The Slovenia Times

Cerar: Solution for EU's externals borders still elusive


The prime minister would not comment on the European Commission's reprimand of Austria over its introduction of quota for migrant entries, which raised the most dust today.

He reiterated Austria was in distress in the face of the refugee influx, saying Slovenia could relate to that. "Whether or not the measures have been well thought through is a matter of judgement."

For Slovenia it is crucial that it too is ready to take all appropriate actions as a member of the Schengen zone, he said.

Asked about the expectations ahead of the summit, Cerar said "nobody expects final solutions", while the "thing we all want - some kind of a common European solution on the external borders - is still elusive for now".

The prime minister expects a lively debate, including on his initiative for the strengthening of control at the Greek-Macedonian border, which he presented at last night's dinner of EU officials with the leaders of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.

"Let me point out that I see a kind of complementariness, connection in the different approaches to the issue," Cerar said, adding that his initiative should also be viewed as being a part of a wider European solution.

As one of today's topics will be distribution of refugees from Greece and Italy among other member states, Cerar was asked by journalists when these refugees will arrive to Slovenia and how many of them the country will accept.

He said Slovenia was indeed ready to accept a certain number of these refugees to show solidarity, but not many, as the country was still struggling with the refugees in transit. "I can only speak of a two-digit number".

Interior Ministry State Secretary Boštjan Šefic announced a week ago that the government would make a decision on Slovenia's accepting of the first group of persons and that some 20 people would be accepted at this stage.

Cerar also commented on the other major topic of the summit, efforts to keep the UK in the EU, saying that the compromise proposal envisaging reforms of the EU in exchange for the UK staying in the bloc was a good solution.

He expects a political agreement on the issue to be made in the coming days.

"I definitely expect very intensive debates. The meeting could stretch into the night and in the afternoon tomorrow, but these are very important issues, so we must take our time and have a thorough talk," he said.


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