The Slovenia Times

Foreign Minister Erjavec: Slovenia will remain in EU's core

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The foreign minister explained that Slovenia was "among the countries that want more and want to do more" and that it was already part of the fastest countries as a member of the Schengen area and the eurozone.

However, concerns were raised, including by committee chair Jo┼żef Horvat, as to whether Slovenia would be accepted in the core group in case a multi-speed Europe is realised.

Erjavec therefore said the Foreign Ministry and the government would analyse all scenarios including the option of being left out of the EU's core, but that everything should be done to avoid this.

He stressed that Slovenia advocated strength and unity of the union before the European Commission presented its five scenarios for the future of the bloc in early March.

But since all debates now indicate the direction is a multi-speed Europe, Slovenia has to adapt, the minister argued.

According to Erjavec, the dynamics of the debates on the future of the EU will only increase in light of the important elections around Europe, starting with today's general election in the Netherlands.

He also commented on the recent tensions between Turkey and certain European countries, arguing that this was only between Turkey and individual states, not the EU as a whole.

Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey, he pointed out. He highlighted the crises in the EU's neighbourhood where the EU needs Turkey's help, while Turkey should be "helped to overcome the internal crisis" following last year's coup attempt.

The committee adopted several recommendations for the Foreign Ministry, including more coordination with other ministries in relation to Brexit negotiations, and Slovenia's more active involvement in discussions on the future of the EU in general.

The MPs also called on the government to step up preparations for Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021.

Moreover, the committee backed a ratification of Slovenia's associate membership in CERN as well as an agreement between Slovenia and the International Criminal Court on the execution of the court's sentences.

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