GOV.SI

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in Brussels for European Council meeting

The prime minister is in Brussels for the ordinary meeting of the European Council. In the afternoon of the first day of the meeting the leaders discussed the adoption of the EU’s strategic agenda for 2019-2024, where the main focus was on climate change, the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, and EU enlargement. The first day of the meeting ended with a working dinner, where there were discussions of nominations for the top positions in EU institutions for the next institutional cycle.

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in Brussels for European Council meeting.

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in Brussels for European Council meeting. – Author EU Council

The leaders discussed and adopted the EU’s strategic agenda for the new legislative cycle. Its priority areas set the foundation for the work of EU institutions over the next five years. On this occasion the strategic agenda is of particular relevance to Slovenia, because it will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU during this period.

With regard to the formulation of the EU’s long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a large majority of Member States, Slovenia among them, committed themselves to the ambitious target of climate neutrality by 2050.

The prime minister resolved to complete the negotiations on the EU’s upcoming multiannual financial framework at the earliest opportunity, saying that the leaders needed to have concrete numbers by early autumn, with the aim of completing the negotiations this year. Not least, the issue of financial resources is closely tied to the adoption of the strategic agenda. The leaders agreed to focus on negotiating on the basis of concrete numbers at the October meeting.

The talks also addressed EU enlargement, where the prime minister emphasised that Slovenia regrets the renewed deferral of the decision to open negotiations with North Macedonia. In the prime minister’s opinion, the EU should recognise the progress of reform in the country. He expressed the expectation that a firm decision to open negotiations would be made in the autumn.

The first day of the meeting again saw the leaders discuss nominations for the top positions in EU institutions for the next institutional cycle. Before the summit opened, the prime minister had said that it would be in the interest of everyone, and particularly the EU and its institutions, to have the names by the end of the day, but the leaders agreed to continue the discussions at the upcoming extraordinary meeting on 30 June.

Before the European Council meeting the prime minister attended a meeting of European leaders and commissioners from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group, and a meeting of the leaders of Slovenia and the Benelux countries.