Prime Minister Janez Janša attends the NATO Summit and holds bilateral talks in Brussels
Prime Minister Janez Janša is today attending a NATO Summit in Brussels that will focus on the NATO 2030 process – a forward-looking agenda centred on adapting NATO to meet new challenges.
These challenges include relations with Russia, terrorism, cyber-attacks and breakthrough technologies, the rise of China and the security implications of climate change. The summit is also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Matej Tonin.
In a statement to the media upon his arrival at the NATO Summit, Prime Minister Janša said that this year Slovenia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence, which is something he feels would not have been possible without NATO’s victory in the Cold War. "Slovenia joined NATO because of shared fundamental values." These are, according to the Prime Minister, the core of the North Atlantic Alliance and should be borne in mind in the talks about its future. In the Prime Minister’s opinion, another important factor for the future of the Alliance is expansion. "If NATO does not expand, someone else will, and that will not contribute to global peace and stability." Talking about expansion means inviting all the democratic countries in the "neighbourhood" that would like to join the Alliance. Expansion also means inviting other partners, i.e. free and democratic countries that share fundamental values and wish to cooperate more closely with the Alliance.
Prime Minister Janša went on to emphasise that in order to achieve the fundamental objectives, we must support every joint effort aimed at ensuring the technological edge of the NATO countries, particularly in the field of military technology. "We must be at least one generation ahead." According to the Prime Minister, this is the only way we will be strong enough to reach the main goal – world peace.
He also stressed that the world and threats have changed over the last decades, and that China is a key challenge for NATO. "If we do not want the world to face a fatal new arms race or even a hot conflict in the coming decades, NATO must be aware of this and stay strong." This is the only way for NATO to be a partner that is taken seriously in the talks and is able to reach agreements that will maintain world peace. In addition, he highlighted that in the past Slovenia did not stand out in terms of financial contribution to the common budget, but that the trend has changed over the term of the present Government. The reason for this lies mainly in the act on long-term investments in the Slovenian Armed Forces; on the basis of these investments, Slovenia will significantly increase its defence capacities and become able to cooperate seriously with NATO partners. "We realise that the Alliance is something that works in both directions. If we expect others to increase their defence budgets, so that they can guarantee our security, then we too must do our part." "Slovenia will not be able to achieve the targets set by NATO in 2014. "In 2030, Slovenia will be a NATO member that can proudly say, 'we are pleased that you safeguard our security, but we too can contribute to the same degree to our common security,' " said the Prime Minister, concluding his statement to the media.
Prime Minister Janša also held bilateral talks in Brussels. On the margins of the NATO Summit, he first met with Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir to discuss the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and EU-Iceland relations. The following meeting was with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and was also primarily focused on presenting the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The talks also touched on EU-Norway relations. Prime Minister Janša will also meet with North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Brussels today to present the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council, particularly those relating to the Western Balkans.