in addition to Slovenia, the Trio includes Germany and Portugal), has introduced the need to draft effective action plans for the event of a pandemic and in the face of cyber-threats and attacks, among its priorities.
The Slovenian Presidency will take place at a time when the EU and its Member States are facing the consequences of the pandemic. Prime Minister Janša emphasized that the Slovenian Presidency would push for the EU’s stabilisation and consolidation, and for the EU to be as fit to deal with the numerous challenges lying ahead, as possible.