Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Press Releases


Prosperity of the EU inextricably bound up with the sea, says Prime Minister Janez Janša

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, Janez Janša, today took part in the formal signature in Strasbourg of the Joint Tripartite Declaration establishing a ‘European Maritime Day’. In his address, the Prime Minister noted that the prosperity of the 27 European Union Member States was inextricably bound up with the sea, since 22 Member States – including Slovenia – have coasts and access to international waters. Some 90% of the European Union’s external trade and 40% of its internal trade goes by sea.

“The Joint Tripartite Declaration establishing a ‘European Maritime Day' is even more important for Slovenia on account of the fact that Slovenia lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea – a sea which is partially closed or confined and which has certain specific ecological problems. On this point specifically, I therefore see the possibility for Slovenia to take a leading role as a European Union Member State that has placed the balance between economic development and the environment high among its priorities,” said the Premier, going on to add that Slovenia had been striving throughout for the ecological protection of the Adriatic Sea and, hence, the entire Mediterranean.

According to the PM, globalisation and climate change bring new challenges for the maritime sector too, such as pollution, the alarming rate at which sea levels are rising, the depletion of maritime food sources and coastal erosion. The Prime Minister stressed that the sea was not only a mirror image of existing problems but also a treasure chest of solutions to deal more effectively with our current problems. The sea is a vehicle of technological innovation, a space for energy-efficient transport and a key factor in climate regulation and the diversification of energy sources. “This is why I am sure that the integrated maritime policy adopted by the European Commission in October 2007 represents an important milestone on our path to sustainable management of seas and oceans,” said the Premier.

Mr Janša took the opportunity to say that he was pleased that the integrated maritime policy coincided with the three principal guidelines of the Slovenian Presidency. It is a reflection of the parameters of the new cycle of the Lisbon Strategy launched at the March European Council, striving for a better balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of European maritime affairs.  It also embodies the Slovenian EU Presidency’s call for ‘synergy for Europe’. The Prime Minister’s considered combined action much more successful than all the Member States’ individual activities put together. In his opinion, the new integrated maritime policy is also a reflection of the recognition that concern about the seas and oceans is not just a European but also a world challenge. He further noted that the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean University, to be opened on 9 June 2008 in the Slovenian coastal town of Piran, would constitute a tangible contribution by the Slovenian EU Presidency towards the joint responsibility for the seas that we share with our neighbourhood, especially for the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

The Slovenian Prime Minister and President of the European Council, Janez Janša, stressed that today’s signing of the Joint Tripartite Declaration establishing a ‘European Maritime Day’ also commemorated the European maritime tradition. He also recalled that the first great maritime explorations that had changed the world had set sail from European ports. He added, in this connection, that all the great seafarers had had something in common – a recognition, which between then and now had become all the more important, that the “key to progress lies in two things: in establishing alliances and in the continuing quest for new possibilities and opportunities”.

The ceremony - in which the President of the European Parliament, Mr Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso, also participated - was held alongside the European Parliament’s May plenary part-session.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 23.05.2008