Tanja Fajon: " I wish for the EU of 2030 to be larger, stronger and more globally engaged"
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon attended the Berlin ministerial conference "A larger, stronger Union", hosted by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. The discussions focused on how the EU and its future members can best prepare for enlargement, which has become a necessity in the new geopolitical reality.
In her opening remarks at the panel discussion, Minister Fajon expressed Slovenia's support for EU enlargement, which can strengthen the EU's political and economic clout in the world. According to her, the new geopolitical reality has given renewed momentum to enlargement, which has become a geostrategic priority: "We need to seize this political moment to build a stronger and more united Europe by the end of the decade". In her view, the Bled Commitment offers an opportunity to think differently - "for the EU to show its commitment to enlargement and for the candidate countries to do their job. Enlargement is a strategic commitment".
As one of the possible steps to speed up the enlargement process, the Minister highlighted the accelerated or gradual integration of candidate countries into EU policies and the European Single Market. She stressed that the impact should be quickly visible and tangible. "I support giving the candidate countries observer status in the Foreign Affairs Council or in the European Parliament. EU enlargement needs to be made more concrete for the citizens in candidate countries", added the Minister.
She also presented her vision of an enlarged EU beyond 2030, a Union that is more engaged in the world, particularly in tackling global challenges such as climate change, irregular migration and terrorism, while at the same time seeking to strengthen European sovereignty and secure supply chains. "I wish for the EU of 2030 to be larger, stronger and more globally engaged", she stressed.
Enlargement and deepening of the EU must go hand in hand, the Minister concluded. As part of the EU's internal adjustments, a thorough examination is required of the impact of enlargement on certain EU policies and their financing, and on the EU's institutional set-up, including the strengthening of mechanisms to safeguard the rule of law.
In addition to Minister Tanja Fajon, the discussion, hosted by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, also featured Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and North Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, and acted as a follow-up to informal meetings of the General Affairs Council and the European Council organised by the Spanish EU Council Presidency. Moreover, the discussion is important in the context of the preparations for the December meeting of European heads of state and government.
On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Tanja Fajon will also hold a bilateral meeting with North Macedonian Foreign Minister, Bujar Osmani.