New Slovenian Government Received Austria's Foreign Minister as First Official International Guest

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: June 7, 2022; 19:28 ♦ (Vindobona)

Slovenia's recently elected government this week received Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as its first official international guest. This included talks with Slovenia's Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and Prime Minister Robert Golob as well as President Borut Pahor on important European issues and the strengthening of already excellent relations.

During the visit, the close partnership between the two countries was emphasized several times. / Picture: © Slovenian and Austrian crossed flags by

Slovenia's recently elected government received Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Ljubljana this week for a first meeting. In addition to his Slovenian counterpart, Tanja Fajon, the Foreign Minister also met Prime Minister Robert Golob and President Borut Pahor.

At Schallenberg's meeting with Prime Minister Dr Robert Golob, the interlocutors discussed relations between the two countries and important European issues, focusing on the energy situation as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. They talked about the development of alternative sources of gas and assessed the possibilities of expanding the potential of the gas terminal in Croatia and Italy.

Also, the Slovak Prime Minister took the opportunity to urge Schallenberg to abolish controls at the Schengen internal border between Slovenia and Austria as soon as possible.

The strengthening of Austria and Slovenia's already excellent relations was also a central topic of discussion.

"It says a lot about our great neighborhood and close friendship that I am the first foreign minister to be a guest here. We are connected not only by geographical proximity, but also by a multitude of common interests, which we will continue to advocate together as neighbors, as states of Central Europe, but also as EU partners and partners at the multilateral level," said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, who on Monday had the honor of being received as the first official international guest since the new Slovenian government took office.

The talks also focused on support for the Slovenian ethnic group in Carinthia and Styria and the German-speaking ethnic group in Slovenia, which form an important linguistic and cultural bridge between the two countries."

"I am deeply convinced that we must promote, protect and support the ethnic groups on both sides of the border. They are part of our diversity, their culture enriches the respective societies," the Austrian Foreign Minister stressed.

In addition to close political cooperation - Austria and Slovenia are members of the regional cooperation format Central 5 and the EU Danube Region Strategy, where Austria will take over the chairmanship from Slovenia in 2023 - the two countries are also linked by very close economic ties.

Austria is the largest foreign investor in Slovenia and its third largest trading partner. In addition, around 26,000 commuters cross the border between the two countries every day.

In addition, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon also discussed the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and its impact on the stability of the Western Balkans.

The two counterparts agreed that the most important instrument to counter this danger is to resolutely push ahead with EU enlargement in the region. Thus, in addition to Ukraine, the integration of the Western Balkan states must also be discussed at the upcoming EU summit.

In view of the energy dependence on Russia, the two foreign ministers also exchanged views on energy security in both countries and on ways of reducing this dependence. Foreign Minister Schallenberg also reiterated Austria's position that nuclear energy is not an alternative.

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs