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Conclusion of the 22nd Consultations of Slovenian Diplomats

Brdo pri Kranju, 5 January 2018 – The second, final, day of the 22nd Consultations of Slovenian Diplomats focused on the goals of cultural and scientific diplomacy, current multilateral issues, preparations for Bled Strategic Forum 2018, the 2030 Development Strategy and topical issues concerning the economy, finance, digitalisation and cybersecurity. At the opening, the participants were addressed by Prime Minister Miro Cerar, and the closing speech was given by Minister Karl Erjavec.

The Prime Minister outlined the achievements and positive trends of the Slovenian economy, which were partly due to the efforts of Slovenian economic diplomacy. As to Slovenia's position in the international environment, the Prime Minister assessed relations with neighbouring countries as generally positive. Relations with Croatia remain the biggest challenge, due to its insistence on rejecting the Arbitral Tribunal award. Particular attention should also be devoted to Slovenians living abroad.
The Prime Minister stressed that decisions regarding the future development of the EU should be co-shaped by all of its member states. Slovenia must remain at the firm core of the EU and strive to make it stronger and more unified. Slovenia will also continue to support the reform process and European integration of the Western Balkan countries, along with the EU’s engaged approach to the region, which is essential for the latter’s stability and security.
Prime Minister Cerar thanked the Slovenian diplomats for their dedicated and persistent work for Slovenia, and said he hoped that such efforts would continue in the future.
The panel on cultural and scientific diplomacy in connection with economic diplomacy featured the Minister responsible for Slovenians abroad, Gorazd Žmavc, and the Minister of Culture, Anton Peršak. The latter underscored the key role of cultural exchanges in improving knowledge about others, and the former commended the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the protection of interests and maintaining contacts with Slovenians abroad.
The Minister without portfolio responsible for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion, Alenka Smerkolj, outlined the 2030 Development Strategy, while current issues of the economy, finance, digitalisation and cybersecurity were addressed by the Minister of Public Administration, Boris Koprivnikar, the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister of Finance, Mateja Vraničar Erman, Prof. Dr Mojmir Mrak of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, and by the Director of the Government Office for the Protection of Classified Information, Dobran Božič.
At the conclusion of the 22nd Consultations, Minister Erjavec pointed out the usefulness of such consultations, which improve Slovenian diplomats’ awareness about the political, financial and economic situation in the country and help unify and coordinate the activities of Slovenian diplomacy. Economic indicators in Slovenia today have greatly improved, which makes us proud of our country and confident in talks with high representatives of other countries. The Minister also expressed the hope that some issues arising from the dissolution of the former common state may be successfully resolved. Slovenia has international law on its side, respect for which is essential to civilised relations in the international community and also to the functioning of the European Union.