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Czech Republic and Slovenia on EU future and the Western Balkans

Prague, 9 and 10 April 2018 – As part of consultations in the Czech Republic, State Secretary Iztok Mirošič met Jakub Dürr, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and also talked with Rudolf Jindrák, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Czech President, Aleš Chmelař, Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Office of the Government, and Ondřej Benešík, Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies, and with other Committee members.


State Secretary Mirošič and Deputy Minister Dürr assessed relations between Slovenia and the Czech Republic as excellent, advocating their further strengthening in both politics and the economy. They were also pleased to note the strengthened economic cooperation between their respective countries. Last year, bilateral trade amounted to EUR 1.4 billion, a 17% increase on the previous year, ranking the Czech Republic 11th among Slovenian foreign trade partners.


The two countries also share many common views regarding the challenges currently facing the EU, and on its future. Therefore, they expressed the hope for further cooperation between Slovenia and the Czech Republic on European issues, particularly within the debate on the future of the EU and negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework. They agreed that the European Union needs to enhance cooperation on security and increase economic and social convergence. As to migration, they pointed to the need to seek a common European solution, reiterating the commitment to the effective functioning of the Schengen area and to implementing reforms of the Common European Asylum System.


Both countries have been successfully cooperating in the extended format of the Visegrad Group, i.e. V4+. The interlocutors agreed that practical cooperation between Slovenia and the Visegrad Group is beneficial to both sides and should therefore be further enhanced.

In view of the upcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, State Secretary Mirošič exchanged views on the situation in the Western Balkan countries with his Czech hosts and went on to underline the importance of the European perspective for these countries. He also explained that the countries need to ensure the credibility of reform processes, particularly through reforms in the fields of the rule of law and institution-building, and went on to stress the importance of respecting and implementing the arrangements adopted.