President Pahor attends the 25th Annual Consultations of Slovenian Diplomats on the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council and our Common European Future
Brdo pri Kranju, 31. 5. 2021 | press release, speech
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today addressed ambassadors of the Republic of Slovenia and high representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia participating at the 25th regular annual consultation of Slovenian diplomats. As President Pahor pointed out at the start of his address, this was his eleventh address at this conference and ninth in the capacity of President.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia thanked the participants for their dedicated and professional work for the benefit and interests of our country and in his address particularly highlighted the importance of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the debate on the future of Europe and the challenges faced by the EU.
The President reminded the participants at the consultation that the Member States expect the best from the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Given our reputation, we are expected go all out and do our job with excellence,” he said, urging that we should all try our best to show our commitment and ambition, regardless of differences between us. “I will strive for us to seize the opportunity we have – to lead the EU Council at a time when COVID-19 is fading away and the traditional lively and diplomatic political activity is returning – with maturity, cooperation and responsibility,” said President Pahor.
Regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe, the President emphasised that we must not miss the opportunity to dream about our future while finding pragmatic solutions for the EU. As he said, every community needs dreams about its future, so we need to include in the discussion and encourage especially those who want to reflect on the common future but should not be limited by the short time of the conference and the desire for maximum pragmatism and efficiency. “The conference will be an opportunity to remember the importance of the fundamental values on which the EU has been built: respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of expression and the media. All these values are enshrined in our constitution and in the international acts to which our country has acceded in the last, glorious 30 years. At the same time, we emphasise new, groundbreaking values related to sustainable policy, especially regarding climate change and digitalisation,” added President Pahor.
He went on to emphasise that Slovenia is committed to a common, strategic vision of Europe – a Europe that is integrated, free and connected and a Europe in which we can all live in peace. “It is the responsibility of the leaders of this generation to first and foremost ensure peace and security for our children and their children, so they can develop their talents following their personal dreams,” he said. He emphasised that our debate on the future should be inclusive and that it must also inspire young people with a passion for Europe.
The President also touched upon the importance and advantages of strengthening good bilateral relations with individual countries, especially with neighbours, and multilateralism, which he considers very important for small countries. He proposed that the guiding principle in Slovenia’s integration in interest groups should be to contribute to the strengthening of the EU and not to its separation.
President Pahor then held an open discussion with the ambassadors on their views on key foreign policy issues and challenges of the Republic of Slovenia in the international environment.