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Minister Erjavec attends FAC meeting

Brussels, 13 November 2017 – Minister Erjavec attended the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, which focused on the preparations for the African Union-EU Summit, strategic communication and strengthening of the common security and defence policy. Together with Minister of Defence Katič, Minister Erjavec signed a joint notification on the establishment of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in defence.


The Foreign Affairs Council stressed that the 5th AU-EU Summit will be a good opportunity for strengthening the partnership and scaling up joint efforts to tackle security, social and economic challenges. The foreign ministers underlined the importance of engaging youth and the active participation of civil society in establishing further ties between the two continents. Ensuring the future of young generations will be the main focus of discussions centred on the following priorities: peace and security; governance, including democracy and human rights; investment and trade; skills development; and job creation.


During the discussion on strategic communication, foreign ministers underlined that it is one of the priorities in the implementation of the EU global strategy. Minister Erjavec elaborated that this priority involves not only promoting EU external action, but also strengthening the resilience of countries and societies in the EU neighbourhood, preventing hybrid threats, responding to false or misleading information and preventing radicalisation. He also stressed the importance of upgrading EU communication activities in the Western Balkans in order to improve the overall appeal of the EU, and to stimulate reforms in the EU candidate countries.


The talks at the joint foreign and defence ministers' lunch focused on strengthening the common EU security and defence policy. The ministers concluded that the international security environment and steps aimed at further deepening of the EU also dictate enhanced cooperation on security and defence. Slovenia underscores that a comprehensive approach to security and defence encompasses military and civilian capacity building for crisis management, strengthening the European defence industry, further upgrading cooperation with NATO and the fast-track development of instruments to deal effectively with the most pressing security challenges. The intention stated today by the majority of EU member states to join a form of permanent structured cooperation in defence reveals the will and ambition of the EU to put even more effort into its own security and the security of its citizens, and to contribute actively to global peace and security. Through participating in PESCO, Slovenia wishes to remain part of the most closely integrated EU core, maintain its active contribution to ensuring international peace and security, and, by taking part in defence development programmes, support capacity building for the national defence system.