24th Consultations of Slovenian Diplomats
The two-day 24th Consultation of Slovenian Diplomats began at the Brdo Congress Centre today. For the first time since he has taken office, Minister Dr Anže Logar presented to heads of diplomatic missions and consular posts the direction and vision of Slovenian foreign policy. He outlined Slovenia's aspiration to be a responsible member of the EU, NATO, and the international community, not merely a silent observer, and to return to the diplomatic map.
In his opening address to ambassadors and consuls general, Minister Logar highlighted the four key topics to which diplomats will address most attention during this year’s Consultations. As first, the assessment of the global environment, especially in terms of security, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be followed by a discussion on the importance of transatlantic integration, which has once again become one of Slovenia’s key foreign policy priorities, having gained new impetus in recent months, in no small part through the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Slovenia. In the future, according to the Minister, we will have to take advantage of the impetus in both security and the economy.
Special attention will be devoted to the Slovenian EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2021. The heads of Slovenian diplomatic missions and consular posts will be briefed on the preparations and priorities of Slovenia’s second Presidency, while the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will join the debate on the future of the European Union on the second day of the Consultations. His visit, as well as the intensity of meetings in recent months, testifies to the revival of Slovenian foreign policy and diplomacy, the international visibility of which is being raised after almost a decade of empty running.
The debate between ambassadors will also turn the spotlight on infrastructure integration in both the neighbourhood and Central Europe. The discussion with the Minister of Infrastructure, Jernej Vrtovec, will focus on the challenge of how Slovenia can best be placed in Central Europe, how it could achieve energy independence, and on the ways in which foreign policy can contribute to strengthening the critical economic, transport, energy, and telecommunications connections that are key to Slovenia’s progress.
In his address, the Minister underlined the role of the EU and NATO as the central pillars of Slovenian foreign policy and diplomacy – the most important frameworks in terms of value, politics, and security.
The key message of the Consultations is that Slovenia should resume its position as an interesting and active member of the international community in terms of foreign policy, as a reliable partner of the EU, and a credible member of NATO. It should also be regarded as a country that knows its own interests and is able to pursue them, which is the essence of foreign policy.
The Consultations continue today and end tomorrow with the address of the Prime Minister for heads of diplomatic missions and consular posts.