We support Croatia’s entry to the Schengen Area, as well as the entry of Bulgaria and Romania. We believe those are steps that strengthen security in Europe, he told a joint press conference with European Parliament President David Sassoli.
He spoke at the press conference via video link from Ljubljana after presenting to European Parliament leaders the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, which starts on 1 July.
Croatian PM Andrej Plenković said in Brussels on Tuesday he expected Croatia’s Schengen membership could be on the agenda during the Slovenian presidency.
“Croatia is on the right track to become a member of the Schengen Area in 2022 and then to enter the eurozone. I think that’s possible. When we look at the very good relations we now have with Slovenia, it would be a great scenario if something like that happened during Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU,” he told the press.
Janša today also supported EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, saying many problems there, including the border issue, would be taken off the agenda with the accession of those countries.
EU enlargement is in our common interest. It should be our strategic response to numerous challenges, he added.
He said that when the EU was dealing with the financial and then the migrant crisis, neglecting enlargement, some other factors started expanding their influence in the Western Balkans.
Those foreign factors don’t have the same values as we in the European Union, he added.
Janša said a European perspective was the answer.
We can solve problems by making borders less important. Slovenia is now part of the European Union and Schengen, where there are no physical borders, he added.
He announced an EU-Western Balkan summit for 6 October in Slovenia.
As for the priorities of Slovenia’s EU presidency, Janša highlighted respect for the rule of law and EU resilience to crises. He also underlined the importance of the Conference on the Future of the EU, which will end next year during the French presidency.
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