Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the 8th MED7 Summit of the Mediterranean States in Athens, into which the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia were admitted.
The current members of the Summit are Spain, Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal. Slovenia’s accession to MED7 is the result of its efforts to increase its presence in the Mediterranean area, to establish closer links with the Mediterranean EU Member States and to make Slovenia’s Mediterranean dimension more visible. The MED7 enlargement with Slovenia is taking place at a crucial time, with Slovenia holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, which gives both Slovenia and the group additional importance and weight. With the agreement of all Member States, Slovenia joined the club of countries, grouped on the basis of geographical location, sensitivity and affinity for Mediterranean issues in the EU. Slovenia also highlighted its political contribution and the potential it brings both with its Mediterranean, Central European and Pannonian dimensions, as well as in its role as the country presiding the Council of the EU, all of which provides the enlarged group with a complementary, added value.
Upon his arrival at the meeting, the Prime Minister, Janez Janša, recognised that this was Slovenia’s first participation in the Mediterranean Summit. “It is a great honour for us and we look forward to further cooperation,” he added. He also pointed out that membership in this group was a good opportunity for Slovenia, as it currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. “It is also a good opportunity to discuss the urgent topics that we are trying to tackle at European level.”
At this year’s MED7 Summit, which was renamed EUmed, the impact of climate change on the Mediterranean was the first topic to be discussed. It was followed by a debate on security and stability in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the European agenda and the promotion of a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood countries – which is a new agenda for the Mediterranean. A debate on the digital transformation and green transition, as well as the post-pandemic economic recovery, was also held at the plenary session.
After the meeting and before the working dinner, a press statement was given in which all the leaders present at the summit took part. Prime Minister Janša once again pointed out that it was a great honour and pleasure to him that Slovenia had been admitted to the MED-7 group of countries today. “This is a special moment for us. The MED-7 enlargement takes place at a crucial moment and during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This gives Slovenia a new opportunity to coordinate open issues at the European level,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša. He also thanked his colleagues from the Mediterranean countries for their support.
“As the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said, we have discussed a variety of topics today, and it is worthy of note that all the important topics do not just concern Mediterranean countries, but indeed the EU as a whole,” said the Prime Minister.
Although it was not planned, today’s discussions also addressed the topics related to the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Prime Minister pointed out. In his view, the most important topic in today’s discussions was Europe’s strategic autonomy. “We also talked about climate change, migration, the recovery from the epidemic, the resilience of the economy, in short, about all important topics that are also of strategic nature,” said Prime Minister Janša.
Finally, he pointed out that Slovenia is a Mediterranean country that will also advocate the implementation of the slogan of its Presidency within a Mediterranean framework: Together. Resistant. Europe.
The meeting continued with a working dinner where talks focused on the situation in Afghanistan and cyber threats.