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Consultations of directors-general for European affairs of Slovenia and Finland

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Director-General for European Affairs Barbara Sušnik held bilateral consultations with Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-Villeneuve, Director-General at the Department for Europe at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs via videoconference today. They exchanged views on current bilateral European and international topics.

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Barbara Sušnik, Director-General for European Affairs | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

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The directors-general expressed satisfaction with the excellent Slovenia-Finland political and economic relations, which is also reflected in regular meetings at the highest level, such as the working meeting by Foreign Minister Anže Logar to Finland in January 2021. 

The talks focused on the current European topics. Director-General Sušnik briefed her Finnish colleague on the preparations and key priorities of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency in 2021, highlighting the strengthening of the Union’s resilience to various crises, its economic revival, the annual rule of law dialogue and the continuation of EU enlargement with special emphasis on the Western Balkans.

The directors-general also discussed the Conference on the Future of Europe. Slovenia will have a special role in its implementation as the country holding the EU Council Presidency and as a member of the Presidency of the Conference. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, citizens must have sufficient time and opportunity for debate as only then will the proper democratic legitimacy of the whole process be guaranteed. Directors-general Sušnik and Vierros-Villeneuve agreed that solidarity and common European solutions are of vital importance in tackling the health crisis and its consequences and expressed support to the Digital Green Certificate.

Directors-general Sušnik and Vierros-Villeneuve are convinced that the timely implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism is crucial for successfully overcoming the economic, social, and fiscal consequences of the epidemic. They shared information on current developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in Slovenia and Finland, agreeing that the latest data on infections in both countries are quite encouraging.

The directors-general also exchanged views on other current European topics, such as the green renovation and digital transition, and reaching agreement on the proposal for a Migration and Asylum Pact, focusing on the external dimension of migration.

They also discussed international topics, such as the current developments in Belarus, which were debated at yesterday's European Council meeting, and EU measures and sanctions against the country. Directors-general Sušnik and Vierros-Villeneuve also touched on transatlantic relations and climate change.

The Finnish side backed the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency, expressing its readiness to cooperate on topics of common interest. The Slovenian EU Council Presidency will be an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the dialogue between the two countries.