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Minister Logar attends Permanent Slovenia-Bavaria Mixed Commission meeting in Bavaria

Foreign Minister Anže Logar visited Munich today, where he met with Bavarian Minister for European and International Affairs Melanie Huml. They discussed the activities for enhancing political and economic relations between Slovenia and Bavaria in the light of the upcoming Slovenian EU Council Presidency.

The Ministers welcomed the traditional friendly relations between Slovenia and Bavaria dating back to the period before Slovenian independence. The institutionalised cooperation within the Permanent Slovenia-Bavaria Mixed Commission has been ongoing for more than 45 years. Bavaria ranks the third most economically important German state with a trade volume of 2 billion euros. Minister Logar expressed a keen interest in strengthening economic cooperation, in particular in the automotive industry.

The Ministers also exchanged views on current European issues. The discussion focused on the challenges of Slovenia’s EU Council Presidency related to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strengthening of the EU’s resilience to crises and the recovery of the European economy.

Minister Logar briefed his colleague on the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. During this period, Slovenia will pay special attention to the pandemic and to addressing various types of crisis more effectively. A special emphasis will also be put on building a European Health Union, ensuring greater autonomy of the Union with regard to the accessibility of medicines and vaccines, and actions in the field of cybersecurity.

The Ministers assessed the situation in the field of migration and exchanged views on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. Minister Logar stressed the need to pay more attention to the Western Balkan region from both a strategic and geopolitical perspective.

The Ministers went on to attend the final part of the 32nd session of the Permanent Slovenia-Bavaria Mixed Commission, which was held in Munich on 21 and 22 June 2021. The meeting agreed a number of projects with a mutual interest in cooperation between Slovenia and Bavaria in the fields of the economy, housing, construction and transport, administration, firefighting, police and justice, education, culture and science, agriculture, forestry, food and the environment.

They noted in particular a new Slovenian language project at the University of Regensburg and the importance of language learning as a key to intercultural understanding, as well as establishing cooperation in the field of paediatric heart surgery.

The Ministers signed a joint statement on strengthening cooperation between Slovenia and Bavaria and agreed to hold regular meetings at each meeting of the Commission. They agreed that Slovenia and Bavaria still have considerable opportunities to deepen their cooperation, especially as they are both active in the Danube and Alpine regions.

On his visit to Munich, Minister Logar gave a particular emphasis to economic diplomacy and visited the BMW Group. Numerous Slovenian suppliers cooperate with the Group and the collaboration accounts for 20% of Slovenia’s trade with Bavaria.  As part of the cultural programme, he visited the Bavarian State Library and took a look at the oldest written records in Slovene – the Freising manuscripts. At a reception to commemorate Slovenian Statehood Day, he addressed the Bavarian community and Slovenes living there and thanked them for their contribution to strengthening relations between Slovenia and Bavaria.