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Prime Minister Cerar hosts Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni in Ljubljana


Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar welcomed President of the Italian Council of Ministers Paolo Gentiloni to Ljubljana today for a working visit. The prime ministers agreed that relations between the two countries are outstanding and that there are no major unresolved issues. The future of the European Union was at the forefront of their discussions, and they also addressed the issue of migration and the arbitral award on the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

Prime Minister Cerar assessed relations between the two countries as excellent and very well-developed in all areas. Italy is Slovenia’s number two trade partner, and fourth in terms of investment. Prime Minister Cerar stated that he is pleased to see that economic cooperation between the two countries is continuing to improve, as is the number of Italian tourists in Slovenia, which has been the leader in that area for many years. He particularly emphasised the excellent cross-border cooperation and the importance of both national minorities, which form a special bond between the countries.

However, the main topic of today’s discussion for both leaders was the future of the European Union. Slovenia and Italy share very closely-related perspectives on key issues, whereby the Slovenian Prime Minister underscored the importance of improving cooperation in the areas of security and defence, economic and monetary union, social issues and unregulated migration. As both Slovenia and Italy are now among the most-integrated member states of the European Union, the Slovenian Prime Minister committed to further integration and unity of the member states.

The migration issue is an important issue at the European level. The Italian Prime Minister informed Prime Minister Cerar about Italy’s current situation, and about the proposals for comprehensive solutions put forth a week ago in Paris. They agreed that solidarity at the level of the entire Union is crucial, as well as searching for sustainable solutions, including solving the problem of mass migrations at their source. It will be necessary to work closely with the countries on the migrant routes, which goes hand in hand with effective controls at the external Schengen borders. According to the Italian Prime Minister, Slovenia is a responsible member of the EU with respect to addressing the issue of migration, and Prime Minister Cerar assured him that it will continue to act in that manner.

During their discussions, the two prime ministers also spoke about the arbitral award on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, which both prime ministers confirmed in statements to the press following their meeting. Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni expressed support for the viewpoint of the European Union on this issue and expressed hope that the two countries can find a positive solution. “I am pleased that my Italian colleague Mr Gentiloni supports the view that the EU’s viewpoints, which are based on respect for international and European law, have to be respected. All members of the EU must respect the principles of international law, as the European Commission explicitly states,” said Slovenian Prime Minister Cerar.