Slovenia Changes Ukraine Aid Policy, Offers More Support for Bosnia’s EU Candidate Status

By , 22 Jun 2022, 10:09 AM Politics
Slovenia Changes Ukraine Aid Policy, Offers More Support for Bosnia’s EU Candidate Status Martin Schulz CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

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STA, 21 June 2022 - The parliamentary EU and foreign affairs committees outlined on Tuesday Slovenia's foreign policy for the future. Following the closed session, Prime Minister Robert Golob said Bosnia-Herzegovina should get immediate EU candidate status and that Slovenia would help Ukraine with demining in the future.

Talking to the press, Golob said that the proposal for Ukraine and Moldova to become EU candidate countries was a clear message to the two countries that they can count on EU membership. He believes that Bosnia-Herzegovina deserves to receive the same message from the EU Summit this week.

"This is the first time that the European Commission did not use a technocratic approach," Golob also said. Today, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon also advocated this course of action for Bosnia-Herzegovina at the foreign affairs ministerial in Luxembourg.

Last week immediate candidate status for Bosnia was proposed by President Borut Pahor in a letter to EU Council President Charles Michel, while Golob advocated for it during his first visit to Brussels as PM, when he met with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Michel.

The two committees approved today a decision advising the EU Council to perform an in-depth discussion on the Western Balkans when in session later this week.

Moreover, some 20 MEPs appealed to EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola to support the proposal. The move was spearheaded by MEP Matjaž Nemec (S&D/SD), who succeeded Fajon in EU Parliament when she became foreign minister some three weeks ago.

Nemec expressed belief that Metsola will convey a clear message of support for immediate candidate status for Bosnia at the EU Summit. Apart from him, the appeal was also signed by Slovenian MEPs Milan Brglez (S&D/SD), Irena Joveva and Klemen Grošelj (both Liberals/LMŠ) and Franc Bogovič (EPP/SLS).

The two parliamentary bodies also discussed Slovenia's approach to aid for Ukraine, with Golob saying that Ukraine was currently most interested in Slovenia's demining capabilities.

"We have already promised this type of help. This way we meet the interests of Ukraine and are not forcing upon them what they do not need. If they request something that is in our power to do and it makes sense, we will provide more help."

Touching on Slovenia's decision to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine, he said the decision was made by the previous government and that it had not been a solo action by Slovenia but a coordinated effort by allies.

Meanwhile, opposition New Slovenia (NSi) MP Janez Žakelj said the government had not made clear its position on the war in Ukraine.

He also said the government was inconsistent in its stance toward defence spending. "At home, we're talking about drones and guerrilla warfare and in the EU we support increase in defence investments and battalion group formation, which was already advocated by the previous government."

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