Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

The CFSP/CSDP Interparliamentary Conference at the National Assembly was attended by delegations from EU national parliaments, candidate countries, and non-EU NATO members, as well as members of the European Parliament, and representatives from the European External Action Service (EEAS). The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is the EU’s course of action in the fields of defence and crisis management, and a main component of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

In his introductory remarks, the President of the National Assembly, Igor Zorčič, described security and freedom as key values, stating they must always be at the forefront of our political decision-making. He urged for a stronger, more autonomous, unified, decisive, and proactive European foreign and security policy.

The President of the National Council, Alojz Kovšca, pointed to the EU’s constant battle with challenges, which shape current and future policy, proving time and time again that we must work together, in a coordinated and thoughtful way, doing all we can to strengthen the EU’s ability to respond to crises.

The keynote speaker at the conference, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, pronounced himself an avowed European, saying he would like the EU to expand its influence and unity and stating that “together we stand, divided we fall.” He sees Slovenia’s interest among the most tightly-knit EU member states and in helping shape its Common Foreign and Security Policy.

During the “Priorities of the Common Foreign and Security Policy/Common Security and Defence Policy” panel discussion, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, presented the EU’s positions and discussed the current foreign policy and security situation.

During the “New Challenges, Old Patterns: Rethinking the EU’s Foreign Policy Approaches in a Multipolar World”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anže Logar, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, and the Secretary-General of the EEAS, Stefano Sannino, pointed to the complexity of the geopolitical situation and global security threats, which require a rapid, coordinated, and thoughtful response from the EU. It is essential that the EU deepen and examine its political and economic strategic partnerships and actively help shape international policy, taking care to strengthen its resilience and promote and nurture its values and interests.

During the “Enhancing Regional Partnership with Western Balkan Countries through the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)” panel discussion, the Minister of Defence, Matej Tonin, emphasised Slovenia’ cooperation with Western Balkan countries on defence and security and focused on international operations and missions in the Western Balkans, particularly on operations carried out by the EU as part of the CSDP and involving the active participation of Slovenia.

Marko Makovec, the Director and Deputy Managing Director for Western Europe, the Western Balkans, Turkey, and the United Kingdom at the EEAS, presented the EU’s role in guaranteeing peace and security in the region, as well as encouraging good neighbourly relations and the resolution of bilateral disagreements within the Western Balkans. He particularly focused on ensuring a European perspective for the Western Balkans.

The Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia, Radmila Šekerinska Jankovska, talked about the security challenges in the region, the challenges faced by Western Balkan countries as part of accession negotiations, as well as about the opportunities and roadblocks encountered when including Western Balkan countries in European security and defence initiatives.

As part of the conference, the National Council held a panel discussion “Capability Development for the EU’s Civil Protection and the Solidarity Clause: Integrating the Military”. The participants noted the increasing number and severity of natural and other disasters, presenting possibilities for strengthening EU resilience, especially through the CSDP and the Solidarity Clause. They called for a revision of good practices at the national and EU-level and for the adoption of additional measures for increasing the resilience and preparedness of member states in this area.

Source – Slovenian EU Presidency: https://slovenian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/news/inter-parliamentary-conference-on-the-common-foreign-and-security-policy-and-the-common-security-and-defence-policy/

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