Ljubljana – Slovenia expects to be invited to a summit of MED7, a group of seven Mediterranean EU countries, this autumn, Foreign Minister Anže Logar said on Wednesday as he answered an MP question about the country’s plans to join MED7.
Logar told the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee he had received confirmation as he attended a session of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday.
The government tweeted on Tuesday Slovenia had in recent days received France, Spain and Greece’s decisive support and will be invited to the autumn meeting, that is to join MED7.
“This will be the final recognition that we are a maritime country with a nice window into the world. And a nice gift upon the 30th anniversary of our freedom and statehood,” the tweet reads.
Apart from France, Spain and Greece, MED7 also features Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta.
MED7 membership should enhance the country’s political leverage in talks with other EU states, which Logar sees as very important from the aspect of exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic Sea.
By taking part in MED7, Slovenia is becoming part of talks on the Mediterranean region concerning issues such as fish populations, cleanliness of the seawater and ecology, illegal migration management projects and the issue of the EU’s southern partnership.
Logar also told the committee that a regular topic in bilateral meetings with neighbouring countries was efforts to enable those who have been vaccinated against Covid to cross borders as the tourist season is nearing.
Slovenia has already reached agreement with Hungary, talks with Croatia are in their final stages, while key talks are now under way with Austria and Italy, he said.
The minister also answered a question regarding Prime Minister Janez Janša’s non-attendance of Sunday’s launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg.
He said he was becoming tired of stories fabricated in Slovenian media based on blindly following foreigners instead of trusting the Slovenian government.
Slovenian media reported last week that Janša had not been invited to the event in Strasbourg due to opposition of one of the conference’s co-presiding members.
Logar said Janša could not have taken part because he had to travel from Portugal, where he attended the Social Summit in Porto, directly on to Greece.
A letter that Foreign Ministry State Secretary Gašper Dovžan, a member of the conference’s executive committee, had addressed to the co-presiding members, is dated 23 April, when the agendas of the opening event and of the summit in Porto were not yet known, Logar explained.
The letter was addressed to three persons – the representative of Portugal’s EU presidency and European Commissioner Dubravka Šuica, neither of whom leaked it to the public, and to Guy de Verhofstadt, he said, adding: “We can clearly establish who leaked the letter.”