Miroslav Lajčák: To Talk about European Security in Berlin is more than Symbolic

Miroslav Lajčák: To Talk about European Security in Berlin is more than Symbolic

26.11.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE

“The territory covered by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe includes more than one billion people; not all of them live in safety and not all of them have access to the means to meet their basic needs,” these were the words of Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delivered today (November 26, 2019) at the Berlin Security Conference. The chief Slovak diplomat delivered his introductory remarks as one of two keynote speakers. In his speech, he focused on the current situation in the OSCE region regarding security. “The OSCE plays an important role and supports political processes. In Ukraine, the organisation has had a monitoring role, and it also helps civilians, supports the trust-building processes in Moldova and the implementation of measures which help reduce tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Moreover, it creates platforms for dialogue in Georgia and works for the consolidation of peace, stability and democracy in the Western Balkans. Finally, it supports the dialogue and regional cooperation in Central Asia,” emphasized Minister Lajčák. In his remarks, he further described the course and the results of the Slovak chairmanship in the OSCE which will culminate with the Ministerial Council in Bratislava, on 5-6 December 2019. 


Minister Miroslav Lajčák today also met in Berlin with the former minister of foreign affairs, Sigmar Gabriel and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee (of the Bundestag), Norbert Röttgen. The main themes of these meetings were the current issues concerning the OSCE and the EU and relations with the global players. “The last time I visited Berlin was two weeks ago during celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To speak about the European security in this city which had been the epicentre of the Cold War is more than symbolic,” concluded Minister Lajčák. He also said that it was really the German metropolis which suffered the pain of the divided Europe the most, but also the joy of its unification. In his talks with his German partners, the topics that mainly resonated were related to the position of the EU in the international environment and its relations with the key global players. “If the EU wishes to pursue its interests against the global competition it must invest more in key areas and in relations with strong third countries. It must act in an assertive and unified manner,” stated Miroslav Lajčák. The partners discussed the current developments of the conflict in Ukraine where Germany is one of the most engaged parties. At the beginning of October, the representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group signed the agreement on the so called “Steinmeier Formula”. This is a plan which was presented three years ago as part of negotiations on the conflict in Ukraine by the then German Minister of Foreign Affairs and now President Frank Walter Steinmeier. The aim was to implement the Minsk Agreements and restore peace. The partners agreed that it is necessary to use the currently appropriate conditions and progress made in certain partial issues in order to achieve further headway in the shortest possible time.

As part of the conference programme, the chief Slovak diplomat also gave an interview for the influential German daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, on the current issues related to the EU and the OSCE, with the aim of increasing in Germany awareness about Slovakia and its foreign policy. He also gave an interview for the renowned weekly Der Spiegel in which he spoke on security and political issues.