Prime minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa has been heading the EU presidency since January. His government has successfully adopted the Euro, being the first ex-communist state to do so. As Slovenia shows Europe its political skills, many analysts expect a low profile presidency.
Sergio Cantone, EuroNews: Prime Minister, welcome to EuroNews. So it is the mid-term for the Slovenian presidency of the European Union. What is your experience, so far, and what is your opinion about the things to do?
Janez Jansa: So far we have proved that the presidency is not a too difficult task for a new member country of the European Union, despite we have faced quite challenging topics to deal with.
EuroNews: Are you preparing some special initiative in order to tackle the economic slowdown?
Janez Jansa: First of all the situation in the EU is, according to this analysis, much better much healthier than the situation in the United States, so we don’t face the recession period, we face as you have properly said a slowdown.
EuroNews: Do you think that the interests rates, may be after the summer, will be cut or not?
Jansa: Well, (he laughs)…
EuroNews: I know that you will say, “ask Trichet”, but…
Janez Jansa: You should ask that to Trichet. I think that this measure will have to be taken if these trends continue, but of course the main concern, if we discuss this inflation, the strong Euro is a defence against high oil prices.
EuroNews: Another topic of your six months presidency is the Union for the Mediterranean, I suppose that you are working to prepare the summit in Paris, which will be held under French presidency. What is the main proposal?
Janez Jansa: We need to upgrade the so-called Barcelona process, we need to enhance the cooperation in the Mediterranean area, but we don’t need to double the European institutions and we don’t need to divide the European Union on this issue, between those countries who have coasts on the Mediterranean Sea and those who have not
EuroNews: Don’t you think that sticking to Barcelona, as it was decided at the last summit, is a little bit to water-down this initiative? And Barcelona was not a success…
Janez Jansa: It was a success at the beginning, but the situation has changed since the time when this process was launched and we need to upgrade it, we need concrete projects, we need to enhance the cooperation and Slovenia, if I may say so, will contribute to these concrete projects by offering this Euromediterranean university, which we will launch in June, this year.
EuroNews: Kosovo, do you think that the unilateral declaration of independence was a wise move?
Janez Jansa: A much better solution would had been a solution between Pristina and Belgrade, if there was the possibility for both nations to leave together, but I think this possibility has been thrown away during the Milosevic times.
EuroNews: Just a last question, it is about China and Tibet, do you think that the EU will take some step before the Olympic games?
Janez Jansa: On one side the European Union is of course a strong supporter of the human rights and we have to condemn any violation, any hostile activities against the minorities, against the people who peacefully protest, on the other side China is a global player, we need China for a global agreement on the climate change, there are very intensive trade relations between the EU and China and this has also its own influence, but of course we have to weight these interests and values, I don’t think that in any case boycotting the games is a serious option, because we have to separate the sport and the Olympic spirit from politics.
EuroNews: Aren’t you afraid that somebody in Belgrade could be saying, “China is not Serbia” trying to compare the situations?
Janez Jansa: There is one big difference, Kosovo is in Europe, Tibet is not in the European continent, it is on our globe, we have to be concerned at the same level for the human rights, but the European Union practically can’t do the same to solve the problems on the European continent and the problems far away.