The Slovenia Times

Slovenians join Europe Day celebrations


While the EU has been criticised for its delayed tackling of the coronavirus crisis and for failing to show solidarity with the most severely affected members, Lovec says the criticism is partly warranted and to a certain extent part of a political game.

"Every country in its own right is trying to shed some of its own responsibility or exert pressure on other governments to shoulder part of the burden," said Lovec, an expert on international relations from the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences.

He sees the EU as a progressive international organisation which depends on the will and capabilities of its members, while the common powers of its common institutions are limited and pertain to individual areas.

"This crisis certainly strengthens the awareness of the role of common EU institutions, and exposes how small some member states are in the fight against global challenges.

"It exposes the fact that in global crises, large countries increasingly close up to take care only of their own business, and that here the EU must play a certain role if relatively small countries in Europe are to survive the storms to come."

Lovec says this sustainable paradigm is at the core of the new European Commission's political agenda termed the Green Deal.

He considers it a kind of a new Schuman Declaration, a document which 70 years ago addressed the key strategic economic resources - coal and steel.

"In this sense today's EU ... is faced with a challenge of smart management of its strategic resources, that is people, natural resources and knowledge."

Lovec believes that smart management of resources is the EU's only competitive advantage in comparison with the other super powers which have more of these resources.

Several events will take place in Slovenia to celebrate the 9 May Europe Day, but like elsewhere in Europe they will be held online or on TV due to the pandemic.

Tonight, the European Commission Representation in Slovenia will prepare a TV show Europe Day in Your Home on public broadcaster TV Slovenija.

The show will feature a discussion about challenges facing Europe with European Commissioner from Slovenia Janez Lenarčič, chef Ana Roš, writer Feri Lainšček and actress Katarina Čas.

Several Slovenian musicians will sing covers of popular Eurovision Song Contest hits to point to the values of peace and solidarity among European nations.

Also today, a virtual walk around Europe will be organised by the Slovenian unit of the European Union of National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the European Commission Representation and the Vodnik Homestead in Šiška, featuring poetry reading in several languages to draw attention to the diversity of European culture.

Europe Direct info points launched several online events, from workshops and concerts to films and story-telling, already at the start of the week.

Slovenia joined the EU on 1 May 2004 in a Big Bang enlargement wave after it declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in June 1991.


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