By: Nina Žoher / Nova24tv
Slovenia will take over the six-month presidency of the EU Council for the second time on July 1st. Despite the fact that it is possible to listen in the opposition ranks on the basis of fabrications exported abroad, how there is a concern that the presidency will not be successful, the thoughts of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Anže Logar prove that there is really no reason to worry. Since the beginning of the mandate, active diplomacy has been conducted, about which there has been no trace in the past.
Due to the pandemic, Minister Dr Anže Logar spent the first three and a half months in the company of virtual bilateral meetings and with a telephone receiver in his hands. 50 videoconferences and 23 telephone conversations were conducted. On May 22nd, 2020, he began traveling. To date, he has held 74 bilateral meetings with fellow ministers and 13 more at EU level with the team (fn.: this is as many as the two previous ministers in their two terms combined). The statistics are more than telling.
In his recent note, in the light of the rapidly approaching presidency, Logar summed up his thoughts and initially recalled the time when Slovenia held the presidency of the EU Council for the first time. “One of the reasons why I wanted to act as Foreign Minister in the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the 2020-2022 term is the presidency of the EU Council. I have special memories of that first presidency in 2008. Well, as well as some photos….,” he admitted. In order to become the official spokesperson of the presidency, and to present first-hand the work of Prime Minister Janez Janša, Foreign Minister Dr Dimitrij Rupel and other ministers, he decided to return from a well-paid job in the European Parliament.
During his first presidency, Logar was not involved in creating the content, but he tried to “sell” the work to the public as best he could. “I was not involved in ‘creating’ the content, but I tried to ‘sell’ it to the public as best as I could. I still vividly remember the press conference of the three presidents Janša, Barroso and Bush from the EU-USA summit in Brdo near Kranj. A special feeling, I tell you…,” Logar pointed out, adding that during this presidency, as Foreign Minister, he also co-creates content. “For the Republic of Slovenia and for the EU. And of course, I am also responsible for it. The burden is therefore significantly greater. But I also have a slightly bigger forehead than in the distant year 2008.”
Logar held as many bilateral meetings as the two previous ministers in a good year
After a year of lost visions in foreign policy under the leadership of Karl Erjavec and Miro Cerar, Slovenia is returning to both the European and international map of the world. This is most clearly demonstrated by statistics. Already at the beginning of his term, since March 2020, Logar has been actively involved in the work. “#ActiveDiplomacy we said in my office. Due to the pandemic, I spent the first three and a half months in the company of virtual bilateral meetings and with a telephone receiver in my hands. We conducted 50 video conferences and 23 telephone conversations.”
As the epidemiological picture improved, Logar began to travel. To date, he and his team have held as many as 74 bilateral meetings with fellow ministers and another 13 at EU level. It should be remembered that this is as many as the meetings of the two previous ministers in two terms combined. “The picture is quite vivid, right? When I look at the map of visits like this, it becomes clear to me why the last 15 months have passed like a flash,” Logar explained.
We are all Slovenia, we are all Europe
“And yes, we are here today. A few days ago, I received a baton from the Portuguese Minister and friend August, and we traditionally exchanged ties. Tomorrow we begin the presidency, the entire team of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, embassies, institutions and offices, and Slovenians of good will. We are all participating in this,” Logar emphasised, adding that we are all Slovenia and Europe. “Together. Resistant. Europe.”
The country holding the presidency is responsible for leading the EU Council. This means preparing and chairing meetings of its working bodies, working to make progress in coordinating the positions of the 27 countries on legislative proposals and other matters. In doing so, it is important that it acts as an honest and neutral intermediary. Slovenia has designed its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union in four priority areas. Under the slogan “Together. Resistant. Europe.” we will work for the EU’s recovery and resilience, reflection on the future of Europe, the strengthening of the rule of law and European values, and for security and stability in the European neighbourhood.