The Slovenia Times

Cerar, Tusk call for European perspective for W Balkans


According to Cerar, now is the time for EU countries to decide together whether Western Balkan countries should be fully integrated in the EU and Euro-Atlantic alliances or left aside to find their own path. He firmly believes the former is the best solution.

Tusk agreed that the upcoming EU summit featuring Western Balkan leaders must reaffirm the European perspective for the region.

At the same time, mutual relations, digital and infrastructural connections between the EU and Western Balkan countries and within the countries in the region must be improved, Tusk stressed.

The EU must also strive to boost cooperation in other fields of mutual interest such as migrations and security. "Security in the Balkans means security in Europe," he said.

The prime minister also called for the EU's joint approach to the issue of migration and asylum policy, expressing concern that the number of migrants on the Balkan Route is rising notably again. "We need a joint and timely response," he said.

Touching on the EU's multi-year budget, Cerar said Slovenia acknowledged the impact of Brexit on the EU's budget, but would not settle for "any kind of drastic cuts of EU funds".

Any cuts must be "reasonable, gradual and such that they will allow Slovenia to continue to develop and live as planned".

Cerar also briefed Tusk on the developments related to the implementation of the Slovenian-Croatian border arbitration award, the prime minister's office said.

Cerar told the press that he had also presented the Slovenian political situation ahead of general election to the EU official.

"I assured him that Slovenia will maintain its political and economic stability under the caretaker government and that everything will function normally," he said, adding that Europe could count on Slovenia in this period as well.

Tusk, who gave his statement in Slovenian, praised Cerar as a "responsible European", an extremely tough but also constructive partner. Under Cerar's leadership, Slovenia has become a success story, a stable and reliable country, he pointed out.

Cerar and Tusk are now on their way to the coastal town of Piran, where they will hold a working dinner. According to Cerar, they will disuses the future of the European and monetary union, asylum policy, digital single market and Brexit.


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