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Director-General for EU Affairs presents Slovenia’s priorities at the Trio meeting

Director-General for European Affairs Barbara Sušnik participated in a videoconference meeting of the EU Council Presidency Trio of Slovenia, Germany and Portugal, presenting the priorities Slovenia will pursue during its Presidency.

computer shot during conference

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

Director-General Rui Vinhas from Portugal outlined the achievements and progress made in EU legislation, particularly in the most important dossiers defined by the three countries in the 18-month programme at the beginning of the joint presidency, including economic and social post-pandemic recovery, green and digital transition, migration management, and the rule of law. The Directors-General also discussed the organisation of the Conference on the Future of Europe that was officially launched on 9 May 2021. The Conference’s first plenary session is scheduled for 19 June 2021 in Strasbourg, while the first of a series of round table events with citizens will take place in Lisbon. According to the timetable, most of the discussions around Europe will take place in the autumn, when Slovenia will be able to co-shape the Conference.

Although the situation in Europe is improving, the Member States continue to pursue a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Directors-General underlined the importance of a rapid agreement and the beginning of the use of the digital certificate that will ease the restrictions before the summer, thus facilitating travel, benefiting numerous economic sectors, and paving the way for a gradual resumption of normal life.

Director-General Sušnik presented the priorities before Slovenia assumes the Presidency, its main task being to strengthen the Union’s resilience to potential pandemics and other health threats European citizens may face in the future. Increased digitalisation combined with the uncertainty thrown up by the pandemic have pointed to the need to strengthen resilience to large-scale cyberattacks. Slovenia will strive towards enhancing the strategic autonomy of the EU and reducing the dependence on external actors. 

Post-pandemic economic recovery will be the main task of the EU in the future. As Slovenia takes over the EU Council Presidency, it will advocate for effective implementation of the Next Generation EU instrument and the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, one of its first tasks being to ensure the rapid adoption of national recovery and resilience plans in the Council. Green transition and digital transformation will also play a key role. Most of the events within the Conference on the Future of Europe will take place during the Slovenian Presidency, whereby Slovenia will ensure the appropriate contribution of the EU Council or Member States to the discussion.

During the Presidency, Slovenia will lead debates aimed at strengthening the rule of law as a common European value and strive to preserve the European way of life. Special attention will be devoted to the Western Balkans, especially to continuing the EU enlargement process and enhancing the European perspective of the region. To this end, a meeting of EU and Western Balkans heads of state will be held on 6 October 2021 in Slovenia.