The Slovenia Times

Germany-Portugal-Slovenia trio discusses EU presidency plans


The meeting, hosted by Germany's Heiko Maas and also attended by Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva and Slovenia's Miro Cerar, brought a debate on the importance of the rule of law, on the situation of the EU, including its relations with China and Africa.

Also discussed was the Western Balkans and EU enlargement, which was highlighted as an important part of Slovenia's agenda as the EU presiding country in the second half of 2021.

While it is too early to speak of concrete priorities, Slovenia is expected to dedicate a lot attention to the rule of law, to multilateralism and a strong and proactive role of the EU in the international community.

According to Cerar, Slovenia, whose presidency will follow Portugal's, will also try to promote the circular economy and a social Europe.

As for the Western Balkans, he stressed "Slovenia is a determined proponent of the open doors policy, of course provided that all conditions for accession are met".

He feels that the Greece-North Macedonia agreement needed to be upgraded in a way that will allow North Macedonia as well Albania to start with accession talks. If the EU fails to increase its influence in the Western Balkans, others global powers will gradually take over, Cerar added.

Meanwhile, the drafting of the trio's programme will coincide with the adoption of the EU's next strategic agenda, which means joint work on the priories will be upgraded in the coming months. The final text is expected to be ready in the spring of next year, the Foreign Ministry wrote.

In a joint statement adopted today, the ministers said that EU is needed more than ever to protect our values and interests.

They also announced their countries' 18-month presidency would follow an ambitions and forward-oriented programme and that close cooperation would also take place with the preceding and next trio.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Cerar and Maas signed a joint working programme of cooperation between Slovenia and Germany in the 2019-2021 period.

It outlines concrete forms of cooperation in the economy, foreign and interior affairs, the judiciary, social affairs, the environment, education and science, agriculture, and culture.


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