Prime Minister Robert Golob at the European Council meeting
Prime Minister Robert Golob attended the European Council meeting in Brussels. The war in Ukraine, migration, security and defence, the economy and relations with China were the key topics of this summit.
Leaders unanimously committed to continued financial, economic, humanitarian, defence and diplomatic support to Ukraine. Regarding the country’s NATO membership, the Prime Minister pointed out that the most important precondition was lasting peace. "No one wants a long war, as instability spreads outwards. The main guideline is looking for opportunities for peace, when one arises. I believe we are slowly approaching a time when peace can be discussed again," said the Prime Minister in a statement to the media.
EU leaders also debated the provision of security guarantees for Ukraine with NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg. According to Prime Minister Golob, expanding the support scheme is not envisaged at this time. Instead, the focus is on finding ways to bring the existing schemes under one umbrella. "It is about finding a balance between EU and NATO measures," he said. Slovenia endorses continued support for defending the critical infrastructure of Ukraine and its reconstitution, and ensuring the country’s normal operation.
EU heads of state devoted the most attention to the issue of migration, specifically how the Union should face migration challenges in order to be successful and to manage migration flows more efficiently. While Slovenia advocates the principle of solidarity, the leaders agreed, according to the Prime Minister, that the primary focus should be on finding comprehensive joint solutions outside European borders, namely before migrants enter the EU. "The issue of migration must be tackled together and in solidarity, if the EU wants to be successful and manage to put an end to criminal, smuggling enterprises. We have a duty to help the Western Balkans, so I proposed at this EU summit that Frontex be more involved in the region," stressed the Prime Minister.
On the initiative of Slovenia, the European Council reiterated is full and unequivocal commitment to the European Union membership perspective of the Western Balkans and its support to the acceleration of the accession process and related reforms. The EU leaders condemned the recent violent incidents in the north of Kosovo and called for an immediate calming of the situation. The Slovenian Prime Minister emphasised that municipal elections in Kosovo should be repeated as soon as possible, but with the participation of Serbs. After the elections, he said, it would be the right time to establish a community of Serb municipalities. "I think this is a multi-stage process. If both sides approach this process with sincere intentions, this goal can be achieved," added Golob.
In the strategic discussion and the conclusions adopted, the European Council reaffirmed the multi-faceted strategic approach of the European Union towards China, in accordance with which China is simultaneously a partner for cooperation and negotiation, an economic competitor and a systemic rival. Although the European Union and China have different political and economic systems, constructive and stable relations are in the interests of both. "China is so important, also as an economic superpower, that we need to have an active dialogue with it. Slovenia will make every effort to strengthen this dialogue, both bilaterally and multilaterally, and to ensure that Europe also tries to find its position within this dialogue with China and that it tries to act as independently as possible," said the Prime Minister.
The European Council also took note of the progress made in strengthening Europe's competitiveness and productivity, with particular emphasis on deepening the Single Market, strengthening industrial policy and reducing strategic dependencies. In this context, Prime Minister Golob pointed out that the removal of barriers in the Single Market also includes the abolition of internal border controls. In order to accelerate the European Union's twin transition to a green and digital economy, the European Council called for legislative work to continue with the aim of completing the work on various proposals before the end of the current legislative cycle.