Slovenian president: We should be in fast lane of a multi-speed EU

Slovenian President Borut Pahor meets Polish President Andrzej Duda. [President of Slovenia]

If the European Union decides in future to become a multi-speed bloc, Slovenia would want to line up with nations in the faster lane, Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Monday (27 March).

“Slovenia’s national interest, in case of a multi-speed development of the European Union, would be to be among the fastest (group of countries),” Pahor told a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, who arrived in Slovenia on Sunday.

Pahor added that Slovenia would face such an option only “if a lack of consensus within the bloc prevented a stronger integration of all 27 EU member states” after Brexit.

The central idea of the proposed multi-speed union is that some member states may choose to go faster, or slower, on European integration than others with regard to certain policies and topics.

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Common objectives

Duda stressed that Poland and Slovenia have some different positions as Warsaw is opposed to a multi-speed Europe. But he added they also have common objectives concerning development and fundamental liberties, free movement of people, goods, capital and services.

“The EU should have an integration attitude, which means, create conditions for collaboration, resist the separatist tendencies for creating some kinds of clubs within the EU,” Duda said.

On Sunday, Pahor and Duda met the head of the Bosnian collective presidency Mladen Ivanovic to discuss the situation in the Western Balkans.

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“We believe it is important that the EU’s and NATO’s enlargement continues. Enlargement should continue and new members should be admitted. Within that, the Western Balkans is an important point for the enlargement,” Duda was quoted by Slovenian news agency STA as saying on Sunday.

Poland and Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and, since then, only one more former Yugoslav state, Croatia (in 2013), has joined the bloc.

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