STA, 20 May 2019 - The government has not yet presented the priorities for Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021, but the parties running for seats in the European Parliament have some ideas, although quite different ones, about the topics that should be prioritised.
The ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) says it is too early to discuss priorities as these have to be set by all three countries from what is termed the presidency trio.
This is why Slovenia has already entered dialogue with Germany and Portugal, which will chair the Council 12 months before Slovenia.
A similar view is held by the opposition Democrats (SDS), which were in power when Slovenia presided over the EU for the first time in 2008.
The SDS says Slovenia, Germany and Portugal will jointly set long-term goals and produce a common programme of topics to be discussed from July 2020 to December 2021.
Nevertheless, security, defence and the protection of citizens, alongside demographic trends and the environment should top the list of the trio's priorities, says the SDS, which has a joint list of candidates with the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS).
The coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) would like topics such as a stronger social union, the rule of law, innovations, sustainable development and security challenges to be at the forefront.
Security and the related issue of illegal migrations was also highlighted as the first priority by the non-parliamentary Homeland League (DOM).
Prosperity should be the next on the list, says DOM, which also notes the EU's cohesion policy has not bridged the development gap between various EU regions.
Meanwhile, consistent respect for the EU and international law, protection of human rights and dignity, the establishment of a fully-fledged European Social Union and a fresh impetus for EU enlargement, remain key topics for Slovenia for the coalition Social Democrats (SD).
Climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable agriculture should also be prioritised, the party says.
Similarly, the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) believes Slovenia should provide for a fresh impetus to EU enlargement towards the Balkans.
It also believes the country should promote the good practices from home, such as solid environmental protection and enhanced solidarity.
The opposition Left believes EU presidency will be an opportunity to focus on reforms to make the EU more democratic, fight against tax havens, implement climate goals from the Paris Agreement by 2030, and to produce a green New Deal.
Slovenia could also promote some of its successful policies, such as the constitutional protection of drinking water and a minimum wage that is by 20% higher than the minimum costs of living.
The non-parliamentary Good State says Slovenia as the presiding EU country should highlight the respect for EU citizens and for the rule of law.
The Let's Connect list believes the four priorities should be "a green, safe, socially just and clean Europe".
The non-parliamentary Greens of Slovenia say Slovenia should focus on the CAP, environment, competition and technology.
Meanwhile, the coalition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) says Slovenia should highlight all EU advantages, but also do its best to enhance its own influence in the EU.
For the opposition New Slovenia (NSi), it would be good for Slovenia to build on the reputation of a leader in healthcare and in fighting cancer it earned during the 2008 EU presidency.
But environmental issues, including the protection of pollinators, as well as the development of agriculture and SMEs should also be in the focus.
The non-parliamentary United Slovenia believes the only priority should be "consistent efforts for overhauling the EU into a union of sovereign and free nations".
This would require a thorough reform of the EU's foundations, but the party believes interests of multinationals and capital should no longer be at the forefront.
The opposition National Party (SNS) doubts Slovenia has enough qualified staff to produce a good programme for EU presidency in the first place.
Still, it believes the country should bring up a number of problems during the presidency which have resulted from poor decisions taken by previous governments.
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