Upcoming EU presidency trio sign cooperation statement
Igor Zorčič of Slovenia's National Assembly, said that the parliamentary dimension of the EU presidency was important, as the involvement of national parliaments provided decisions of the EU Council and Commission with greater legitimacy.
Zorčič expressed the hope that the ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic will result in a wider use of digital technologies, noting that the National Assembly had already changed its rules of procedure to enable on-line discussions and voting.
Alojz Kovšca, the president of the National Council, the upper chamber of Slovenian parliament, pointed to what he believes is great responsibility of the trio, which will preside the EU Council in six-month stints between July and the end of 2021, in strengthening democracy.
Kovšca is happy that the trio will pay attention to the EU enlargement process, as Southeast Europe may provide good infrastructural connectivity and may be competitive in terms of the access of goods from Asian countries, the National Assembly said in a press release.
The content of the statement focuses on the experience with the pandemic, in particular on the need of science and research sector to find quick answers to new epidemiological challenges and the need for coordinated political response at national and EU levels.
The statement calls for elimination of limitations in the internal market, joint responsibility in fighting climate change and preserving biodiversity. It also wants to see fundamental freedoms and rights and full functioning of the Schengen Area restored as soon as possible.
The parliamentary speakers of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia point to the need to adopt a multi-year EU budget which would feature solidarity-based support to national economies after the pandemic and to promote digital transformation, AI and climate-neutral industrial technology.
The statement also urges for greater unity of the EU in foreign relations and calls for an enhanced security dimension of the EU, as well as for preserving the EU-accession prospects of the Western Balkan countries.