The Slovenia Times

New President Visiting Brussels on His First Trip Abroad


On the first day of the trip, Pahor will meet the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

On Tuesday, Pahor will also meet the leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda, who endorsed him in the presidential race.

The president is scheduled to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday. Before the two meetings, which are scheduled for the afternoon, Pahor will have lunch with Slovenian MEPs.

"The purpose of the visit is above all to establish contacts with the heads of EU institutions...and political dialogue on the future of the EU and the exchange of views and positions on current international and political affairs," according to the president's office.

The press release said that the president is to present Slovenia's position on the strengthening of the economic and monetary union and the pact for growth and jobs.

It is likely for the talks to touch on EU enlargement, a part of which the ratification of Croatia's accession treaty might be addressed.

Slovenia's Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec has recently mentioned the possibility that Slovenia will not ratify the treaty until Croatia withdraws lawsuits against its banks, an issue stemming from the unresolved issue of foreign savers in LB bank.

By choosing Brussels for his first destination as president, Pahor indicated that he will dedicate more time to the EU than his predecessor Danilo Türk.

In his five-year term as president, Türk visited EU institutions three times: in April 2008, during Slovenia's EU presidency, he met the European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering; in July 2008, he met Barroso and in May 2010 he met the European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek.

Pahor built his reputation in Brussels as prime minister after he and his Croatian counterpart Jadranka Kosor managed to patch up bilateral relations and signed the 2009 border arbitration treaty.

He was sworn in as Slovenia's fourth president on 2 December 2012. He is the first Slovenian politician having served in the country's other two top positions: as prime minister and as parliament speaker.


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