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PM Cerar hosts the European Council President Donald Tusk in Slovenia

The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Dr Miro Cerar, is hosting the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who is on an official visit to Slovenia. The visit will pay special attention to the Western Balkan countries’ future in the EU, EU migration and asylum policies, and other European topics such as the issues of the economic and monetary union’s future, Brexit, and the EU multi-annual financial framework. Prime Minister Cerar informed his guest about the latest developments regarding the implementation of the arbitration agreement on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, and the leaders also briefly discussed the internal political developments in Slovenia before the upcoming elections.

European Council President Tusk recently paid a short visit to several Western Balkan countries, and Prime Minister Cerar hosted a leaders’ meeting as part of The South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP). Cerar and Tusk summarised their final conclusions, focusing on the preparations for the EU Western Balkans Summit mid-May in Sofia. Prime Minister Cerar emphasised Slovenia’s position on the future of the Western Balkan countries in the EU and welcomed the European Commission’s most recent decisions, including the recommendation to begin the accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania and the new Western Balkans enlargement strategy. The Prime Minister pointed out that the biggest challenges in the region are the weak rule of law and the poor economic situation, which has resulted in a high unemployment rate, a lack of prospects for young people, and a consequent brain drain. Prime Minister Cerar and President Tusk also exchanged their positions on the situations of individual countries in the region.

The Prime Minister informed the President that the number of migrants on the so-called Balkan migration route is growing. He emphasised the importance of a joint and coordinated strategy, as well as the timely response at the European level that Slovenia has been defending, and he pointed out some measures such as agreements with transit countries, human resource assistance and financial aid for these countries. He further highlighted the importance of respecting international commitments. “My colleague has shown great understanding for Slovenia’s arguments and political determination before, and we have implemented some difficult decisions in the past,” said Dr Cerar in a press release, and assured that this time will be no different.

Prime Minister Cerar also informed his guest about the latest developments regarding the implementation of the arbitration agreement on the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

The Prime Minister described the internal political situation in Slovenia before the parliamentary elections in June to President Tusk and assured him that Slovenia would remain a politically and economically stable country that European partners could count on. He regards this as the greatest achievement of his term in office, as confirmed by the recent European Commission data that placed Slovenia on the list of the fastest growing economies in the Euro zone with good prospects for the future. Prime Minister Cerar added that this was not self-evident and that it was therefore important who the leader of the Slovenian government would be in the future.

President Tusk’s visit will continue with an official dinner with his host in Piran. They will discuss The Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which is currently a topic of negotiations at the European level. Slovenia defends its position about the necessity of this reform and supports all efforts to arrive at a common, just, and suitable decision about the amendment of the Dublin Regulation so that it will work in practice. The Prime Minister believes the key to the reform is solidarity with those people who need international protection. They will also discuss deepening the Economic and Monetary Union, which is current being discussed by the Eurogroup, the Council of the EU and the European Council, as well as several other current issues, such as Brexit, the EU multi-annual financial framework and a unified digital market.