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The 25th Consultation of Slovenian Diplomats on Slovenian EU Council Presidency

Today marks the launch of the 25th Consultation of Slovenian Diplomats at the Brdo Congress Centre, which is taking place one month before Slovenia takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In his introductory address, Foreign Minister Anže Logar, who is heading the two-day Consultation, assured the participating diplomats that Slovenia is well prepared for the Presidency. “The following months will be very challenging for all of us. The Presidency will be another test due to the limitations and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. However, we have the knowledge, experience and confidence to accomplish this task as successfully as we did in 2008,” explained Minister Logar.

He went on to outline the past visits in Slovenia and abroad, summarising the accomplishment of tasks set by the Slovenian foreign policy. Last year, Slovenian diplomacy enhanced its contacts with EU Member States, launched a strategic dialogue with the United States of America, took part in numerous regional initiatives, such as the Central 5, and strengthened its Mediterranean dimension. Minister Logar met with a number of his fellow foreign ministers from the EU, Japan, Ukraine, Turkey, the Russian Federation, and the Western Balkan countries, established regular dialogue with European commissioners, and participated in meetings with European Parliament representatives in his capacity as the High Representative for cooperation with the European Parliament.

Last year’s external activities focused on a regular dialogue with the neighbouring countries, with particular emphasis on the situation of the Slovenian minority, economic relations, and the development of infrastructure links. The dialogue between the three coastal states has been successfully launched on Slovenia’s initiative. “Slovenia will have to continue devoting particular attention to cooperation in the North Adriatic,” added Minister Logar.

On the first day of the Consultation, heads of Slovenian diplomatic missions and consular posts, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed the objectives of the EU Council Presidency and the legacy we would like to leave behind for our future generations. The Presidency’s achievements will be an important source of Slovenia’s foreign policy capital once the Presidency comes to an end.

The second panel focused on Slovenia’s role in international organisations. Small countries can more effectively assert their interests in international organisations, which is why Slovenia is striving towards effective multilateralism that can quickly respond to modern challenges. Slovenia has added new current topics, such as artificial intelligence, to the priorities in this area, and devoted particular attention to this year’s UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

On the first day of the Consultation, Slovenian President Borut Pahor addressed the participants and wished the diplomats every success with their work during the EU Council Presidency. The Consultation will continue tomorrow, with the participants discussing the post-pandemic future of the European Union and Europe and the opportunities and challenges for Slovenia and the EU in the Indo-Pacific region. The participants will also be addressed by Prime Minister Janez Janša.