State Secretary Dovžan’s consultations with German State Secretary Miguel Berger
Prior to the upcoming Slovenian EU Council Presidency, State Secretary Gašper Dovžan held videoconference consultations with Miguel Berger, State Secretary at the German Federal Foreign Office, who is responsible for political sectors and European policy, relations with the United States, the Russian Federation, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The talks focused on activities to strengthen political and economic cooperation with Germany in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Slovenian EU Council Presidency.
Both state secretaries confirmed the excellent relations between their respective countries and underlined efforts to carry on the activities as part of the Slovenian-German strategic dialogue. State Secretary Dovžan advocated for further strengthening of economic cooperation with Germany as Slovenia’s major foreign trade partner, which would speed up the exit from the current crisis.
As to measures aimed at addressing the current health crisis, both state secretaries agreed that the EU needs a common approach to phasing out restrictions as soon as the epidemiological situation allows it.
State Secretary Dovžan highlighted the constructive cooperation with Germany within the Trio Presidency and went on to outline the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency in the second half of this year. During this period, Slovenia will focus on the pandemic and on the ways of tackling various crises more effectively. Our efforts will be dedicated to building a European Health Union and ensuring greater EU autonomy in terms of the accessibility of medicines and vaccines. Efforts towards Europe’s economic recovery will be continued, with particular attention to digitisation. We will also seek to strengthen the rule of law as a common European value and continue efforts towards the adoption of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. We will strive to speed up the progress of the Western Balkan countries on EU path.
State Secretary Dovžan, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe, presented its latest activities. The two state secretaries then went on to exchange views on the Union’s role as a stronger global player in transatlantic relations, EU relations with Africa, and the Southern Neighbourhood.