Slovenia Film Commission is an organisational unit of Slovenian Film Centre. It was founded to inform international film producers and directors about the possibilities that Slovenia offers. Search engine on its page is a...
Between 4th and 9th October 2013 Irkutsk will host the XIV. International travelling festival of puppet theatres, which will this year be attended also by Slovenian puppet theatre Teatro Matita. You are cordially invited to...
Slovenia will be hosting EuroBasket 2013 between 4 and 22 September in Celje, Jesenice, Ljubljana, and Koper (http://www.eurobasket2013.org/si/). The sporting venues will see a battle between the national basketball...
CMEPIUS (http://www.cmepius.si/en/bilateralscholarships-2013-14.aspx) published open call for scholarships of the Republic of Slovenia in the academic year 2013/14 (from 1.10.2013 until 30.9.2014), which are...
Qatar is hosting the annual UN climate negotiations. The ministers of foreign affairs of the Green Group which brings together countries from different corners of the world, would like to highlight science as the key basis for...
This year we are marking 16 November as Slovenian Food Day for the first time. The Slovenian Government recently decreed the third Friday in November Slovenian Food Day to support domestic food producers and processors with a...
Invitation to 19th Slovene Language Summer Course on the Slovene Coast
Please note that the deadline for the Central European Initiative Fellowship for Writers in Residence for 2012 is drawing near. We invite you to submit entries by regular mail to the below provided address by 1 May...
Magazine Diplomatic Service, which is issued under the auspices of the Diplomatic academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, published an interview with Slovenian Ambassador Mrs Ada...
We announce the call for applications for the CEI Fellowship for writers in residence for the year 2012 awarded by the Central European Initiative (CEI) in co-operation with the Slovene Writers' Association within the Vilenica...
21 January 2008
The newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta has published an interview with Ambassador Andrej Benedejcic under the title "Slovenia Reveals the Slavic Dimension of the European Union".
17 January 2008
The Slovenian Presidency has issued the following Declaration on behalf of the EU on closure of the regional offices of the British Council in the Russian Federation:
The EU is very concerned at Russia's continued demand to close the regional offices of the British Council in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, and recalls its statement of 21 December 2007 on this issue. The EU deeply regrets in particular the harassment of British Council staff, as well as the administrative and other measures announced by the Russian authorities. These actions are contrary to the spirit of the cultural cooperation Russia agreed to pursue at the first EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Culture on 25 October 2007 in Lisbon.
The EU again underlines the valuable and important role that the British Council, as well as all other cultural institutes of EU Member States in Russia, play in fostering cooperation between the Russian Federation and the EU. Cultural institutes form an essential element for the mutual knowledge of peoples and cultures, and should be strongly supported. They are also key to developing EU-Russia cultural relations under the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
The EU urges the Russian Federation to allow the British Council to operate freely and effectively in Russia and to take no further actions that might hinder its activities.
15 January 2008
Ambassador Andrej Benedejcic presented the priorities of the Slovenian EU Presidency at a press conference on the premises of the Delegation of the European Commission in Moscow. Following are the introductory remarks by the Ambassador:
Dear ladies and gentlemen of the press,
It is a pleasure for me to be here today with you in Moscow. As you know, on January 1 Slovenia took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This project represents one of the most extensive challenges for Slovenia since gaining independence in 1991. However, I would like to underline that it is neither the first nor the last such foreign policy engagement. In 1998 and 1999 Slovenia was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. In 2005 it held the Chairmanship of the OSCE. And, next year, in 2009, it will take over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Thus, it can be safely said that Slovenia is an active player on the international stage and we will also be drawing on this experience during our EU Presidency.
The priorities of the Slovenian Presidency were to a large extent determined by the joint 18-month Programme of the German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies and by the Survey of the Inherited Agenda of the EU Council. The 18-month Programme of the Trio contains four central accents: future of the European Union, Lisbon Strategy, area of freedom, security and justice, as well as the external role of the EU.
