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Second day of meeting in Brussels focused on relations with China and the single market

Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has completed the second day of the regular meeting of the European Council in Brussels. The leaders dedicated the majority of the meeting to a strategic discussion of relations between the EU and China, particularly in light of the upcoming EU-China summit, which will be held in Brussels on 9 April. Therefore they did not exchange opinions solely from the perspective of the joint addressing of global challenges that the international community can only successfully address together, but also from the perspective of searching for ways to balance economic relations between the EU and China. They all agreed that the multilateral trade system must remain a key foundation of our economic relations.

At the same time they agreed that relations with China must focus primarily on searching for opportunities where we can jointly create a stimulating environment for trade and investment.

Slovenia generally welcomes a regular, annual strategic dialogue with China at the highest level. In the long term, we need to have an open view of relations between the EU and China and a focused search for opportunities in areas where we share common interests. In this respect, Slovenia advocates for cooperation between the EU and China that is based on the EU’s values and interests.

In the middle of April, Slovenia will be participating in a meeting of representatives of the 16 + 1 initiative in Dubrovnik, where the prime minister will hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi.

Later, the leaders held an in-depth discussion on the single market and adopted resolutions designed to strengthen the EU’s economic foundations, which is crucial to improving Europe’s wellbeing and competitiveness and its role at the global level. 

They agreed that in order to play as strong a global economic role as possible, the EU must connect and develop all of its policies relating to the single market, from digital and industrial capacities to trade policy.

From the Slovenian perspective, the most important thing is for the ambition to strengthen the single market and to remove obstacles to its functioning, including the removal of internal border controls, to remain as strong as possible.

In their resolutions, the leaders also hailed the work carried out in the area of meeting the challenges of disinformation, and called for continued close cooperation, particularly in the light of this year’s elections to the European Parliament.