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The Slovenian government is taking over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU for the next six months, with far-right, Trump-supporting, conspiracy theorist Prime Minister Janez Janša at its helm.

The Slovenian government is accused of attacking the fundamental rights of its citizens by interfering in media freedom, criminalising opposition, repressing protests and attacking migrants and refugees.

At the top of the Council Presidency agenda is rule of law, as it continues to deteriorate in countries like Hungary and Poland, with Prime Minister Janša a close ally of both governments. Other topics are climate action with the crucial COP26 meeting in November and reform of the EU migration policy, topics which the Slovenian presidency has a questionable track record.

Left Co-President Manon Aubry deplored the path taken by the populist Slovenian government, calling for stern EU action against any breaches:

“The Left is very concerned about the rise of a Trump-like far-right PM in Slovenia and the impact it will have on the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Slovenian government and its Prime Minister Janez Janša are following the examples of Hungary and Poland, attacking freedom of speech, weakening democracy and limiting the rights of their opponents.

“Our friends from Levica, who have been specifically targeted by this government, have warned us about the worrying developments, which require a firm reaction from the EU. The Left will increase pressure on the Commission and the Council to make sure that the rule of law mechanism is at last enforced so that human rights violations are no longer tolerated within the EU.”

Co-President Martin Schirdewan said the new Council Presidency is a symbol of the crisis facing the EU:

“Slovenian PM Janez Janša and Hungarian PM Victor Orbán are ideological best friends. They disregard human rights and stand for autocratic systems.

“The fact that Slovenia, of all places, is taking over the EU Council Presidency with this Prime Minister symbolises an EU that makes pacts with right-wing populists, accepts media interference and disregards human rights at its external borders. This reveals the deep crisis the EU is currently stuck in,” Schirdewan concluded.

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