The Slovenia Times

Cerar and Tusk call for unity of EU27 in Brexit talks


Cerar told the press after meeting Tusk that in the Brexit talks, Slovenia as a constructive EU member state would contribute to the unity of the EU27 and would look to protect interests of Slovenian citizens, especially those living in the UK.

The Slovenian prime minister expects the negotiations with the EU to be exhausting and demanding, but also fair.

"What we want is that the United Kingdom remains an important partner of the EU as well as Slovenia and let us hope that this will not be changed with the exit."

Cerar warned that the EU should not forget about other challenges and projects such as economic development, higher employment, security, welfare, migrations and modernisation of the EU.

Tusk too stressed the importance of the unity of the EU27 in the Brexit talks. "Our most important asset is the unity of our member states," he added.

The president of the European Council said that after the first feedback on his draft Brexit guidelines, there was no doubt that the first Brexit summit at the end of April would be a show of unity.

Cerar and Tusk also talked about the EU membership prospects of the Western Balkan countries and the migration crisis.

The EU must remain open for the Western Balkan countries, which in turn must meet the conditions for accession, Cerar said, adding that the EU must help the countries in the process.

The Slovenian prime minister noted that the situation in certain parts of the region was tense, expressing hope that the countries in the region find answers to their challenges in a dialogue, in order to ensure political stability and peace.

Tusk added that the future of the Western Balkans was in the EU. "The EU remains firmly committed to the enlargement policy for the region, which was confirmed by the EU leaders during last European Council in March."

Tusk is convinced that Slovenia will continue to play an important part in coordinating the EU action in the region to help create more stability and prosperity.

Turning to the migration crisis, the president of the European Council said that effective control over the EU's external borders was key for solving the crisis.

According to him, a condition for this was close cooperation with the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. "Today, with our common efforts, we have almost stopped illegal migrations through the Western Balkans route."

Tusk said that the Western Balkan route should remain closed for good, and that the EU needed to achieve the same result on the central Mediterranean route.

Given the positive resolution of the issue, he understands Slovenia's reluctance to maintain, even temporarily, internal controls within the Schengen area.

Slovenia is the first country visited by Tusk following the signing of the Roma declaration on the 60th anniversary of the Rome treaties and presentation of guidelines for the Brexit negotiations.


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