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Prime-Minister Janez Janša: The European Union represents a wealth of good practices that can be expanded further in the future

Press conference of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša and the Vice President of the European Commission Margot Wallström

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Commission today convened at Brdo pri Kranju for the day-long meeting which is the traditional introduction to every EU Council Presidency. The meeting was dedicated in particular to getting acquainted with both Slovenia’s priority tasks during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the key challenges that await the European Union in the first half of this year, and to exchanges of views on other topical issues within the Union and outside it.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and current President of the Council of the European Union, Mr Janez Janša, said that the potential available to the European Union is immense and unique in the global context, adding, “The European Union represents a vast wealth of good practices that through reciprocal exchanges, transfers and upgrading can be further expanded and exploited in the future.” Slovenia, which took “Si.nergy” as its Presidency watchword will strive to bring about even more synergy between the cultures, generations and citizens of the European Union and between EU Member States and institutions.

Mr Janša held an initial meeting with Mrs Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, who was on this occasion standing in for the President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso, prevented from attending the meeting by illness.

Among the key tasks on the agenda of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency, the Prime Minister highlighted the procedure for the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon signed by the Member States at the end of the preceding year, as well as the preparations for its implementation. According to his statement, the crucial themes in this period would be fulfilling the obligations of the European energy and climate package and the launch of the second three-year cycle of the Lisbon strategy. Slovenia will pay special attention to the Western Balkan region. “In resolving the outstanding issues in this region we have to build on a unified position of the entire European Union and seek solutions that will stabilise the region in the long run,” emphasised Mr Janša.

The plenary discussions between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Commission held in the afternoon hours were devoted to aligning their position on the priorities of the European Union in the first half of 2008. Discussions between the ministers of the Slovenian Government and Members of the European Commission had been held beforehand in subject-specific working groups. After the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister with his ministerial team and the European Commissioners attended the Opening Event of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. In the opinion of Prime Minister Janez Janša, this Year represents a significant added value for both the Slovenian Presidency and the French Presidency in the second part of the year, and builds on what the European Union has achieved to date. It is an opportunity for the European Union to examine the shared values that shaped integration in the first place and on which we have built since then and to consider how, on the basis of these values, the EU can conduct dialogue with cultures in its immediate neighbourhood and in the wider global world.


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Date: 11.01.2008