STA, 23 June - Prime Minister Janez Janša, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa agreed on Tuesday that the EU and its member states must find solutions to the social crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. They also confirmed the priorities for the trio's upcoming EU presidency.
The leaders stressed at today's videoconference that the right lessons must be learnt from this crisis and that Europe should gear up for the future. They reiterated their commitment to build a stronger, more sustainable, competitive and connected Europe after the pandemic, Janša's office said.
The three countries' priorities for their combined year-and-a-half stint at the helm of the EU, which starts next month as Germany takes over for six months, had been adjusted to the pandemic, so the main goal will be Europe's quick economic and social recovery.
Janša, Merkel and Costa agreed that the EU must come up with solutions for the post-corona period and recovery of the European economy.
They stressed the importance of green and digital transitions, and called for enhancing the EU's strategic autonomy and its capacities to tackle crises such are pandemics and cyber attacks.
The trio confirmed that tackling climate change was among the priorities of the trio whose stint will conclude with Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of 2021.
Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will also be pushing for the strengthening of Europe's global role, and its influence on global policies.
Janša, Merkel and Costa stressed the importance of joint action in relations with China and India, future-oriented relations with Africa, and the continuation of cooperation with cross-Atlantic partners. They also highlighted the need for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.
Originally, today's meeting was to be held in Berlin but was instead held virtually because of the coronavirus situation.