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Minister Logar: The Entire Government Team, the Embassies, Institutions, Offices, and All Slovenians Are Happy to Begin the Presidency! We Are All Slovenia; We Are All Europe!

On the 1st of June, Slovenia has taken over the six-month Presidency of the European Council for the second time. Despite the fact that, based on the fabrications that were exported abroad, we could listen to members of the opposition claim how there is a serious concern that the presidency will not be successful, the thoughts of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anže Logar, Ph.D., prove that there is really no need to worry. Since the beginning of the mandate, active diplomacy has been conducted, which was practically non-existent in the terms of the previous governments.

Due to the pandemic, Minister Dr. Anže Logar spent the first three and a half months in office in virtual bilateral meetings and with a telephone in his hand. Namely, 50 videoconferences and 23 telephone conversations had been conducted. On the 22nd of May 2020, he also began travelling abroad. To date, he has held 74 bilateral meetings with fellow ministers and another 13 at the EU level (and just to remind you – this is as much as the number of visits and talks that the two previous ministers held in their two terms combined). The statistics are more than telling.

In his recent note, in light of the rapidly approaching presidency, Logar summed up his thoughts and initially recalled the time when Slovenia held the presidency of the European Council for the first time. “One of the reasons why I wanted to act as Foreign Minister in the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the 2020-2022 term is the Presidency of the European Council. I have special memories of that first presidency in 2008. Well, I also have a few photos…” he admitted. In 2008, in order to become the official spokesperson of the presidency and to present the hard work of Prime Minister Janez Janša, Foreign Minister Dr. Dimitrij Rupel and other ministers first-hand, he decided to return to Slovenia from a well-paid job in the European Parliament.

During Slovenia’s first presidency, Logar was not involved in creating the content, but he tried to “sell” the work to the public as best as he could. “I was not involved in the “creation” of the content, but I tried to “sell” it to the public as best as I could. I still vividly remember the press conference of the three presidents – Janša, Barroso and Bush – from the EU-USA summit at Brdo pri Kranju. A special feeling, let me tell you…” Logar pointed out, adding that during this presidency, as Foreign Minister, he is also co-creating the content. “For the Republic of Slovenia and for the European Union. And of course, I am responsible for it this time. Therefore, the burden is significantly greater. But I also have a slightly bigger forehead than in the distant year of 2008.”

In a little more than a year, Logar held as many bilateral meetings as the two previous ministers combined
After years of a lost vision in foreign policy under the leadership of Karl Erjavec and Miro Cerar, Slovenia is returning to both the European and the international map of the world. This is most clearly demonstrated by statistics. Since the beginning of the term, meaning since March 2020, which is also when covid hit, Logar has been actively involved in work. “#ActiveDiplomay is what we call it in my office. Due to the pandemic, I spent the first three and a half months in virtual bilateral meetings and with a telephone in my hand. We conducted 50 video conferences and 23 telephone conversations.”

When the epidemiological situation improved, Logar began to travel. To date, he and his team have held as many as 74 bilateral meetings with fellow ministers and another 13 at the EU level. And just to remind you – this is as much as all the meetings of the two previous ministers in their two terms combined. “This paints a clear picture, right? When I look at the map of the visits like this, it becomes clear to me why the last 15 months have passed in a flash,” Logar explained.

We are all Slovenia; we are all Europe
“And yes, we are finally here today. A few days ago, I received the baton from the Portuguese Minister and friend August, and according to tradition, we also exchanged ties. Tomorrow, we begin the presidency, the entire team of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the embassies, institutions, offices, and all Slovenians. We are all a part of this,” Logar pointed out, adding that we are all Slovenia and Europe. “Together. Resilient. Europe.”

The country holding the presidency is responsible for leading the European Council. This means that it prepares and chairs the meetings of its working bodies, striving to make progress in coordinating the positions of the 27 Member States regarding the legislative proposals and other matters. In doing so, it is important that the country that holds the presidency acts as an honest and neutral intermediary. Slovenia has designed its six-month programme for the Presidency of the European Council based on four priority areas. Under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe,” we will work for the EU’s recovery and resilience, think about the future of Europe, try to strengthen the rule of law and European values, as well as the security and stability in the European neighbourhood.

Nina Žoher

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