Fourth trilateral meeting of presidents of Slovenia, Austria and Croatia in Salzburg

Salzburg, 18. 7. 2017 | press release

Today, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, attended the fourth trilateral meeting of presidents of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia in Salzburg. He was hosted by the President of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen.

During working discussions, the presidents paid a great deal of attention to the future of Europe according to the Rome Declaration adopted in March 2017 on the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties. The objectives of the Declaration in the next decade are: a safe European Union (EU), the EU of welfare and sustainable development, social EU, and a stronger EU in the world. The presidents discussed the EU in the light of the June European Council and the commencement of negotiations on the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.

President Pahor pointed out that Slovenia advocates close cooperation among all Member States within EU institutions and its legal framework. President Pahor also emphasised that the unity of the EU-27 is essential to Slovenia. Slovenia wishes to remain in the most closely connected part of the EU, and supports an EU that provides external and internal, and economic and social security.

The presidents also discussed the situation in the region of South-East Europe. In this context, they deliberated on how to continue the European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans, manage the impact of external actors in the region and to maintain the enlargement dynamics at the European level.

President Pahor also stated that Slovenia would remain dedicated to further integration of the EU and its community-like character. In this light, Slovenia strives to maintain the dynamics of the enlargement process for the countries of the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans: the speed of the enlargement process must respond to the efficiency of the reform process in the countries in the region. President Pahor reiterated that the enlargement process had to be a political, not technical and administrative, process. He added that the activities of Slovenia in the neighbouring region included professional assistance in reforms, a positive agenda for young people, an initiative of Slovenia to fight terrorism in the Western Balkans, and action in regional initiatives such as the Brdo-Brijuni Process and the Berlin Process.

The presidents established that all three countries had been facing similar challenges, and that they have a common responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the region. In this context, the presidents reiterated their support for enlargement and the European perspective for the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans.

They agreed to continue the dialogue on regional cooperation in the now traditional trilateral form, with the 2018 host being Slovenia.

At a press conference, all three presidents emphasised that they would strive to strengthen peace and stability in the region, and highlighted the importance of a dialogue which enables the countries in the region to resolve bilateral and regional issues.

In relation to the implementation of the judgment of the arbitral tribunal, President Pahor stated that it was not a matter of whether to implement it or not, but of when and how. “Slovenia expects a hint or a message from Croatia, on or off the record, that, in principle, the latter is willing to accept the enforcement of arbitration. Thus we could implement the decision of the arbitral tribunal through dialogue and in a peaceful way.”
The fourth trilateral meeting of presidents of Slovenia, Austria and Croatia in Salzburg
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA