Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar attended the European Parliament Plenary Session from 6 to 7 October 2021 as the high representative of the Council of the EU in relations with the Parliament during the Slovenian Presidency.
On behalf of the EU Council, the Minster took part in a debate on finding a European solution to the challenge of rising energy prices affecting businesses and consumers. The currently high energy prices are a result of different factors, particularly extreme weather conditions, developments on the international energy market, and the post-pandemic economic recovery. The Slovenian Presidency has placed this issue on the agenda of different EU Council formations. The high energy prices will be discussed by the leaders at October’s European Council, while the European Commission will publish a special report on the topic in mid-October.
On behalf of the EU Council, Minister Logar participated in the debate on the Pandora Papers revelations, namely the consequences for efforts made to combat money laundering, tax evasion and tax avoidance, and responded to the following oral question: the Council’s lack of will to move the European cross-border mechanism forward. The Minister went on to underline territorial cooperation as one of the most remarkable results of European integration, noting that it is crucial to find the right balance between the bottom-up approach and respect for national sovereignty.
As Minister Logar was taking part in the OECD ministerial meeting, he was represented by State Secretary Gašper Dovžan on the first day of the plenary session. The State Secretary joined the debate on the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), noting: “Fast and effective solutions for the benefit of citizens must be the main guiding principle of the European institutions.” Strengthening preparedness for future health crises is among the priorities of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency. The purpose of this European body is to ensure urgent medical supplies in emergency situations at the EU level.
On the margins of the European Parliament plenary session, Minister Logar also met with MEP Tonino Picula. The two officials discussed the rapprochement of the Western Balkan countries with the EU and the future EU-US relations.