The Slovenia Times

Pandemic to mark EU presidency trio priorities

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The virtual meeting featured Tone Kajzer, state secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, Teresa Ribeiro, Portuguese secretary of state of foreign affairs and cooperation, and Martin J├Ąger, state secretary at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In a press release issued after the meeting, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry noted that the pandemic further exposed the important role of development cooperation as partner countries seek to overcome social and economic challenges.

The officials agreed that global health would be a key topic of the presidency trio. They called for a new agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to be adopted as soon as possible.

Similarly, they also called for putting into place as fast as possible the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, a legislative proposal that is part of the preparations for the EU's financial framework for 2021-2027.

"As we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our time, solidarity is of vital importance," Kajzer was quoted as saying.

An effective response by the EU to the pandemic would be a test of maturity for joint action and the inclusiveness principle. The responsibility to implement that would depend much on how well the next presidency trio would be coordinated.

The Slovenian official briefed his counterparts on Slovenian presidency priorities in development cooperation, including water and the need to take a comprehensive approach to access to water in light of preserving the environment, peace and security, and from the aspect of global health.

Germany will be the first to hold the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 July, followed by Portugal on 1 January 2021 and Slovenia on 1 July 2021.

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