Slovenia for a successful Europe of the future – views from Brussels
Brussels, 6 March 2017 – At the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU in Brussels, the MFA hosted a round-table discussion on the future of the European Union, with the participation of Zoran Stančič, Head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Ciril Štokelj, Director of the Directorate for Regions at the Secretariat of the European Parliament, Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General at DG International Development and Cooperation of the European Commission, and Peter Žerjavič, Delo Brussels correspondent. The discussion was moderated by Boštjan Udovič, international relations scholar.
The participants were welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who stressed that all the previous discussions in the series of round-tables under the title 'Slovenia for a successful Europe of the future' had informed Slovenia's views about the future of the EU. Two clear messages have emerged from all the debates, namely that the EU has contributed significantly to the development of Slovenia and that Slovenia continues to provide unwavering support to the European project.
According to the Minister, the greatest threat to the EU today is the growing political populism emerging all over Europe. "The accomplishments of the EU are concrete and tangible, but unfortunately, citizens take them for granted," said the Minister, adding that our primary mission at the moment should be to restore confidence in the major achievements of the Union: the Schengen area, the four liberties, and the common currency. Regarding the White Paper recently presented by Commission President Juncker, the Minister said that he hopes only for one scenario, "a strong and connected Europe, capable of rising up to all the challenges".
The participants in the discussion agreed that the document is a solid basis for further discussions and plans regarding the future of the EU. Zoran Stančič, Head of the EC representation in Slovenia, stressed that the European Commission appreciates and welcomes the discussions and talks on the future of the EU organised by the MFA.