In a videoconference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President Pahor asked the European Commission to facilitate the procedures for the public procurement of medical equipment, which is of extreme importance to Slovenia

Ljubljana, 18. 3. 2020 | press release

In a videoconference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President Pahor asked the European Commission to facilitate the procedures for the public procurement of medical equipment, which is of extreme importance to Slovenia.

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor planned a working visit with the leaders of the European Union institutions today. Due to travel restrictions, he spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles in a videoconference. He also spoke with European Parliament President David Sassoli over the phone.

At the beginning of his talk with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President Pahor called on the Commission to finalise the public procurement procedure for the purchase of medical equipment as quickly as possible. The European Commission President presented all the measures and said that the shortest deadline for tenders was six days, explaining there were difficulties on the supply side. The European Commission is investing a lot of effort.

The European Commission President and President Pahor and agreed on the assessment that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will slow down economic growth and that it is necessary to be prepared for such an eventuality. The European Commission President presented key measures regarding state aid and the Stability and Growth Pact that allow countries to take measures of their own in order to protect small and medium-sized enterprises in particular.

President Pahor and the European Commission President agreed that, even in these difficult times, it is important not to disregard other major issues, including illegal migration, negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework, climate future, digitalisation and EU enlargement. With regard to the latter, President Pahor acquainted European Commission President von der Leyen with the joint letter of the political leaders of the countries participating in the Brdo-Brijuni Process, in which they call on the European Council to set a date for the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania and for the resumption of negotiations with other candidate countries. The letter was signed by seven political leaders and President Pahor explained that Kosovo President Thaci had informed him that while he supported the call, he would not sign it because the other leaders decided to focus on North Macedonia and Albania, even though President Thaci insisted that visa liberalisation for Kosovo should also be added. President Pahor invited the European Commission President to take part in one of the future meetings of the initiative.

Earlier in the day, President Pahor spoke with High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles. High Representative Borrell provided President Pahor with more detailed information about the current EU measures in relation to the new coronavirus (COVID-19), in particular about the efforts to bring home citizens of EU Member States that are stranded in third countries.

Although this is one of the key tasks of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy under these circumstances, they also discussed the migration crisis, EU-Turkey relations and the situation in the Western Balkans. With regard to the developments on the Greek-Turkish border, High Representative Borrell and President Pahor agreed that Turkey was facing a great challenge and should be assisted – the European Union is in fact providing assistance on the basis of an agreement from 2016 – and that nothing can justify the use of migrants to exert pressure on the EU.

President Pahor acquainted High Representative Borrell with the joint letter of the political leaders of the countries participating in the Brdo-Brijuni Process in support of the enlargement into North Macedonia and Albania.

Today, President Pahor also spoke with European Parliament President David Sassoli over the phone. They exchanged views on combatting the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is fully engaging the competent authorities in both Ljubljana and Brussels. European Parliament President Sassoli told President Pahor that the next session of the European Parliament in Brussels would be almost fully dedicated to this topic. Both called for the as efficient and unified a response of EU Member States and the European Union as possible at the level of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

In a videoconference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President Pahor asked the European Commission to facilitate the procedures for the public procurement of medical equipment, which is of extreme importance to Slovenia
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

President Pahor spoke with High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA