Meeting of Dr Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, and Mr Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic
Ljubljana, 14.1.2008 | press release, statement
Following the invitation of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, the President of the Italian Republic, Mr Giorgio Napolitano, visited Ljubljana this morning. In his press release following the discussions focused mostly on the European topics, Dr Danilo Türk, President of the Republic, emphasised the historical importance of this visit. “Italy is one of the original members of the European communities and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the European integration. Slovenia is one of the new European Union member states, ranking among the most active ones and now presiding, too. The convergence of two practically identical views is obvious,” stressed the President of the Republic, adding: "The new situation we are in, the new opportunities we have in Europe, bring also the obligation to find increasingly intense and new contents of cooperation. Such cooperation at the level of the two governments is already very successful. It needs to be deepened and later supplemented by cooperation in other fields, where there is a great potential of expanding.”
Mr Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic, said that he was honoured to be the first foreign president visiting Dr Danilo Türk after taking on his function as well as the first foreign president visiting Slovenia after it had taken over the EU presidency. He went on to express the full support of Italy to the Slovenian presidency of the EU, especially to the quick ratification of the Lisbon Treaty throughout the integration.
The President of the Republic agreed with his Italian counterpart as regards priorities, the evaluation of the achievements, and last but not least, as the President of the Republic pointed out, “as regards the awareness that the future offers the best way to eliminate all recollections and painful sentiments sometimes brought up by the memories of the past. The future is the best answer to this, and it is precisely our dedication to the future, the fact that we are so strongly committed to the future, that is the best answer to all that may be still posed as a question from the past.”
Upon the question from the press concerning the future status of Kosovo, President Dr Danilo Türk advocated, among others, a carefully composed and efficient mission to be sent to Kosovo by the EU. As he stressed, the resolution of the issue of the status of Kosovo would not yet mean the end of the problems in Kosovo. “The common policy of the EU must do its best upon this opportunity. This is a very important test for the European Union, its maturity and unity. And Slovenia approaches the issue – all issues of the changed status, including the issues of recognition – from the aspect of such responsibilities. Responsibilities for the resolution of the issue which will not cease to exist, and for the unity of the European Union which we must strengthen,” emphasised the President of the Republic.
As regards the question of the “conciliation between the nations”, Dr Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia, stressed that “this is a process going on for a long time and bringing some good results.” He went on to express his opinion that this process is very deep among the inhabitants of the border area and that we must be pleased with what has been achieved. “I think that this sense of community, this sense of belonging to a community, will be strengthened further if we promote our common European identity. This process will be completed when we consider ourselves Europeans in the first place, and this is what all our efforts must be dedicated to. Of course, we will talk about history, but it will not be placed in the foreground. We will place in the foreground our common future. This is the thought already expressed by President Napolitano, and I completely agree with such approach,” concluded the President of the Republic, Dr Danilo Türk. President Napolitano added that Italy and Slovenia are together in the EU and that there could be hardly “a greater conciliation than this.” “We are no more a part of the old Europe, whose severe wounds are, however, still felt. We are a part of the new Europe,” added Mr Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic.
The President of the Italian Republic, Mr Giorgio Napolitano, took the opportunity of today’s meeting to invite the President of the Republic, Dr Danilo Türk, on a visit to Rome, and said that the tradition of meetings should be established also between the presidents of both countries.