EU Elections 2019: Slovenian MEPs Active in a Variety of Fields (Feature)

By , 15 Apr 2019, 13:03 PM Politics

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STA, 15 April 2019 - Slovenian MEPs have been active in a number of different fields in the past five-year term. The eight of them listed for the STA their achievements, reflecting above all their work in parliamentary committees. Among other things, each of them has been a member or a substitute member of a committee dealing with issues of the Western Balkans.

Ivo Vajgl (ALDE/DeSUS) was among the most active Slovenian MEPs as regards foreign policy and the Western Balkans. He highlighted his efforts as the European Parliament rapporteur for Macedonia, "which we helped steer onto the European path".

Vajgl, who will not run again this year, was also a member of a task force dealing with issues of the elderly, which managed to get this topic onto the parliament's agenda.

Together with Igor Šoltes (Greens), who will succeed Vajgl on the ticket of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) in May election, Vajgl nominated the programme Elderly for the Elderly for the Citizen of Europe 2017 award.

The project, which went on to win the award, "includes what is often missing in Europe: empathy, solidarity and true humanity," said Šoltes, who has also been active in the fields of environmental and consumer protection, filing a motion to exclude food orders from the public procurement system in order to serve locally-grown food in schools, hospitals and retirement homes.

Romana Tomc of the (EPP/SDS) is proud of her "fight of the small against the big", as her warnings had led to the launch of infringement procedure against Austria for cutting child benefits for Slovenians working in Austria.

Tomc also strived against youth unemployment and highlighted her work in an investigative committee that looked into money laundering at the Slovenian bank NLB.

Her party colleague Patricija Šulin (EPP/SDS), a member of the budgets committee, was also active in the field of finance, serving as member of the parliament's delegation in talks with the European Commission and the European Council.

She also highlighted that she managed to speed up the drafting of a report that provided Slovenia EUR 18m in funds following an ice storm that devastated much of Slovenian forests in 2014.

Tanja Fajon (S&D/SD) told the STA that she acquired for Slovenia additional EUR 70m in the next financial perspective to improve border security and migration management.

"Slovenia has a long Schengen border and long traffic jams and we will try to reduce this burden, while on the other hand ensuring that Schengen is preserved," Fajon told the STA, adding that she was also fighting against "current illegal practices of border controls within the Schengen zone, such as those between Slovenia and Austria."

Franc Bogovič (EPP/SLS) is dedicated to regional development issues, being a member of the regional development committee. He campaigned for the launch of the Smart Villages pilot project, which aims to stop the young moving from the countryside and against the trend of people moving from the less to the more developed parts of the EU.

"The regional development fund will provide EUR 13.5bn for this field and EUR 2.4bn for smart villages," said Bogovič, expressing pride in what he has achieved.

Milan Zver (EPP/SDS), a rapporteur for the culture and education committee, highlighted as one of his biggest achievements a threefold increase in funds for the Erasmus exchange programme. "I find this very important because there has always been too little money when it came to Erasmus and youth policy."

He is also happy that one of the conference halls at the parliament has been named after Slovenian dissident Jože Pučnik.

Lojze Peterle (EPP/NSi) meanwhile said he was proud to have enabled a paid internship at the parliament for 60 youths. He also contributed to the decision of the EPP to make cancer one of its priorities in the next term.

All our stories on this year's EU elections, including details of how to vote, can be found here

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