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Minister Dr Logar at the Vilnius High-Level Forum on Resisting Authoritarianism

On 19 and 20 November 2021, the Foreign Minister, Anže Logar, attended the High-Level Forum on Resisting Authoritarianism – “The Future of Democracy” organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. High-level representatives ranging from political decision-makers and academics to human rights defenders and international organisations addressed the most current challenges in the debates related to the shrinking of the democratic space, the consolidation of authoritarianism and the path towards a democratic renaissance.

In his capacity as President of the Council of the EU, Minister Logar addressed the participants at the opening dinner hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis on Friday, 19 November 2021. In his address, he stressed the importance of the Forum as a platform for a more coordinated and effective (co-)participation of countries sharing common values such as respect, implementation and protection of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. In the context of authoritarian regimes, which pose a global threat to our common values, an effective multilateral response is of vital importance. The Minister underlined the challenges facing democracies around the world and condemned the Belarusian regime: “The European Union cannot and must not give in to blackmail.”

In the expert part of the Forum, Minister Logar participated in a thematic debate on the protection of free and fair elections around the world from authoritarian interference. He presented the sectoral national commitments, highlighting Slovenia’s active participation in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which, through its short-term and long-term observers, has been in charge of supervising elections in many countries around the world for three decades and thus makes a key contribution to ensuring free and fair elections. In this regard, he also pointed out the key assurances that we pursue the fair and effective conduct of all electoral tasks at a national level.

Minister Logar also outlined Slovenia’s commitment to the international community’s firm resolve to address the situation in countries where authoritarian regimes do not consider the results of voters’ will and their voting rights in an up-to-date and effective way. He expressed Slovenia’s unequivocal support for civil society and their efforts to put an end to unfair elections and electoral fraud, which do not reflect the will of the people. On the future fate of democracy, the Minister added: “We are aware of the challenges and it is up to us to act. I am optimistic that democratic forces will stick firmly together and that we will succeed.”

On the margins of the Forum, Minister Logar held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs. They discussed the situation in the region, in particular the situation on the Latvia-Belarus border and possible EU further action.

In addition, Minister Logar also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis. They discussed excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and the situation at the Lithuania-Belarus border, on which the Minister assured Slovenia’s full solidarity with Lithuania, stressing the importance of united action by the European Union.