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President Pahor at the meeting of the Arraiolos Group in Valletta: EU unity in dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine must be maintained and enhanced

Valletta, 6. 10. 2022 | press release

At the invitation of the host and President of the Republic of Malta, Dr George Vella, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is attending the meeting of presidents of Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia.

Heads of EU member states have been meeting in this format once a year since 2003 when they first met in Arraiolos, Portugal, at the initiative of the then President of Portugal.

The central topic of this year’s discussion is the exchange of opinions about the effects of the war in Ukraine on the safety and stability in East and South-Eastern Europe. The presidents are addressing the global role of the European Union in the light of this year’s 65th anniversary since the conclusion of the Treaty of Rome with an emphasis on overcoming global social challenges such as climate change, energy, health, education and food security.

During the discussion, President Pahor highlighted two crucial topics, i.e. the war in Ukraine and the current situation in the Western Balkans. The Slovenian President advocated for the preservation and intensification of the unity of the European Union when dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the Russian Federation as the aggressor. President Pahor reiterated that Europe must not repeat the mistake of 2014 when it failed to respond firmly enough to the Russian occupation of the Crimea and added that Slovenia will be actively building consensus in the EU and NATO. Regarding NATO, it is Ukraine’s right to determine its own security policy, he added, and NATO must respond to the Ukraine’s expectations based on the consensus of all the members.

On this note, President Pahor stated that we must do everything possible not to simultaneously worsen the situation in the Western Balkans and called on the leaders to be more flexible regarding the EU enlargement in this region. He also summarised the conclusions of the recent Leaders’ Meeting of the Brdo-Brijuni Process hosted in Slovenia and assessed that the leaders in the region feel responsible for peace and stability, but require our assistance.

At bilateral meetings with other presidents, President Pahor exchanged his positions and views regarding the current international issues.

The leaders will conclude the meeting with a formal dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Malta, Dr George Vella, at the Presidential Palace.

President Pahor at the meeting of the Arraiolos Group in Valletta: EU unity in dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine must be maintained and enhanced
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA