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Prime Minister Janez Janša: The coronavirus situation is very serious all over the EU

Today Prime Minister Janez Janša attended an informal video conference of the European Council on the current COVID-19 situation.

The discussion between the members of the European Council focused on testing and the mutual recognition of tests, including rapid antigen tests, the development of a vaccine, preparations for administering a vaccine, logistical issues and national vaccination strategies. All leaders welcomed the common approach to financing the development and purchasing of vaccines, which is carried out by the EU Commission on behalf of all Member States.

The Slovenian Prime Minister presented the current situation in Slovenia in relation to the second wave of the epidemic. Luckily, over the past few days the number of newly admitted patients requiring hospital treatment has been smaller than the number of people leaving the hospital. However, the number of infections remains high. Slovenia has started introducing rapid tests and a national vaccination programme is being prepared. Reliable forecasts about when the vaccine is going to be available and when large quantities of it can be expected to arrive are crucial for planning the necessary measures, and easing public concerns. If a vaccine is not available in large quantities any time soon, Slovenia will also most likely opt for population-wide testing, similar to what has been done in Slovakia, based on which it will try to curb the epidemic as much as possible through targeted measures.

At the video conference, a representative of the German presidency of the EU also presented the current state of negotiations for the final approval of the multiannual financial framework and recovery package. In this regard, Prime Minister Janez Janša highlighted the fact that a crucial agreement was reached in July through joint efforts, and that now a final compromise needs to be reached based on this. Regarding the rule of law conditionality, the Prime Minister stressed that the final judgment must always lie in the hands of the EU Court of Justice, otherwise this would be a political decision contrary to the principles of the rule of law. He added that Slovenia is willing to offer concrete ideas in exploring ways to reach the final compromise. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, pointed out that an agreement has to be reached among all member states, and that efforts to achieve this will continue.