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Minister Fajon at the EU General Affairs Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the future of Europe

Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon attended the EU General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. Ministers prepared the agenda for the next European Council on 23–24 June 2022, when EU leaders will discuss the situation in Ukraine, the economic situation and the next steps for the Conference on the Future of Europe, and hold a strategic debate on the EU's relations with its partners in Europe.

Minister Fajon devoted particular attention to the situation in Ukraine and the strategic debate on the EU's relations with its partners in Europe. With regard to Ukraine, she stressed the need for further coordination and a united EU response to the Russian aggression. She supported the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and reiterated Slovenia's initiative to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina under similar conditions, on the understanding that it would have to fulfil all the necessary conditions before accession negotiations could be opened. This would be a clear political signal of support and commitment to the enlargement perspective of the Western Balkans.  "Now is a historic moment as we are deciding on the candidate status and European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, while at the same time we must not forget the Western Balkans. This is key to preserving the credibility of the Union," said Ms Fajon.

In the debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe, she indicated her support in principle for the process and welcomed the Conference's proposals. "The EU institutions need to respond adequately to the citizens’ efforts and determination to have a say in tackling the challenges facing the EU. The existing Treaties offer many opportunities to deliver on these proposals, and it is important that we exploit this potential. But if the more ambitious proposals put forward could make a real contribution to a better functioning and more efficient Union, we are of course open to discussing all the options available," said the Minister on the debate on the future of Europe.

The country-specific recommendations for 2022 and 2023 given in the framework of the European Semester are appropriate for the current situation. Minister Fajon confirmed the Slovenian Government's intention to step up its efforts to implement the proposed measures, in particular in the areas of public finances, implementation of the agreed reforms and investments under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, cohesion policy and energy.

The General Affairs Council also held an orientation debate on the proposal for a regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising.  Slovenia welcomes the proposal for a regulation and supports the French Presidency in its efforts to reach a compromise on this important and complex issue. It acknowledges the importance of adopting this regulation within the deadlines foreseen, so that the changes can be implemented in time for the next European elections.