Prime Minister Janez Janša meets with Visegrad Group ambassadors
Today, Prime Minister Janez Janša met with the ambassadors of the Visegrad Four, which is currently chaired by the Czech Republic. At the meeting, they exchanged views on key challenges facing EU Member States and the most important regional issues.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Janez Janša expressed his appreciation for the help provided by the members of the Visegrad Four at the beginning of the epidemic outbreak, when Slovenia lacked both protective and medical equipment. In these times of need, real solidarity was shown.
The meeting participants also discussed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, migrations, the Three Seas Initiative, the Western Balkans and EU enlargement, as well as the priorities of Slovenia's Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021. Migrations pose a challenge that needs to be addressed holistically and in relation to issues concerning development aid for Africa, which underlines the need to strengthen the coordination and effectiveness of the development aid that the EU and its Member States provide to this continent.
Prime Minister Janša drew attention to the importance of the Three Seas Initiative in terms of the region's structural and development needs. This includes in particular the necessity to establish and modernise infrastructure connections. The participants shared the view that the EU should pay more attention to the EU enlargement and the Western Balkans region. As a result, the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans will be one of the priorities of Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Slovenian Prime Minister stressed that the coronavirus epidemic changed the priorities in the plans regarding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Thus, at Slovenia's proposal, the Trio Presidency programme (the successive presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia) has introduced the need to draft effective action plans in the event of a pandemic and in face of cyber-threats and attacks among its priorities.
The Slovenian Presidency will take place at a time when the EU and its Member States face the sweeping consequences of the pandemic. New divisions will need to be avoided. Prime Minister Janša also said the Slovenian Presidency would push for the EU's stabilisation and consolidation and for the EU to be as fit to deal with the numerous challenges ahead as possible.
The participants in today's meeting also stressed their common interest in further increasing multifaceted cooperation between Slovenia and the Visegrad Four.