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Minister Fajon and Luxembourg Foreign Minister Asselborn on enhancing cooperation between countries of core Europe

Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon hosted the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn. Their talks focused on enhancing the excellent and friendly relations between the two countries, strengthening cooperation between the core countries of the EU, enlargement to the Western Balkan countries and the European perspective of Ukraine.

The ministers agreed that Slovenia and Luxembourg share similar views on the functioning of the European Union, which is an excellent basis for future enhanced cooperation between the two countries. They pledged to strengthening relations between Slovenia and Luxembourg at the bilateral, European and multilateral levels. They went on to underline the importance of respecting the fundamental European values for a successful development of European policies and the need to work towards a secure and strong Union that works for the benefit of its citizens. Slovenia and Luxembourg are at the heart of like-minded countries on issues related to the rule of law and also share their views on tackling global challenges and international crises. Both are strong advocates of effective multilateralism.

The two ministers committed themselves to working towards the strengthening of economic relations between their respective countries, especially in the field of foreign trade. Luxembourg is an important economic partner for Slovenia, occupying second place among foreign investors in the Slovenian economy for several years in a row.

The ministers also devoted particular attention to the exchange of views on the efforts of the EU and NATO to put an end to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as soon as possible. The ministers stressed that Ukraine is a sovereign state with internationally recognised borders and is free to choose security arrangements and enter into alliances. They expressed support for the implementation of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation, and advocated the provision of further assistance to Ukraine in all forms, called for an end to military conflicts and stressed the need to strain every sinew to bring about a ceasefire as soon as possible. They also discussed the consequences of the war, especially as regards the energy and food crisis. As to the latter, Slovenia and Luxembourg support the adoption of appropriate measures within the European Union.

The ministers gave up much of the talks to the EU enlargement policy. They assessed that the continuation of the European enlargement policy towards the Western Balkan countries is the best guarantee for the security, stability and progress of the region. They concluded that it is imperative for the EU to deliver on its commitments made to the Western Balkan countries and take positive decisions when they make progress towards EU membership. Both countries also strongly support the European perspective for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, stressing the fulfilment of criteria and conditions that must not be overlooked.

The ministers are in agreement on the need for the EU to make progress in dealing with migration issues. They support the effective functioning of the Schengen Area. At the press conference, Minister Fajon said: “We both wish to restore the freedom of movement in the Schengen Area and lift the occasional internal controls that Slovenia also has with Austria and other countries. Efforts are currently underway to establish clear and transparent rules within the Schengen Area. Slovenia has an ally in Luxembourg and we are striving to do all that we can to lift internal controls within the Schengen Area as soon as possible. I think Luxembourg understands best the symbolic meaning of Schengen.”