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Prime Minister Janez Janša: We firmly support the Greek initiative for the introduction of a green certificate

After having participated today at the 6th Delphi Economic Forum, where he introduced the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU and also talked of some current issues, Prime Minister Janez Janša met with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis. After the meeting, the press releases of both prime ministers followed.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša first emphasised that the ties between Slovenia and Greece go way back in history, yet the annals of history show that the states were always on good terms. “I am pleased to be able to speak of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency today. We also share common approaches regarding the main challenges the EU member states are facing today” emphasised the Prime Minister.

He congratulated his Greek counterpart for having dealt with the COVID-19 situation Greece was faced with in such a brave and efficient manner. “The Greek measures also taught us a lesson” said Prime Minister Janez Janša. He added: “We firmly support your initiative for the introduction of a green certificate which will enable free movement between the EU Member States even before this battle against the pandemic is won. I believe that, given all the suffering they have had to endure during the pandemic, the citizens of the EU deserve this and it is our duty to make this available to them as soon as possible”, said the Slovenian Prime Minister.

He emphasised that he and his Greek counterpart had also talked of the European perspective of the Western Balkans. “I myself got involved in the enlargement process after the meeting in Thessaloniki in 2003, when a historic decision was adopted to allow the states of the Western Balkans to become members of the EU once they meet the conditions. Implementing the reforms and the European standard is what motivates all these states, and we need to keep them motivated, because along the way, a certain lack of motivation can be seen”, said the Prime Minister and added that they have to ensure the European perspective for the Western Balkans is realised.

“In the last 15 years, the European Union has faced different crises – we have had economic and financial crises, and a migration crisis, followed by Brexit and the pandemic. Now, however, is the time to recover and to focus on strategic issues which are of key importance for the future of Europe”, said the Prime Minister, adding that further enlargement is the first of the list of priorities. “The reason for the enlargement is that we need to fulfil our dreams of a free Europe, which is completely at peace with itself. This goal can only be achieved with all European countries becoming part of the European Union, and it is our strong desire for this goal to be realised”, the Prime Minister stated. He added that this is also why the Western Balkans is one of the priorities of our presidency and why we are planning an informal summit between the EU states and the states of the Western Balkans in October. In this regard, the Slovenian Primer Minister also thanked his Greek counterpart for constructive ideas on how to make the European perspective for these countries an attainable goal, and to make this wish come true sooner than anticipated a year ago. “Undoubtedly, we still have a long way to go and some homework to do, both the Western Balkans and the EU. However, we will strive to meet the goals set back in 2003”, said Prime Minister Janez Janša.

He also spoke of the situation in Cyprus. “This does not concern Greece alone but Europe as a whole. To solve these issues, we need a two-tier approach and the issues will only be resolved when Europe starts acting as a family. We need to stand united behind our Greek and Cypriot counterparts and this is also how we are going to act in line with the European Council decisions”, declared the Slovenian Prime Minister.

Concluding, he expressed gratitude for the support Greece has shown and for enabling Slovenia to become part of the MED7 Group or Mediterranean countries. According to Prime Minister Janez Janša, this support is highly appreciated. “We are prepared to assume our share of responsibility for ecology- and security-related issues in the Mediterranean”, he said.

“Slovenia is celebrating 30 years, while Greece is celebrating 200 years of independence, and we both see that the time when a country gained its independence is sacred in a nation’s history, and that it has to be celebrated and remembered”, said the Prime Minister, adding that the differences among nations only make us richer, and whether Slovenian, Greek, German or French, we are nevertheless all Europeans.

At the end of his visit to Greece, Prime Minister Janez Janša met with the vice-president of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, who is responsible for upholding the European way of life. They talked of the imminent Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber security, migration pact and European way of life.

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