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Slovenian and Dutch foreign ministers advocate consistent respect for fundamental EU values and rule of law

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister Dr Miro Cerar hosted Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Stef Blok on an official visit to Slovenia today. The two ministers confirmed the excellent bilateral relations between their countries, which have been developed in both politics and business, noting with pleasure their similar views on numerous current European and global topics. Slovenian racing cyclist Primož Roglič, who is part of the Dutch team Jumbo–Visma, is yet another example of Slovenian–Dutch partnership, inspiring cycling fans both here and in the Netherlands.

The ministers were pleased to see enhanced cooperation between their two countries and between Slovenia and the Benelux countries, especially on European and multilateral affairs and the economy. The Netherlands is a major foreign trade partner for Slovenia, with trade exceeding EUR 1.6 billion, ranking sixth in terms of FDI volume. Minister Cerar expressed hope of establishing links, particularly in artificial intelligence, logistics and energy.

Both countries share a commitment to the principles of multilateralism, the rule of law, respect for human rights and engagement in international organisations. The ministers agreed that respect for the fundamental values of the European Union and the rule of law must be consistently exercised.

As regards the future of the European Union, the ministers agreed that the security of the EU and its citizens needs to be strengthened and that economic growth and prosperity must be ensured to create a social, successful and safe Union. Minister Cerar went on to outline the priorities during the Slovenian EU Council presidency, stressing the wish for close cooperation with the Netherlands on a circular economy (the country has already adopted the transition to a circular economy action plan by 2050).

The two ministers also exchanged views on Brexit. Regarding the Western Balkans, Minister Cerar conveyed a clear message that “for Slovenia, for the region’s stability and for further reforms, these countries need to have clear European prospects. The EU must remain strongly engaged in this part of Europe, and we hope that consensus to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania will be reached in October.”

Minister Cerar thanked his Dutch counterpart for support provided by the Benelux countries regarding the implementation of the final and binding arbitration award on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, which was already expressed in a joint statement issued by the three Benelux prime ministers in June 2017.

This visit is part of regular and enhanced political dialogue between two like-minded EU member states. The Dutch Foreign Minister was later also received by President of Slovenia Borut Pahor and by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.