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President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, meets President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy

Brussels, Belgium, 8. 1. 2013 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today began his official visit to Brussels; in the morning, he first met with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, with whom he discussed measures aimed at overcoming the economic crisis, the functioning of EU institutions and the continuation of the process of enlargement of the European Union. The two presidents also touched upon the situation in the Western Balkans.

President Van Rompuy welcomed President Pahor as a friend, congratulated him on his election victory and emphasised that Slovenia must continue to implement its reforms; however, both agreed that the country also needs to consider social justice and to encourage social dialogue.
President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, meets President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy
Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA
In his statement to the press, President Pahor emphasised that it is no coincidence that he chose Brussels for his first official visit, and said that he intended to inform all discussion partners that Slovenia's ability to implement its reforms has changed for the better. He further stated that intensive discussions have been underway this week between parliamentary groups on a possible two-thirds' support for amendments to the Constitution referring to the referendum legislation, an issue which is extremely important for Slovenia and the European Union. President Pahor understands victory in the presidential elections as a support to the reforms and in particular as a support to the endeavours to achieve cooperation between the government and the opposition. He promised to make every effort to make this cooperation as genuine as possible.

Later in the discussion, President Pahor and President Van Rompuy exchanged views on measures of the European Council aimed at resolving the euro crisis, the global economic and the social crises, which calls for strong sensitivity toward justice and the rule of law. President Pahor stressed that the crisis has not only economic but also moral dimensions, and in such a situation the rule of law must be in place. They both agreed that the issues of justice and the rule of law are central issues that require the credibility of Slovenian and European institutions toward the citizens of Slovenia and the European Union.

President Pahor and President Van Rompuy also discussed the European Union perspective and considerations on the future of the European Union. President Pahor informed his counterpart that he will also discuss these issues with the members of the Parliament; however, he expects that no major considerations on the Convention on the Future of Europe will be developed before the elections. Nevertheless, sooner or later, the Convention must be subject to more comprehensive reflection.

President Pahor said that he supports the activities and work of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, who is gradually modifying the European Union acquis, including regarding banking regulation. 'I am a great defender of the European idea and an adherent to the idea of enhanced political cooperation, as I consider this to be the condition for peace, security and stability on the old continent.' He also added: 'The talks were very pleasant, amicable and very substantive, and I am very satisfied with them.'

In the afternoon, President Pahor will also meet the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, while tomorrow, he will have talks with the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherin Ashton.