Slovenia-Norway political consultations between directors-general for EU affairs
Acting Director-General for EU Affairs, Ambassador Barbara Sušnik, took part in bilateral consultations in Norway today. She and her counterpart, Director General of the Department for European Affairs Niels Engelschiøn, exchanged views on topical bilateral, European and international issues.
The two were pleased to note excellent relations between the two countries, which are reflected in regular consultations between the two foreign ministries and in top-level visits. Particular attention was devoted to successful multilateral cooperation, especially joint projects within the EEA and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. They both saw unexplored opportunities for further enhancing economic relations between Slovenia and Norway, especially in digital transformation, artificial intelligence, the circular economy and electro-mobility.
The EU is Norway’s major partner, and the two are connected through the European Economic Area. With as much as 70% of Norway’s trade conducted with the EU, the discussion focused on current European topics. Views were exchanged on UK's withdrawal from the EU, including its effects on Slovenia and Norway in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
Although it is part of the Schengen Area, Norway reintroduced border controls at some borders in 2015. Acting Director-General Sušnik outlined Slovenia’s efforts to ensure effective Schengen border control, expressing caution about the increasing pressure of illegal migration at the Slovenian–Croatian border.
At the request of her host, she also outlined the preparations and key priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council in 2021. The Norwegian side was interested in a close partnership with the upcoming Slovenian presidency on topics of common interest.
The interlocutors agreed that their respective countries share similar views on many global issues: they are both staunch advocates of multilateralism, the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Both countries aiming to ensure stability and security in the Western Balkans, ideas have been exchanged on potential fields of cooperation in the region.
Acting Director-General Sušnik also met Head of the EU Delegation to Norway Thierry Béchet, Honorary Consul of Slovenia in Oslo Knut Ore, and President of the Slovenian Triglav Society Saša Tangen.