March 5. 2024. 12:29

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Sanchez starts mini-tour in Austria to present top priorities for EU presidency

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is to begin his mini EU tour on Thursday to give Madrid’s priorities for when it takes over the six-month rotating EU Council presidency in July.

Sanchez’s mini-tour will take him through Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, yet due to his busy political agenda at home, the prime minister will make another four or five trips to three other EU capitals over the coming months, official sources told EURACTIV’s partner EFE.

In total, Sánchez plans to visit some 15 EU capitals, where he will meet with his counterparts.

In Vienna, the Spanish prime minister will meet Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, and in the afternoon, in Zagreb, he will discuss key issues of the Spanish EU presidency with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. On Friday, he will travel to Ljubljana to meet Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob.

Though there are no fixed dates regarding other destinations, it will likely occur in March, April and June – with the next trip likely to be to Ireland, Denmark and Finland.

Besides presenting Madrid’s EU Council priorities, Sánchez wants to listen to the positions of all EU partners on key issues on the EU agenda, particularly those to be agreed upon before the next European elections due in May 2024.

Among these pending negotiations are those aimed at achieving a Pact on Migration and Asylum. Spain wants to play a decisive role in this and other challenges, such as strengthening the European Union’s strategic autonomy.

Madrid has organised an EU leaders’ summit in Granada on 6 October, aiming to progress on this topic. The day before, also in the same city, the EU-27 will meet with the European countries that are not part of the EU.

An EU-Latin America and Caribbean summit will be held in Brussels on 17 and 18 July, which the Spanish government wants to make a success after eight years without such bilateral meetings.

(José Miguel Blanco |EFE)