Janša Denies Being Uninvited to EU Ceremony Opening Conference on Future of Europe

By , 12 May 2021, 10:40 AM Politics
Janša Denies Being Uninvited to EU Ceremony Opening Conference on Future of Europe Twitter

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STA, 11 May 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša denied on Twitter on Tuesday media reports that he had been sidelined from the inauguration ceremony of the conference on the future of Europe held in Strasbourg on Sunday. Foreign Ministry State Secretary Gašper Dovžan told reporters in Brussels Janša could have attended the ceremony if he wanted to.

The newspaper Delo reported on Monday that the government had proposed in writing that the leaders of all three EU countries that will be presiding the EU Council during the conference - Portugal, Slovenia and France - take part in the ceremony, including the Slovenian prime minister.

Being a member of the conference's executive committee, Dovžan addressed a letter to the other two countries from the trio in April.

Given that the EU Council has a rotating presidency, it will be represented by the leaders of the presiding countries - Portugal, Slovenia and France, he wrote. "That is why I firmly believe leaders of all three countries should have the opportunity to be present at the ceremony," he added.

But according to Delo, the co-chair of the executive committee, Guy de Verhofstadt, allegedly did not want Janša to be invited to the ceremony, which sources in the European Parliament confirmed for the paper.

Dovžan, who took part in a session of the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels today, told reporters that leaders had received no invitations and that if the Slovenian prime minister wanted to attend the ceremony the French authorities had been prepared, and that if his obligations allowed it he could have attended it.

Janša wrote on Twitter that the EU Council was represented at the conference by the prime minister of the current presiding country, which was Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa until the end of June. "From 1 July 2021 Slovenia will be the presiding country and the co-chair of the conference on the future of the EU will, next to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, be Janez Janša. Guy has not influence on this."

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