President Pahor on the official visit of the Estonian President: Slovenia and Estonia share a host of common outlooks for the future

Ljubljana, 2. 9. 2019 | press release

Today and tomorrow, President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor is hosting President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, whom the President invited to pay an official visit to the Republic of Slovenia. The visit signifies a further strengthening of the political dialogue and cooperation between Slovenia and Estonia at the highest level.

President Pahor on the official visit of the Estonian President: Slovenia and Estonia share a host of common outlooks for the future
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Following an official reception with military honours in Congress Square in Ljubljana, President Kaljulaid laid a wreath at the Monument to the Victims of All Wars and Victims Connected with Wars in Slovenia. Presidents Pahor and Kaljulaid then had a private meeting and exchanged state decorations. For contributions to the development of friendship ties between Slovenia and Estonia and deepening the full cooperation and links between the two countries, as well as for ensuring a secure European future under a common set of values, President Pahor awarded the President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, the Order for Exceptional Services, while the Estonian President conferred the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana collar on President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor.

This was followed by plenary talks between the official delegations of Slovenia and Estonia, headed by their respective Presidents.

President Pahor on the official visit of the Estonian President: Slovenia and Estonia share a host of common outlooks for the future
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

In their discussion, the Presidents affirmed the sincere and friendly relations between Slovenia and Estonia. Political dialogue at the highest level was markedly strengthened in particular during the period of the first Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017. President Pahor said that Slovenian-Estonian friendship could be viewed as a success story of two nations that are benevolent towards each other. In addition, Slovenia and Estonia share similar outlooks as regards the future of bilateral relations, the EU, NATO, and the development of the global community.

Presidents Pahor and Kaljulaid discussed the future of the European Union, agreeing that the EU should be strengthened to ensure external, internal, economic, and social security, while protecting the countries’ values as well as their European and national identities. The Presidents also highlighted the importance of economic and social convergence in the EU for its long-term stability and unity. They agreed that the digital transformation should be continued and that the single market should be enhanced to encourage job creation and sustainable, broad-based, and shared growth. Similar to Slovenia, Estonia supports the enlargement process, which will facilitate the well-being, stability, and security of Europe.

In relation to Brexit, the Presidents committed themselves to the unity of the European Union in the process of the UK’s withdrawal, stating that the EU should maintain constructive and inclusive cooperation with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after its withdrawal from the EU, while Brexit should not infringe on the acquired rights of citizen.

In relation to migration, the Presidents emphasised that complete control of the EU’s external borders and the efficient repatriation of illegal immigrants as well as the prevention of any type of abuse of the asylum system should be ensured. In the Presidents’ opinion, this is a prerequisite for a sustainable and functional migration policy based on regulated legal migration. According to President Pahor, Slovenia continued to support a comprehensive approach to addressing migration and related challenges, including strengthened cooperation with third countries, emphasising that special attention was devoted to cooperation with and support for the Western Balkan countries.

The Presidents also discussed climate change and committed themselves to implementing the Paris Agreement. Time was underlined as the fundamental factor in terms of achieving the goals of the Agreement. They agreed that we should act together to create credible, effective, and sustainable climate action.

President Kaljulaid thanked President Pahor for supporting Estonia’s non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2020 and 2021.

Presidents Pahor and Kaljulaid attended the opening of the 2019 Bled Strategic Forum and addressed the participants in a panel talk entitled Dialogue With Presidents, which addressed the future of the European Union.

Before the gala dinner organised by President Pahor at Vila Bled in honour of President Kaljulaid, both Presidents, being avid athletes, roller-skated at Lake Bled in a sign of friendship.

The next day, Presidents Pahor and Kaljulaid visited the College of Carpentry in Škofja Loka and unveiled a "smart" bench of friendship. The bench was handcrafted in the school year 2018-19 by the student Anže Fabijan in the context of the European Cultural Heritage Days, reflecting the motto "Where the past meets the future".

President Pahor on the official visit of the Estonian President: Slovenia and Estonia share a host of common outlooks for the future
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA