STA, 16 April 2019 - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec called for a European Commission that would consistently implement the rule of law and respect small member states as he gave an interview for Politico. His vote for the next European Commission chief will go to Margrethe Vestager (ALDE).
In the interview, Šarec took issue with the Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for implying that small EU members did not have the same status as large countries such as France, and for not taking sides in the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia.
Šarec suggested that the soft-handed approach could have been politically motivated since Juncker and the ruling Croatian party belonged to the same European Parliament group, the centre-right European People's Party (EPP).
He said that the Commission should have urged Croatia to respect the border decision, which was handed down in Slovenia's favour by an international arbitration panel in 2017, adding that the decision was valid no matter the surrounding controversy.
"We need a European Commission which will obey the rule of law ... we need a Commission which will be less political," said Šarec, pointing out that Vestager, his choice for the next Commission chief, had a "common sense" vision for the EU.
Hailing from Denmark, Vestager also has more understanding for small member states, according to Šarec. Both of them belong to the ALDE alliance of European liberal parties, with the competition commissioner being considered the party's top candidate for the Commission presidency.
He also called for an EU which would be faster at making decisions and expressed his disapproval of the Spitzenkandidat process, describing it as "not legal" and "not democratic".
Commenting on European Parliament President Antonio Tajani's recent controversial remarks, which implied Italy's territorial claims on parts of Slovenia and Croatia, Šarec called them an outrageous example of WWII revisionism and declared Tajani unfit for his office.
He urged taking measures that the next European Parliament president would not be someone who advocated such problematic statements and views.
Politico also addressed Šarec's stand-up past, pointing out that a number of former comedians have started performing in the EU political arena in recent years.
The Slovenian prime minister welcomed this trend, saying that some characteristics were useful in both worlds, including being observant, brave and a quick learner, as well as a performer skilled at reading people.