Inaugural visit by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

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Close partners in difficult times Inaugural visit by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

Robert Golob, the new Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, paid his inaugural visit to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Following their talks, both leaders stressed that there were no outstanding issues in terms of their bilateral relations and agreed on the need for joint European and international action in the face of current challenges.

Federal Chancellor Scholz

Federal Chancellor Scholz and Prime Minister Golob emphasised the close ties between Germany and Slovenia in Berlin on Tuesday.

Photo: Federal Government/Steins

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Robert Golob, made his inaugural visit to Germany on Tuesday. Following the meeting, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the Slovenian government as a "partner that shares and actively defends our common European values”.

Support for Ukraine

One important part of their discussion concerned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, with the Federal Chancellor saying that both countries had agreed that Ukraine must continue to receive comprehensive support for defending itself against Russian aggression. Prime Minister Golob expressed his support for this but admitted that the planned multilateral exchange of heavy military equipment between Germany, Slovenia, and Ukraine had been delayed, not least because of the government formation process in Slovenia. Talks would now be fast-tracked, he added. The Federal Chancellor concurred, saying: "Together we will make rapid progress".

European energy crisis solution

Energy shortages were one effect of the war that required a Europe-wide solution, said Scholz Even major countries such as Germany couldn't make progress on their own, and this was all the more true of smaller states such as Slovenia. It would be necessary to tap into "the wind in the north and the sun in the south" in such a way that everyone in Europe benefited, said Scholz, adding that the energy crisis had to be seized upon as an opportunity to vigorously push ahead with the energy transition – "both in Germany and across Europe". He reaffirmed Germany's goal of creating a CO2-neutraleconomy by 2045.

Prospect of EU membership for the Western Balkans

Federal Chancellor Scholz announced a Western Balkans Summit to be held in Berlin in November this year, which he said should give fresh impetus to the so-called "Berlin Process". At the same time, he added, agreement could be reached there on further specific steps for the Western Balkan states towards European Union membership. Prime Minister Golob said that Slovenia regarded itself as a "gateway" to the Western Balkans and that the states in that part of the world that were striving to join the European Union finally had to see signs of success on the horizon.