President of the European Council Michel on continued EU support for Slovenia after the floods
At the invitation of the Prime Minister, Robert Golob, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, arrived in Slovenia to attend the Bled Strategic Forum. Before that, he and the Prime Minister visited some of the areas affected by the natural disaster in Kamnik. President Michel pledged continued support for Slovenia.
“The visit of the President of the European Commission was the first time a promise was made that Europe would not forget Slovenia. And today, three weeks later, the visit of President of the European Council Michel has confirmed that Europe has indeed not forgotten us,” the Prime Minister said in Kamnik. He added that Slovenia’s reconstruction would require help from the EU and other partners. “Today we are at a location where a bridge will be built in the coming weeks, and this will not be done by Slovenia itself but with the help of its international friends and partners,” Golob stressed.
Joint Slovenian Government and European Commission teams are already examining how Slovenia can effectively tap the funds from the EU Solidarity Fund. “The Government is also working on an application to draw loans from the Recovery and Resilience Plan. I hope all this, including cohesion funds, will be sufficient for Slovenia to recover after the floods,” emphasised the Prime Minister, explaining that Slovenia would also have to look for all possible sources for the reconstruction.
In Kamnik, President of the European Council Michel pledged continued support for Slovenia and praised the courage of citizens and the response of the Slovenian Government. He said that he was visiting Slovenia again to reaffirm the importance of solidarity.
He and the Prime Minister were unanimous on the need for more resources to be contributed to the Solidarity Fund. “If we are successful in addressing other Member States for these funds to be increased, I believe Slovenia can count on more substantial support from the Fund,” Golob said.
After viewing the aftermath of the devastation caused by the floodwaters in Kamnik, the leaders held a bilateral discussion in Bled. They exchanged views on a number of strategic issues in the EU. A key debate focused on how to provide more solidarity funding in the next financial framework and better adapt to climate change, as well as on support for the Western Balkan countries in their EU accession process.
Later, they hosted an informal dinner for the leaders of the Western Balkan countries, putting at the forefront the challenges of EU enlargement to the region.