Minister Logar holds unofficial meeting with counterparts from Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia
At Brdo pri Kranju, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Anže Logar hosted today the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of the Republic Austria Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Tomáš Petříček and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Ivan Korčok. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjárto excused his absence, as he was to attend the signature of the agreement on the normalisation of relations between Israel and UAE at the White House. The unofficial Central 5 initiative of foreign ministers was launched during the new coronavirus disease outbreak in spring to better coordinate containment measures. The third meeting reaffirmed the commitment of ministers to deepen the cooperation and ties among neighbouring countries and in the Central European region, including in other areas of common interest.
At the third unofficial Central 5 meeting, the ministers focused mainly on the coordination of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic impacts agreeing on regular coordination at the level of director-generals to ensure harmonised measures against COVID-19, thus upgrading the informal C5 initiative. While containment measures should be respected to ensure the health of citizens, they concurred that our economic sectors should not be hampered. Minister Dr Logar underscored that no country wishes to see the spring scenario unfold all over again. The ministers expressed support for EU efforts to coordinate the response and harmonise measures across Member States.
They also talked about economic topics, in particular the potential for joint regional infrastructure projects and connectivity. The discussions touched on the participation in different regional forums, as C5 ministers also participate in the Three Seas Initiative, which is aimed at fostering close cooperation in the wider Central and Eastern European region.
On European topics, the ministers expressed satisfaction over the agreement on the multiannual financial framework and the recovery fund, which will help European economies to tackle efficiently the consequences of the pandemic and other challenges, such as digitalisation and climate change. They also discussed the envisaged economic projects within the recovery fund and later drew their attention to the current situation and key challenges within the EU.
They used the opportunity to exchange views and opinions on topical foreign policy issues featuring on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, which will be held on 21 September. These include the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Belarus, Libya and other crisis areas in Europe and around the world.