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Prime Minister Golob at the European Parliament: Forward, Europe!

Today, Prime Minister, Dr Robert Golob, addressed the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Within the framework of the "This is Europe" debate, the Prime Minister participated at the plenary session of the Parliament and focused on three key fields in his speech, i.e. the energy crisis and green transition, the importance of the rule of law and the geostrategic action of the EU.

He called on more decisive measures to limit natural gas prices and underlined that the momentum resulting from today’s decision of the EU Council must be utilised regarding the candidate status of Bosnia and Herzegovina for EU membership.

In his speech, the Prime Minister initially highlighted that Europe is being tested with regard to addressing the historical challenges that it faces in the period following the COVID-19 epidemic and at a time of Russian aggression against Ukraine. "In addition to all other implications, this aggression also has tremendous consequences for us, all citizens of the European Union, and the economy." According to Dr Golob, a joint European response is imperative. 

The energy crisis and the related Russian aggression against Ukraine affect European citizens and the Member States’ economies. The Prime Minister emphasised that more had to be done regarding the curbing of gas prices and that this week was crucial for achievement of the agreement. "Speculators reaping the benefits of the market must receive a clear message that we will not allow them to destroy our competitiveness for their profits," he added. 

The Prime Minister believed that the energy crisis provides a good opportunity for a faster transition to renewable energy sources. A green transition was, according to Dr Golob, the only path towards energy independence, reduced climate change impact and lower energy prices. In particular, he highlighted the importance of changed dietary habits and healthy food. The current food system is utterly unsustainable for our future. "We must build on raising awareness and, above all, enable access to healthier food," urged the Prime Minister. 

Relating to the rule of law, Dr Golob stressed that "the rule of law is not something negotiable, but something to be exercised." He particularly mentioned the fight against hate speech and asked the Members of the Parliament to seek new ways of dealing with this phenomenon. The Prime Minister said that it was necessary that we all do more together with regard to hate speech. 

In connection with the rule of law, he highlighted the role and courage of Iranian women who protest non-violently against the violation of human rights. Dr Golob asked the Members of the Parliament to be vocal and support these women in their efforts. 

In the last part of his speech, the Prime Minister focused on the geostrategic action of the EU. He commended the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova this June, "The enlargement process is a tool of which Slovenia is greatly aware, as we are a relatively new member. I distinctly remember the hope for a better future that the enlargement process gave us. So, I understand what hope we have given to the citizens of Ukraine and Moldova." He advocated that the same approach be adopted for the countries of the Western Balkans, in particular, Bosnia and Herzegovina, "We must work on convincing our fellow citizens in the Western Balkans that their place is in the EU. Slovenia is a proud member of the European family, and we are very pleased that we will be able to build our future together with the rest of Europe!" The Prime Minister was certain that the membership of the Western Balkan countries was the only path to lead towards peace and prosperity for all European citizens. 

Prime Minister Golob ended his speech before the Members of the European Parliament with three key commitments, i.e. comprehensive implementation of the rule of law, full support to the people of Ukraine and the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. Forward, Europe!