Janša says Slovenia not being stripped of EU dossiers

Slovenia's Prime Minister, Janez Jansa. [EPA-EFE/IGOR KUPLJENIK]

Prime Minister Janez Janša dismissed the statement by opposition Social Democrat (SD) leader Tanja Fajon that Slovenia is being stripped of dossiers that are part of its current EU Council presidency as he attended questions’ time with deputies in the National Assembly on Monday (18 October).

He said passing dossiers onto the next presiding country, in this case France, which takes over on 1 January, was usual.

“I would be happy if this happened, but this is not happening,” Janša told lawmakers about the remarks Fajon made on a Sunday evening show at the public broadcaster. Fajon, who is a member of the European Parliament, also said diplomats were happy that France will take over in January.

Replying to a question from Monika Gregorčič, an MP for the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), Janša said many dossiers had been passed onto Slovenia from the preceding presidencies, as the current presidency was the first fully operational one since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“A lot of dossiers from the past presidencies have been postponed for this semester. We have to deal with 50% more topics than we would otherwise,” the prime minister said.

He added that many topics were on the agenda for the second half of the presidency, although everything was overshadowed by the growing energy prices, which changed agendas.

Janša also talked about the recent informal EU-Western Balkans meeting, held in Slovenia, saying that “paradoxically, the greatest success was that we brought the word enlargement back to the concluding document, as this word was practically non-existent in documents in the last ten years”.

The prime minister said the majority of EU member states was inclined to enlargement towards the Western Balkans, while the leaders of the countries that opposed it believed that citizens of the candidate countries would represent a cheap labour force.

The Slovenian presidency did not manage to include a timetable for enlargement in the final document. “Slovenia proposed that enlargement in one way or another could be made in the coming ten years, which is possible.”

“All reforms can be implemented within this time,” he said, adding that “unfortunately, there was no consensus on that, although a large majority was for that and we continue working on it”.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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