Slovenia Signs Strategic Partnership Plan With France

By , 03 Jul 2019, 10:05 AM Politics
Slovenia Signs Strategic Partnership Plan With France Dr Miro Cerar's Twitter account

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STA, 2 July 2019 - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian signed in Paris on Tuesday a new action plan for a strategic partnership between the two countries in the 2019-2022 period. The pair also broached the appointment process for the EU's top posts and the Western Balkans, the Foreign Ministry said.

Cerar said the new agreement would enrich existing cooperation and provide a new momentum. He noted it also covered the time when Slovenia and France would successively preside over the EU in 2021 and 2022.

Cerar is confident the action plan, which focuses on cooperation in science and innovation, information, communication technology and AI, will contribute to closer economic cooperation, with France already being Slovenia no. 5 trading partner.

The Foreign Ministry added that an important part of the talks had been dedicated to the strengthening of multilateralism. France plays a key role here as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The pair also talked about current European topics, notably the Western Balkans. Cerar stressed the region needed to be given a European future and urged a clear and credible answer by October as regards the launch of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

Also broached were migration, terrorism and climate change, with Cerar calling for European solutions to migration issues.

Meanwhile, the head of the Slovenian diplomacy also met OECD secretary general Angel Gurria. Cerar explained Slovenia wanted to use its preparations for the EU presidency in 2021 to examine topics where it can work closer with the OECD.

Slovenia is already participating in an OECD expert group on AI and has participated in the drafting of OECD recommendations in the this field, the first such document on the global level.

Next year, the country will host an OECD summit that will serve as a chance for a debate on lifelong learning in a time when society and the economy are undergoing a digital transformation, the ministry wrote.

Cerar also met the chairs of the European Affairs Committees of the French parliament's lower and upper houses, Sabine Thillaye and Jean Bizet, respectively. He also discussed European topics and areas covered by the action plan with them.

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