Minister Logar visits Malta to discuss cooperation in the EU and the Mediterranean region
During a working visit to Malta today, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar met with his host, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo. Slovenia and Malta are EU member states sharing similar views on several European topics. They are also Mediterranean countries, which makes it imperative that they develop closer cooperation and work together on key issues in the Mediterranean region.
Today’s visit was an opportunity to consolidate the existing regular political dialogue and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, especially in view of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of this year.
The ministers paid particular attention to the issue of migration, in particular the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. Malta belongs to a group of countries which have seen a significant increase in the number of migrant arrivals in recent years. They also spoke about the possibilities of ensuring an appropriate balance between the responsibility and solidarity of EU member states. Their discussions also touched on EU enlargement and other current international developments.
They concurred on the need to strengthen the Union as a reliable and good partner in both the neighbourhood and the world, with Minister Logar outlining for his host the priorities of Slovenia’s EU Council Presidency in the second half of the year. He referred to the drafting of EU emergency response plans for events such as pandemics as an important priority. The ministers also discussed the Conference on the Future of Europe, advocating for more effective COVID-19 coordination at the EU level.
Foreign Minister Bartolo expressed Malta’s readiness to support Slovenia’s membership of the group of seven Mediterranean EU countries (MED7). Through strong cooperation between its members, MED7 can become an effective group in the European Union, emphasised the Maltese Foreign Minister.
Minister Logar was also received by the President of Malta, George Vella. The two agreed that Slovenia and Malta have developed successful cooperation and share similar views on many European, regional, and global issues. They also discussed the availability and distribution to EU member states of sufficient quantity of vaccines to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.
During his visit to Malta, Minister Logar also met the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta, Angelo Farrugia. They agreed that their two countries cooperate successfully in several areas of common interest and are also bound by their EU membership, European values, and maritime location. In addition, the Parliamentary Friendship Group with the Republic of Malta has been established at the Slovenian Parliament.
As part of the visit, Minister Logar met the EASO Executive Director, Nina Gregori. They discussed the numerous challenges relating to the current migration situation facing the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in its efforts to provide operational support to EU member states, especially those under disproportionate migratory pressure.