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Prime Minister Janez Janša outlines spring European Council highlights at conference of parliamentary foreign affairs committee chairpersons

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and current President of the European Council, Mr Janez Janša, today outlined the highlights of the spring European Council meeting and the Slovenian Presidency's further plans in his address at the two-day Conference of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairpersons of the parliaments of the Member States, candidate countries and the European Parliament, which opened today in Ljubljana.

Among the European Council's achievements, the Slovenian Prime Minister pinpointed the adoption of a timetable for the adoption of legislation on the energy and climate change package and the launch of the new cycle of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. He also stressed the importance of the external dimension of current European discussions, which are the basis for a pro-active EU policy on globalisation. In this context, centre stage is taken by the promotion of an open global economy and the European Union's leading role in shaping a new, comprehensive global approach to combating climate change.

In the discussion following the Prime Minister's address, most of the questions raised by the chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees were on the Western Balkans. The Slovenian Premier and current President of the European Council, Mr Janša, stressed in this connection that all the decisions on Kosovo that had been coordinated at European Union level had been adopted on the basis of unity. Regarding the tensions between a section of the Kosovo Serbs and the representatives of international institutions, it has to be borne in mind that protection of the minorities in Kosovo – first and foremost, the Serb minority – is indeed the main mission of these institutions. Mr Janša highlighted the European perspective as the main issue of choice in the early elections in Serbia, and reiterated that the European Union had, on several occasions, expressed its willingness to take a step forward as soon as Serbia also wished to do so.


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Date: 18.03.2008