Prime Minister Janez Janša: We have a responsibility and a duty to make the dreams of the founding fathers of the European Union come true
The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša, today took part in an online conference entitled "Europe Uncensored". In addition to the Slovenian Prime Minister, the online conference was attended by Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Republic of Serbia, and François-Xavier Bellamy, Member of the European Parliament, philosopher. At the conference, the European leaders spoke about how to shape the future of Europe, given all the key challenges we are facing.
Prime Minister Hanša first highlighted that such a discussion was good and important and he welcomed the purpose for which the conference was organised.
Speaking about the key challenges facing the European Union, he first mentioned Brexit. According to him, Brexit was a "strategic disaster". He explained this by saying that a condition for the existence of the European Union was the balance of power, with Brexit establishing a significant change in that balance. The good future of the European Union depends on the answer to the question of when a new balance of power will be established and what it will be like," stressed the Prime Minister.
He went on to say that the time when Slovenia joined the European Union could be described as the golden age of the EU. After fifteen, sixteen years we see the reality, we see a lot of good things, a lot of progress and challenges that have significantly changed the European Union we joined sixteen years ago," said the Prime Minister, adding that during this time we have been faced with a failed attempt to adopt a European constitution, which European leaders have sought to remedy with the Treaty of Lisbon, where problems re-emerged. But all these were administrative challenges," said Janša, who added that the financial and economic crisis followed, showing that there were some unfinished projects within the EU, including the European Monetary Union, the consequences of which are still being felt today.
That was followed by the migrant crisis. As long as Spain was faced with the migrant crisis it seemed like a distant problem, and in 2015 we came up against the reality that it was something big. In my opinion, the wrong approach of the European institutions and the Member States contributed to the final decision of the British who voted for Brexit," said Prime Minister Janša, who when on to say that "of course there were other important things, but I think this situation added a few additional percent of votes to those who voted to exit the European Union."
It does not matter whether we are talking about an unfinished first wave or the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic; in the coming weeks we will be facing some similar measures as those taken by the Member States in early March or April," said Prime Minister Janez Janša, who highlighted that, when the epidemic began, "we encountered the mass unresponsiveness of the global institutions we created to prevent such crises and alert us to such crises." Among these institutions, the Prime Minister listed the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the European Union. We were completely unprepared for what followed, Europe with its state of emergency, the seizure of protective equipment, the curfew looked at that time like it was from the Middle Ages," said the Prime Minister, adding that we are now facing a moment of truth. We are not yet in the post-COVID-19 crisis, but we are somewhere in between, at a time when we are trying to remedy the economic consequences of the epidemic," said the Prime Minister, adding that the recovery fund proposed by the European Commission would be a good response to the issues that need to be addressed in relation to the economic situation.
"It is more important to beat the virus. Until an effective drug or vaccine against Covid-19 is found, partial normalisation can only be achieved with an accessible application for tracking the infection," said Prime Minister Janez Janša in connection with the coronavirus crisis. According to him, this is also the only alternative enabling tourism activities to continue "without locking down countries." "We need Europe here, so we have one application for the whole of Europe, because we need to be able to detect the infection," said the Slovenian Prime Minister. "We still don't know what the consequences of the epidemic will be, but we know roughly how to deal with it in order to be effective," he added.
“Now is not the time to speak at length about the future of Europe, to propose changes to the treaties or to have big dreams about new European institutions, as this can create divisions, but what we need is stability,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša, adding that we need realistic and pragmatic solutions. “We have to enlarge the Schengen Area to include Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, which is not so difficult, but we need political decisions,” the Prime Minister went on to say, highlighting the enlargement of the European Union with the Western Balkan countries. “This is the strategic answer to the challenge posed by Brexit and this is the fulfilment of our dreams from the very beginning, when we spoke about Europe being whole and free,” he emphasised.
In the words of the Prime Minister, ideologically the main threat to the European Union and Europe as such is cultural Marxism. “We are all following what is going on and I have to say that it is the same formula that was written in the Communist Manifesto some 200 years ago. To create a new world, according to the Manifesto, you need to dismantle the nation, family, private property, private schools and religion. This is going on now, through the mass media, universities, the cultural industry, multinational institutions and some political parties. One thing that was partially mentioned before is that the fewer votes someone gets in an election, the more he or she preaches about democracy, about values, how to create a new world. There is something going on that is cleverly hidden but anyone who knows history and political concepts can clearly see where we are heading,” stressed the Prime Minister, pointing to this being the battle for our way of life, for Western civilization. “Much more is at stake in this battle than just the European Union or European institutions,” said the Prime Minister.
“In addition to the new coronavirus epidemic, we may be faced with unknown threats at any given point in time. For example, cyberattacks. When speaking about the future of the European Union, we must also be better prepared for such threats. Slovenia is now starting the trio presidency of the Council of the European Union together with Germany and Portugal. We proposed priorities to our trio partners, which they agreed with. We believe that first a European plan should be made regarding how to fight against the current epidemic and massive cyberattacks, which could soon become a new reality,” explained the Prime Minister.
In his opinion, the most important strategic challenge for the EU now is its demographics. “We can do everything and even more, but if there are no people to share the common values, everything is lost,” emphasised the Prime Minister, adding that families are the basic cells of society and they must be protected and supported, which is why family friendly policies for ageing societies are of strategic importance. “Migration policy, considered by some to be the total solution to the demographic challenges, can only complement the demographic challenges if it is properly managed, and when the social, cultural and economic costs of migration are taken into account. Where this is not the case, we can see the consequences – which in some countries are even irreparable,” pointed out the Prime Minister.
By way of conclusion, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that the European Union had been created as a union of values. “Since the foundation of the European Union, more people have enjoyed peace and a high standard of living, and the vast majority of Europeans have been born into wealth,” commented the Prime Minister, adding that the European Union is capable of meeting all the different challenges,” provided, of course, that we all return to our values. This is clear. We should rethink our identity and fight for it. We must fight for the people, for Europeans, for our heritage, for our nations, for our freedom, for our way of life, as this is our future,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša, concluding that it is our responsibility and duty to fulfil the dream of the founding fathers of the European Union.