Consequently, the five main priorities of Slovenian presidency are:
1. the future of the Union and timely entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty,
2. a step forward in addressing climate-energy issues,
3. successful launching of the new Lisbon Strategy cycle,
4. strengthening of the European perspective for the Western Balkans and
5. promoting the dialogue between cultures, beliefs and traditions in the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
Let me briefly elaborate on each of the five points:
1. After signing the Lisbon Treaty on 13 December 2007, efforts of all Member States will need to be concentrated on successful completion of ratification procedures in 2008 to allow the new Treaty to enter into force before the next elections to the European Parliament in 2009. Slovenia wants to set a good example for other Member States by ratifying it no later than at the beginning of 2008.
2. The European Council of March 2007 defined the basic elements of the Union’s new integrated climate and energy policy. The European Commission’s “climate-energy package”, which will be issued at the end of January, represents one of the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. We will start complex negotiations, but decisive actions will be required from all Member States. Slovenia would favour early agreement on the energy-climate package (late 2008/early 2009 at the latest) as this would put EU in a very strong position with our international partners, particular in view of December 2009 conference in Copenhagen. As the fight against climate change and energy policy are closely related, the Presidency will also strive for further progress in the EU energy policy.
3. Lisbon Strategy is one of key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. We look forward to launching the second cycle of the renewed Lisbon Strategy at the Spring European Council. The Strategy is starting to deliver benefits in terms of increased jobs and growth, and therefore does not need radical changes to priorities or processes. However, we must focus our efforts on implementation. The key to success will be continuing the process and smooth transition into the next cycle. Our aim is to make it a strong cycle, which will be capable of mobilising and empowering European citizens. The Integrated Guidelines strike a delicate balance, and should remain broadly unchanged for the second cycle (2008-2010).
We believe the focus should remain on four priority areas of the Lisbon Strategy: investment in research, knowledge and innovation, development of a competitive business environment, adaptation of labour market and response to demographic challenges, as well as energy policy and climate change.
4. Stability of the Western Balkans is of utmost importance for security and prosperity of the entire Union. Therefore Slovenian Presidency firmly believes that further affirmation of the European perspective for the Western Balkans countries should remain a central item on the EU agenda. We will endeavour towards the reaffirmation of the 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda, completion of the network of Stabilization and Association Agreements, and the enhancement of regional cooperation in several areas.
The resoluton of the Kosovo future status as well as the management of the post status process, where the EU will need to assume a leading role, should be achieved in a way to strengthen the stability and security of the entire region.
5. As 2008 has been proclaimed the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the Presidency will endeavour to strengthen the intercultural dialogue within the EU. It is important to popularise the value of intercultural dialogue among the European public at large. A special Slovenian contribution in this context is the initiative for establishing a Euro-Mediterranean University in the sea-side city of Piran. Slovenia will particularly strive to promote the intercultural dialogue with the Western Balkans. As the first Slavic country to hold the Presidency, Slovenia will also be raising the awareness of the Slavic dimension of the enlarged EU and its new neighborhood by advancing the activities of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. In this we also count on the active cooperation of the Russian side, especially in the context of the planned transfer from St. Petersburg to Brussels of the unique 140-years-old exhibition of folk costumes of different Slavic nations from the Russian Ethnographic Museum.
Before concluding let me also say something about the EU-Russia relations in general. The Slovenian Presidency, just like the preceding German and Portuguese Presidencies, views Russia as a strategic partner and considers strengthening this partnership a priority. We are convinced that the new framework agreement will deepen and update EU-Russia relations. Recently, in talks with our friends in the EU and in Russia we have noticed positive signals about the possibility of starting negotiations on the new agreement. It is our wish that these expectations could be realized already during the period of the Slovenian Presidency, so that we could mark the start of a new chapter of cooperation in our relations at the forthcoming EU-Russia Summit in Khanty-Mansiysk in June.
1 January 2008
Slovenia has taken over the role of the Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2008.