Central European country Slovenia has formally taken over the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), with a focus on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, enhancing resilience to future crises, as well as the EU's enlargement. Speaking on the Next Generation European Union fund, a recovery package to support member states hit by the coronavirus pandemic, she said "the European Union is cautiously reopening. We're shifting now from crisis management to long-term recovery efforts. And the Next Generation EU initiative is kind of the engine of this recovery."
At a joint press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Janez Jansa and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the EU's post-Covid recovery as a major issue that Slovenia's EU presidency will deal with, reports Xinhua news agency.
Jansa said the events over the past 15 months had shown that "the EU has been part of the solution during this time" and that two milestones had been achieved -- the agreement on post-Covid recovery and the decision to develop, produce and distribute vaccines. "Resilience, recovery, strategic autonomy of the EU are part of our priorities for the next six months," he said.
"I am also pleased that the approval of national recovery and resilience plans is progressing well. Thank you to the Commission for its fast work, and thank you for linking the issue of post-epidemic recovery to reform and the green and digital transition," Jansa added.