Panellists at a discussion on the future of the EU organised by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday agreed that the EU was crucial for the Slovenian economy. Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec stressed that the current prosperity would not be possible without the EU.
According to the minister, it has transpired in the 2008 economic crisis that the EU – now faced with many challenges – was designed for good times, but even from the crisis years it has gathered new experience.
Erjavec stressed that there was no real alternative to the EU for the Slovenian economy, but that the Union needed to continue confirming and strengthening its competitive advantages.
He noted that international trade agreements with third countries were inevitable, but it was right to discuss legitimate doubts such as those raised in the case of the CETA trade agreement with Canada.
In this respect, the minister finds it particularly important to be consistent in negotiating with foreign trade partners and not to lower standards. Individual members cannot affect global standards, but the EU as a whole can, he added.
Commenting on the current global turbulences, Vojmir Urlep, the chairman of drug maker Lek, said that turbulent periods had occurred throughout history, and he believes the 2008 crisis shook the economy much more than the prospective Brexit will.
He sees the biggest obstacle to a breakthrough of the EU in the failure to overcome national lines and think and act as Europeans.
Franjo Bobinac, the chairman of household appliance maker Gorenje, highlighted among the main advantages of the EU for companies the lower transaction costs and the currency stability brought by membership in the euro family.
Sibil Svilan, the chairman of SID export and development bank, meanwhile pointed to a shift from the previous western colonisation of the world as western markets face oversaturation, which is reflected in falling production in the West as opposed to growth in Asia./IBNA
Source: The Slovenian Times