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Press release

Prime Minister on the future of the EU in Sibiu, Romania

 

Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has attended an informal meeting of EU leaders in Sibiu, Romania. This summit before the European Parliament elections represented the completion of the process of reflection on the future of the EU that began in Bratislava in September 2016.

The leaders discussed the EU’s new strategic agenda for the period 2019–2024 and agreed a joint declaration in which they reaffirmed their belief that, in an increasingly unsettled and challenging world, Europe can only be strong if we all work together.

 

EU leaders used the summit to assess current conditions in the EU and discussed the EU’s key development priorities in the next legislative cycle. This brought the process of discussion of the future of the EU to its culmination. The exchange of opinions on the new strategic agenda of the EU focused on areas such as the protection of EU citizens’ rights and freedoms, economic development, the development of a fairer, more sustainably oriented and inclusive EU, and the bloc’s role in the world. Leaders will formally adopt the plan in the form of a special document called the Strategic Agenda after the European elections – at the meeting of the European Council on 20 and 21 June 2019.


Prime Minister Šarec underlined the need to strengthen trust in EU institutions and called for more decisive action in a forward-looking Union. He highlighted the connection between the Strategic Agenda and the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027. Coherence between the objectives set and the funds available is important for the credibility of the Union. In this light, it is important that an agreement on the Strategic Agenda is swiftly followed by an agreement on the future Multiannual Financial Framework. At the same time Mr Šarec emphasised the importance of the EU’s active role in the Western Balkans and the earliest possible commencement of negotiations, particularly with North Macedonia.

The essence of Slovenia’s position in discussions on the future of the EU is summed up by the Declaration on Activities of the Republic of Slovenia in the Institutions of the European Union, which was adopted by the National Assembly in March this year. This document sets out the following primary objectives: greater security in Europe and Slovenia, a successful economy, an increased social dimension and an enhanced role for the EU in the world.

In terms of security, Slovenia will continue to press for measures at the EU level that will allow Slovenian citizens to feel safe in Slovenia and the EU while protecting fundamental human rights.

As Prime Minister Šarec has already stated many times, the full implementation of the principles, values and freedoms of the Schengen system must be restored as soon as possible.

At the EU level, Slovenia remains committed to sustainable growth, an evolving EU single market, the fostering of small and medium-sized enterprises and a well-functioning economic and monetary union.

All this is the foundation for the growth of well-being of all citizens.

To this end, Slovenia supports the further strengthening of the single market, where the biggest challenges lie in the fields of digitalisation, the liberalisation of services and future industrial policy.

The achievement of economic and social convergence in the EU is a key condition for its long-term stability and unity. We must be capable of creating jobs and sustainable, all-round and broadly conceived growth in the EU. Ensuring a sustainable development model also requires sustainable environment, food and energy policies. In an unpredictable international environment, a strong and united EU is extremely important. At the same time, the EU must remain committed to multilateral action within the international community.

Slovenia will pay particular attention to the principle of loyal cooperation among member states and their fulfilment of the obligations under the Treaties or resulting from the acts of EU institutions, which are of key importance for the implementation of joint actions. We will continue to support reinforcement of the concept of the rule of law, and respect for it, in the activities both of EU institutions and member states, and of EU candidate countries and partner countries in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Slovenia will also continue to support a credible process of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and help ensure progress for candidate countries. Efforts to meet EU accession conditions are the most important guarantee of reform processes and economic and social development and peace in the region.