Slovenia's new foreign minister, Tanja Fajon, on Thursday reiterated her support for Croatia's accession to the Schengen area of passport-free movement, as well as her commitment to Western Balkan countries' entry to the European Union once they meet the membership criteria.
Speaking to reporters after taking office as successor to Anze Logar, Fajon said that she was committed to EU enlargement but that after Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova applied for membership one should in no way forget the Western Balkan countries that had been in the accession process much longer.
“I will do my best for those countries to join the EU as soon as possible as well,” she said.
Asked if she supported Croatia’s entry to the Schengen area, Fajon said that she did but that she also supported Bulgaria and Romania’s entry even though she personally believed that Schengen should be reformed prior to its expansion and that trust among the current member countries had been undermined.
Until the final decision on the enlargement of the Schengen area, including to Croatia, which has already received the European Commission’s confirmation that it has met the technical requirements, a few more steps remain to be made, including a decision by the European Parliament, Fajon said, noting that when that decision comes before the European Council, Slovenia “will definitely not be among the countries that would block enlargement.”
Together with Logar, Fajon confirmed that Slovenia would continue helping Ukraine, including in the process of its integration with the EU, as well as in efforts to end the war.
“I will do my best for Slovenia to actively contribute to efforts to end the war in Ukraine.”