Parliament confirms five-year declaration on EU activities

Ljubljana – The declaration on Slovenia’s activities in EU institutions in 2021-2024 was confirmed in the National Assembly on Tuesday in a 45:32 vote that came after a debate that saw the opposition parties criticise the document for being too generalised and long-term.

The declaration was presented by Prime Minister Janez Janša, who said that improving the resilience of the EU to crises, green transition and the rule of law were the main topics.

Janša argued that the government extended the period covered by the document in comparison to the previous documents so that it was tied to the terms of the European Commission and the European Parliament.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is the key problem,” Janša said, adding that many things that would happen in the next four years would depend on how the fight with the pandemic would pan out.

As key topics of the declaration, he mentioned greater resilience to possible future pandemics and cyber attacks, which are also one of the priorities of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of the year.

The opposition parties were mostly critical of the declaration as being too generalised and the period it covers being too long.

Matjaž Nemec of the Social Democrats (SD) said that the document was not fit to be confirmed in parliament as the time period was not in line with the act on cooperation between the National Assembly and the government in EU affairs.

Andrej Rajh of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) added that the document was “hypocritical”, as it says that Slovenia is a resolute advocate of the rule of law, and that it puts emphasis on the independence of the judiciary.

On the other hand, Branko Simonovič of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) said that the period covered by the declaration was appropriate, as it was coordinated with the legislative cycle of the EU.

Also announcing support was Andrej Černigoj of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), who said that the document was concise and very clear.

According to Gregor Perič of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), the declaration is a good basis for Slovenia’s continuous activities in EU institutions and a solid framework for taking positions on topics discussed at the EU level.

The deputy group of the ruling Democrats (SDS) believes that the declaration is well thought-through and concise, and that it is a step forward in terms of quality in comparison to the previous documents.