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Slovenia to assume the EU Council presidency


Slovenia to assume the EU Council presidency

European Union
Photo: European Union

Slovenia’s six-month term holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council begins today.

One of the EU’s three legislative bodies, the EU Council is an intergovernmental organization which reviews and approves legislation originated in the European Commission. Slovenia’s presidency exists within a collaborative and successive trio of presidencies including Germany and Portugal, aimed at creating an overarching 18-month program.

Slovenia’s Foreign Minister stated last week that its presidency would focus on “socio-economic recovery” from COVID-19, “integration of the Western Balkans” and rule of law and security.

The EU’s efforts at expansion into the Western Balkans faced challenges around the beginning of the pandemic, with Serbia unable to open new negotiation chapters due to a lack of consensus in the EU on problems within the Serbian government. Additionally, Bulgaria continues to block the accession of North Macedonia over the Macedonian language, which it wants officially recognized as a Bulgarian dialect. Albania’s accession, paired with North Macedonia’s, has also stalled.

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Expect Slovenia to push hard to resolve these troubles and accelerate the EU’s Western Balkans expansion at the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe. Slovenia will likely look to use its position to place building consensus on expansion as paramount to the Council agenda.

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