Brussels, 28 March 2023 (TDI): State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Marko Stucin held political consultation with the Portuguese Secretary of State for the European Union (EU), Tiago Antunes.

Both countries affirmed deepening partnership at the bilateral and the EU level. During the meeting leaders from both counties upheld the resolve to work closely within the framework of the informal group of Mediterranean EU Member States MED-9.

The touched-upon discussion included various European and international topics for the consultation. An overview of multi-sectoral bilateral cooperation was also discussed by both State Secretaries.

The constructive bilateral cooperation between both countries especially in the context of Mediterranean integration was highly emphasized. Portugal and Slovenia, being like-minded EU countries, expressed their interest in furthering the political dialogue.

Both countries share equal awareness of and importance of rule of law for the successful development of European policies.

The State Secretaries of both countries exchanged views on Ukraine’s situation. They agreed on the agenda of accountability for war crimes and offering support to Ukraine. The European perspective of the Western Balkan States was also discussed.

The expansion of the EU with the countries of the region is a matter of common interest between Portugal and Slovenia.

The State Secretary of Slovenia stressed the credible expansion of the EU policy. He stated that the Western Balkan region should remain an instrumental geostrategic priority of the EU.

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Furthermore, the issue of energy security, strengthening the competitiveness of the European economy on a global level, economic management reform, and migration issues were also discussed.

Slovenian State Secretary endorsed the abolition of internal border controls within the Schengen region. Slovenia and Portugal highlighted their commitment to protecting the interest of both countries.

Bilateral cooperation in strengthening economic dividends and direct investment was reaffirmed by the interlocutors.

Both State Secretaries welcomed the growth in trade in goods and services including tourist exchange initiatives between the two countries last year.