The Slovenia Times

Šarec and Finish PM agree to jointly pursue shared EU interests


Highlighted as an example of shared interests was the recent letter for higher EU rural development funding after 2021, initiated by Slovenia and singed by the agriculture ministers of 15 member states. Finland was one of the main supporters of the initiative.

Meanwhile, Šarec listed the deepening of the common market, the circular and digital economy, stronger foreign trade and climate change among the key challenges of the EU.

He argued that the common market still needed to get rid of remaining limitations to the free flow of persons, goods and services, the government said in a press release.

The pair also talked about EU presidency preparations, with both countries being small members and thus benefiting from the exchange of experience. Finland's six-month stint is due later this year and Slovenia's in the second half of 2021.

Brexit and the EU's 2021-2027 financial perspective were given ample attention as well, with Šarec and Sipilä calling for closer cooperation between the two countries, not only in EU affairs but also in the economy, culture and other fields.

As part of the working visit, Šarec also met the leadership of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. Slovenia plans to step up activities this year to join the centre, which currently has 20 EU and NATO members cooperating in efforts against hybrid threats, the government announced.

Šarec also attended a working dinner featuring his counterparts from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and the Netherlands. All of them members of ALDE, they exchanged views on EU affairs ahead of the 9 May informal summit in Sibiu, Romania.

They issued a joint statement after the meeting in which they reiterated their call for a strong Europe that will be an engine of growth, create jobs, security and prosperity for all.

They also called for a Europe that will promote the rule of law and act as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Moreover, the statement highlights the importance of the upcoming European elections and warns against the negative consequences of populism.


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