President Pahor in Brussels: Slovenia is part of the Western world in every sense and shares its troubles and opportunities

Brussels, 20. 2. 2019 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is today and tomorrow paying a visit to Brussels, where he has already met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. In the afternoon he will meet with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

President Pahor discussed with high EU representatives the current issues important for Slovenia’s active role in the EU and contribution to the strengthening of European cooperation before and after the approaching European elections.

This morning President Pahor first met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. In light of the recent statements by Mr Tajani in Bazovica, Mr Pahor took the opportunity to give him a copy of the Report of the Slovenian–Italian Historical and Cultural Commission on Slovenian–Italian relations in 1880–1956. Mr Pahor proposed that, following the example of Germany and France, a Slovenian–Italian historical textbook be produced on the basis of the joint historical commission’s report which would be used in the schools of both countries. He called on Mr Tajani to accept and respect the findings of the joint historical commission, so that the values that connect us will prevail in our bilateral and European relations and our children will inherit from us a peaceful, safe and common European home. Mr Tajani undertook to give the report his attention.

President Pahor in Brussels - with Tajani
Photo: Uprs

President Pahor next met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to discuss current international issues with a focus on the situation in the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans. They also exchanged views on the current situation in Venezuela and agreed that the decision to recognise Guaido as interim president of Venezuela until the call for early and fair elections was the best of several bad options, but that there must be no threats of the use of armed force in this transitional process. Dialogue and peaceful solutions must prevail. Mr Pahor extended to Ms Mogherini an invitation to the Brdo–Brijuni Process Summit in Tirana. He emphasised that original solutions need to be sought in addressing the open issues of the Western Balkans but that they should not be based on the principle of ethnicity.

President Pahor in Brussels - with Mogherini
Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA

In the afternoon, the President of the Republic of Slovenia and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, Borut Pahor, visited the NATO Headquarters. He recalled that last year he was the first Slovenian President to visit the NATO Headquarters and highlighted his belief that it is important to continue this tradition. He considered this visit particularly important also in a symbolic sense, as this year marks the 15th anniversary of Slovenia joining the EU and NATO. President Pahor and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed current topics on the NATO agenda and other security and political issues important for both Slovenia and NATO. Mr Pahor stated that a unified NATO alliance and a strong EU constitute the fundamental framework of Slovenian national security and foreign policy. The two leaders assessed that the 15th anniversary of NATO membership was an excellent opportunity to remember the positive role of the alliance. Mr Pahor emphasised that in the spirit of peace, security and prosperity Slovenia will continue in this vein to contribute to a safer, freer and more just world. Mr Stoltenberg highlighted the important role of Slovenia in the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans, while Mr Pahor, as Co-Chair of the Brdo–Brijuni Process, presented the plans related to its Summit to be held in Tirana in May. The President and Secretary-General exchanged their impressions of the recent Security Conference in Munich and agreed that the world could be assessed as less safe and that it is therefore even more important to be able to rely on one another.

President Pahor in Brussels - with Stoltenberg
Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA

In the late afternoon President Pahor will meet with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. They plan to exchange views on the future of the EU in light of the approaching European elections, on the European perspective of the Western Balkans, and on other current European and global topics, such as climate change, security and migration. President Pahor will also highlight the importance of the Three Seas Initiative. This initiative is aimed at strengthening European integration along the north–south axis, which could contribute to an increase in foreign investments and to strategically important and financially demanding infrastructural projects. Mr Pahor will present to Mr Junker the progress in the preparations for the fourth presidential meeting within the Three Seas Initiative, to be hosted by Slovenia in the beginning of June, and the most important substantive and organisational aspects thereof.

Tomorrow morning President Pahor will meet with the Slovenian members of the European Parliament and conclude his visit to Brussels by meeting with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.