Presenting the Slovenian Presidency’s foreign affairs priorities to the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Minister AnÅ¾e Logar was questioned by MEPs on an unofficial document on the redistribution of the borders of the Western Balkans, the situation in North Macedonia and Albania, and the recent statements by Prime Minister Janez JanÅ¡a on Iran and media freedom.
EPP MEP Michael Gahler addressed the issue of the âtwo infamous non-papersâ on the redistribution of borders in the Western Balkans. He specifically mentioned Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo and asked Logar if he could reiterate that the Slovenian government was not the source and that he did not agree with the content of these documents. officials.
Logar responded by saying that the EU Council maintains its unequivocal commitment to the European perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, united and sovereign country.
S&D and Renew MPs raised concerns over recent statements by JanÅ¡a in favor of an investigation into a 1988 massacre in Iran.
S&D MEP Isabel Santos asked Logar about Slovenia’s position on the negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal. The EU has been determined in its efforts to enforce the 2015 agreement, and JanÅ¡a’s statements have been criticized for what critics see as undermining those efforts.
Logar stressed that Slovenia does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, but will always defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. He pointed to the explanations of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday, saying that JanÅ¡a’s statements were made in his capacity as Slovenian prime minister.
Even if a country is the head of the EU Council, it can still have its own foreign policy, Logar said, noting that Slovenia’s foreign policy was based on the defense of human rights.
Renew MEP Nathalie Loiseau expressed her perplexity and concern during the presentation of Defense Minister Matej Tonin’s refusal of his invitation to attend a session of the European Parliament’s sub-committee on security and defense. She finds her argument that defense is a national competence an unusual and surprising position for the country that presides over the EU.
She also highlighted an upcoming interparliamentary conference in Ljubljana, saying EU representatives were struggling to ensure their participation. It is becoming a serious problem, she said.
Non-attached MEP Marton GyÃ¶ngyÃ¶si and S&D MEP Thijs Reuten raised issues of media freedom, judicial independence and the rule of law in Slovenia, saying the worsening situation undermined the credibility of Slovenia’s efforts in the Western Balkans. In response, Logar said the recent rule of law report paints a different picture of Slovenia.
Many questions from MEPs, including that of Slovenian MEP Milan Zver (EPP / SDS), focused on the importance of ensuring progress in the Western Balkans, especially when it comes to unblocking the start of negotiations on accession with North Macedonia and Albania.
Logar said that after the elections in Bulgaria there was a very low chance of lifting Bulgaria’s veto on the negotiations, but the former would have to wait for the outcome of the elections. The Slovenian Presidency will then do its best to find a solution, he added.