Slovenian PM: We must stabilize the Western Balkans, under pressure from Russia 

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Robert Golob, Prime Minister of Slovenia, addressed MEPs as part of the "This is Europe" debate series © European Union 2022  

On Tuesday, the Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob addressed MEPs during the seventh “This is Europe” debate.

Prime Minister Golob underscored the power of European unity, cooperation and solidarity when facing challenges such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the energy crisis.

He underlined that the EU needs to tackle high energy prices and implement a regulatory framework that will reduce speculation on the energy market for the benefit of consumers. The green transition was the only way forward to address energy autonomy and climate change, he said, with the benefits of bringing lower prices. With ambition on renewables and infrastructure the EU could make a significantly leap forward, he added.

Prime Minister Golob expressed his steadfast commitment to the rule of law in Slovenia and other EU member states, and to media freedom, and said it was imperative to fight hate speech and fake news financed by special interests and political opponents.

On enlargement, he emphasised the need to stabilize the Western Balkans, increasingly under pressure from the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine to propaganda and influence, and further integrate them into Europe. In this respect, he expressed his strong support for giving candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina and giving a European perspective to their citizens, which will in turn would bring positive change to the country.

Watch President Metsola’s introduction and Prime Minister Golob speech here.

In their reaction to Mr Golob’s speech, MEPs welcomed Slovenia’s European commitment and welcomed his engagement on energy policy, the green transition and Western Balkans enlargement. Some MEPs raised concerns about media freedom and rule of law issues in Slovenia.

You can watch the full debate here.


This was the seventh “This is Europe” debate to take place at the European Parliament to discuss with EU leaders their visions for the future of the EU; previous iterations have featured Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (in March), Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (in May), Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin (in the first June plenary), Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (in the second June plenary) Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (in July) and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (in September).