This summary is provided by the STA:
Pahor urges unity to make presidency a success
BRUSSELS, Belgium - President Borut Pahor reiterated his call for joint efforts by all stakeholders in Slovenia to make EU presidency a success. He said after talks with top EU officials Slovenia could preserve and enhance its image as a reliable country capable of leading demanding dossiers, despite the current political uncertainty in the country. "It is because of this that I appeal for a shared responsibility for the success of the presidency," he said. He also acknowledged Slovenia "would not be the first or the last country to have a certain degree of uncertainty during the presidency".
Von der Leyen appreciates Slovenian presidency's energy to work on resilience and recovery
BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described today's meeting with President Borut Pahor ahead of Slovenia's EU presidency as very constructive, saying she appreciated "the enormous energy with which the presidency will work on the resilience and recovery of the EU after this heavy pandemic". According to Pahor's office, he shared with von der Leyen his view of the situation in Slovenia, saying that despite "the increased political uncertainty" Slovenia was preparing seriously and responsibly to assume the presidency. Pahor also met David Sassoli, the European Parliament president, pledging Slovenia's commitment to Europe's fundamental values.
Slovenia and Italy to reintroduce joint police patrols on the border
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenia and Italy will soon start policing the shared border with joint police patrols, the interior ministers, Aleš Hojs and Luciana Lamorgese, said after a meeting. Hojs said the patrols would be relaunched as soon as possible equipped with modern technology and devices such as drones. While it is yet to be agreed where exactly they will be active, Lamorgese mentioned Udine and Trieste as the most likely areas. The pair also discussed the EU's new pact on migration and asylum, on which the two neighbours have different views.
Marjan Dikaučič nominated for justice minister
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša formally nominated Marjan Dikaučič, an official receiver, Slovenia's new justice minister after the candidate was put forward by the Modern Centre Party (SMC). If appointed, Dikaučič will replace Lilijana Kozlovič, who resigned last week when the government annulled the call for applications for the country's European delegated prosecutors. The nominee, whom the party picked because receivership legislation is a priority, is expected to be heard by the parliamentary Justice Committee next week.
Slovenia presents its EU presidency slogan, logo
LJUBLJANA - The slogan of Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of the year will be Together. Resilient. Europe. According to the Government Communication Office, the slogan was picked as a response to the challenges of the EU and questions about future development. The logo of the presidency was also presented, symbolising connectivity of Slovenia and the EU. PM Janez Janša said "the EU faces many challenges that it can overcome only if it is united, free and at peace with itself". In an address on the new presidency website he noted the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency were based on this.
CoE urges govt to stop deterioration of freedom of expression, media freedom
STRASBOURG, France - The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović urged the Slovenian authorities in a memorandum to put a stop to the deterioration of the situation regarding media freedom and freedom of expression in the country. In the context of media freedom, she pointed to harassment, intimidation and criminal lawsuits against journalists. She also highlighted "sexist harassment and misogynistic speech against female journalists" and the government's attitude to public media. Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said the report did not reflect the views he had presented to Mijatović, especially regarding freedom of speech.
Pahor expects STA, prosecutor issues to be resolved before EU presidency
BRUSSELS, Belgium - President Borut Pahor expressed the expectation that the government will have secured stable financing of the STA and resolve the appointment of European delegated prosecutors by the start of the country's EU presidency. After holding talks with heads of the main EU institutions, he said he expected that the government would soon secure stable financing of the STA and appoint Slovenia's two European delegated prosecutors since "there is almost no excuse for an EU presiding country" not to do that during its presidency.
European chief prosecutor says her hands tied over Slovenia
BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kövesi expressed concern about the deadlock in the appointment of European delegated prosecutors (EDP) from Slovenia, saying it would affect the efficiency of the office and trust in oversight of EU funds. However, speaking with a group of media on Thursday, including the STA, she said her hands over the situation were tied. "With Slovenia - it's a very delicate situation for us ... what worries me a lot was the press statement that the general prosecutor gave a few days ago," she said.
MPs unanimously adopt changes redefining sexual violence
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed in a unanimous vote amendments to the penal code that redefine sexual consent in line with the concept that only yes means yes. The vote was hailed as historic by MPs, who said the credit should go to the NGOs which mobilised the public to create a genuine social movement. The driving force behind the redefinition of sexual violence was Institute 8 March, whose leader Nika Kovač said the legislative changes had proven that there was a general human value in Slovenia - sexual integrity.
AI and cyber security high on Slovenia's presidency agenda
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik attended a session of the EU's Telecommunications Council to present Slovenia's EU presidency priorities in digitalisation. He said that Slovenia was placing digitalisation, development of artificial intelligence and cyber security high on the agenda. Slovenia will also look to secure an "appropriate measure of security and privacy, consistent respect of human rights and ethical principles".
Coronavirus figures stable
LJUBLJANA - A total of 280 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in 3,915 PCR tests in Slovenia on Thursday, fresh government data show. This is a slight increase from 273 infections recorded the day before, but the epidemiological curve remains stable. There were 205 Covid-19 patients in hospital this morning, eight fewer than yesterday, including 59 in intensive care, one fewer than yesterday. Two patients died. The rolling seven-day average dropped by one to 259.
Slovenian army officially takes over 38 Oshkosh vehicles
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) officially took over 38 Oshkosh four-wheeled light tactical vehicles purchased from the US under a government-to-government deal, with the presentation ceremony in Edvard Peperko Barracks in Ljubljana featuring senior government officials. Another 37 vehicles are to be ordered this year. The Defence Ministry said the deal enabled faster and more transparent purchase of military equipment without intermediaries and corruption risks. The vehicles are fitted with M153 weapon stations of the Norwegian contractor Kongsberg.
Shuttle operator GoOpti acquired by investment fund from Oman
LJUBLJANA - GoOpti, a provider of shared and private shuttle transfers to airports and between towns, is being taken over by the International Strategic Ventures investment fund from Oman, Delo reported. The value of the deal is not known, while founders Marko Guček and Tomaž Lorenzetti will stay in the company for now. Guček told the newspaper that the acquisition had already been coordinated, signed and implemented.
Monument unveiled to WWII British pilot in Suhorje
PIVKA - A monument was unveiled in the village of Suhorje in the south-west on the site where a British fighter aircraft crashed just before the end of the Second World War in April 1945. The death of the pilot of the British Royal Air Force (RAF), Edmund Ramsbotham, shocked the local community, which wanted to preserve the memory of the accident for future generations. The monument was unveiled by Maj-Gen Robert Glavaš, chief of the general staff, and deputy UK Ambassador to Slovenia Paul Jancar.
New additions to the register of intangible cultural heritage
LJUBLJANA - Three new pieces of heritage have been added to the Slovenian register of intangible cultural heritage: the Bovec dialect, a special type of multi-voice singing (Na Četrtko) and St Nicholas Day. All three were proposed to the Culture Ministry by the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum as the coordinator for the protection of intangible heritage. The latest additions mean the register now includes 94 units and 263 intangible cultural heritage holders.
Črnomelj petrol bomb attack not politically motivated
ČRNOMELJ - April's petrol bomb attack on a LMŠ politician in Črnomelj was a result of "peer disagreements among teenagers", Novo Mesto crime police said, explaining the target was not city councillor Vesna Fabjan, but her son. A Molotov cocktail was thrown though a window of Vesna Fabjan's home on 9 April, causing a small fire which the family managed to put out quickly. Nobody was hurt.