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24th Slovenian Diplomatic Conference

The annual Slovenian Diplomatic Conference took place in Brdo pri Kranju on 3 and 4 September 2020. Foreign Affairs Minister Anže Logar presented the focuses and vision of Slovenia’s foreign policy, which is becoming increasingly ambitious, to the heads of diplomatic and consular missions.

The foreign minister offered an assessment of the global environment, in particular the security environment, following the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by a discussion of the importance of transatlantic integration, which has once again become a key foreign policy priority for Slovenia and gained new momentum in recent months, particularly with the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Slovenia.

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Mr Logar assured conference attendees that the fundamental framework of Slovenia’s foreign policy activity continues to be the European Union and the NATO alliance. He characterised these integrations as "the key pillars of Slovenia’s foreign policy and diplomacy and its most important political, security and value frameworks".

The minister emphasised that Slovenia wishes to be responsible member of the EU, NATO and the international community, not merely a mute observer, and that it is once again taking its place on the diplomatic map. Among other things, the minister announced a full review of fundamental strategic foreign policy documents.

"The strategic priorities of tomorrow will be based on the foreign policy successes of today," continued Mr Logar. "By contrast, a lethargic foreign policy today will cost us significantly more in development terms than such an approach might have done in past years. We have a great responsibility towards the citizens of Slovenia."

Particular attention at the conference was devoted to Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of next year.

The preparations and priorities for the Slovenian presidency were presented to the heads of Slovenia’s diplomatic and consular missions.

Logar and Le Drian in favour of an integrated, united and resilient EU

France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian was recently in Slovenia on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar, who emphasised the Slovenian government’s interest in strengthened cooperation with France at the political, economic and other levels.

France is an important economic partner for Slovenia, with trade between the two countries exceeding 3 billion euros. The car industry is also a strategic sector for both countries. The two ministers emphasised the need for the strategic sovereignty of Europe in key areas and undertook to further deepen economic relations between the two countries.

The two ministers emphasised the need for the strategic sovereignty of Europe in key areas and undertook to further deepen economic relations between the two countries.

They also devoted particular attention to the conference on the future of Europe that is due to begin in autumn 2020, will continue during the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the European Union and will end during the French presidency.

The responsibilities of the presiding countries during this period will be great. According to Slovenian foreign minister Anže Logar: "Slovenia will discharge its share of the responsibilities conscientiously." French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described Slovenia as a dedicated adherent to the European idea and integration, stating that: “Slovenia is at the pinnacle of European solidarity.”

Mr Le Drian also attended the Slovenian Diplomatic Conference in Brdo pri Kranju, where as the principal foreign guest he addressed conference attendees and took part in a discussion on the future of the European Union.

The main message of Mr Le Drian’s address to Slovenian diplomats was that we need a strong Europe that is capable of assuming its role in the global order without closing in on itself and leaving the field to other powers.

His visit, like the intense schedule of meetings in recent months, is evidence of the revival of Slovenian foreign policy and diplomacy, which is raising the country’s profile in the international arena.

The key message of the conference of Slovenian diplomats is that we wish Slovenia to take its place once again as an active member of the international community, a reliable partner in the EU and a credible member of NATO.

As such, it will be capable of pursuing its own interests, which is also the essence of foreign policy.

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 11. September 2020

Time to read: 2 min