Statement of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic about the National Convention on the EU – #MYSMEEÚ
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic is organizing the National Convention on the European Union in 2018 entitled #MYSMEEÚ (#WEAREEU). The initiative will follow up on the discussions about the European Union held at Slovak universities last year. With the National Convention we are also becoming engaged in the pan-European dialogue of other EU member states with their citizens on the future direction of the European project. The introductory event of the National Convention on the EU will be held in Bratislava on 22 February 2018 attended by the three top constitutional leaders who will declare their adherence to their joint declaration issued on 23 October 2017 about the Slovak Republic’s European orientation and the need for intensive communication with the public. The National Convention on the EU will continue with seven discussions in the regions in cooperation with Slovak universities – we will especially engage the younger generation, whose future is most touched by the EU.
Korčok: “Montenegro has all the prerequisites to meet the challenges vis-à-vis the euro integration process and to reach the expectations of its citizens”
In the past 12 years since restoring its independence Montenegro has recorded immense and indisputable progress on the road towards European structures. It has built its own democratic institutions, become a member of relevant international organizations, a NATO member, and an active contributor to the mechanisms of regional and global cooperation and security. The Slovak Republic perceives Montenegro – also in the context of the historical role that Miroslav Lajčák, the incumbent Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, played in its referendum on independence in 2006 – as its friend and an ally, while our relations can be deemed above standard. This was stated today (20 February) by Slovak Foreign and European Affairs State Secretary Ivan Korčok while giving a speech before students of the Faculty of Political Sciences at University of Montenegro in Podgorica. The lecture was part of his agenda during the official one-day visit to this former Yugoslav Republic, during which Korčok met with Foreign Affairs Minister Srdjan Darmanović and was received by top constitutional officials of the country – President Vujanović, Speaker of the Parliament Brajović, and Prime Minister Marković.
Brussels (20 February) - State Secretary Lukáš Parízek held discussions today with other EU development ministers on current challenges of the development cooperation policy, including the suitable set up of relations with development partners and adequate funding of sustainable development. The informal meeting of the development section of the EU Foreign Affairs Council paid special attention to evaluation of the review process regarding external financial instruments of the EU. The ministers emphasized that these must be linked to the political priorities of the EU, as well reflecting the need to react to political and security challenges. “The new set up of the financial instruments should effectively react to current gaps in development cooperation, such as in the area of effective connection of development with security, which creates the fundamental framework for sustainable development,” underlined State Secretary Parízek. The need for streamlining decision-making processes, as well as making them more effective and flexible resonated strongly during the meeting. The ministers also agreed that public finances cannot be the only source of funding development objectives and challenges but that it is necessary to search for other innovative forms of financing, including engagement of the private sphere.
Korčok in Zagreb: “I´m pleased that Croatia has shown interest in sharing a comprehensive package of experiences from our Presidency, including the pre-preparatory phase and logistics”
An evaluation of the present level of bilateral relations, Slovakia´s experience with the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as current issues on the EU agenda including the enlargement policy and developments in the Western Balkans dominated today (19 February) at the working meeting of Ivan Korčok, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, in Zagreb, that was held at the invitation of Maria Pejčinović-Burić, Foreign and European Affairs Minister of the Republic of Croatia. As Korčok stated during the talks, Slovak-Croatian relations are at a very good level and are not burdened by any disputes: both states are members of the EU and NATO, Slovakia provides support for Croatia entering the Schengen zone at an expert level based on the agreement signed between the Ministries of the Interior already in 2014.
The second day of the Munich Security Conference was opened on Saturday (17 February) with addresses given by Sigmar Gabriel, the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister. They confirmed their concerns over the massive shifts in the world order featuring unpredictability, as the German minister called it. As Ivan Korčok, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, attending the conference, assessed it, the state leaders´ speeches attested to the fact that "we will not move forward without multilateralism and strong European and transatlantic ties. The European Union must simply be stronger and more assertive to solve its internal misunderstandings and tensions, as well as to prove it can be a global player. We must invest in global security because as Theresa May, the British PM said - security of people in our home countries depends on the overall security of the world.” On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the State Secretary of the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry also had a bilateral meeting with Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, on priorities of the future EU Multiannual Financial Framework. “Our citizens have great expectations from the EU. We must meet them. For the upcoming period we need a budget that would evaluate every single euro in favor of the citizens – in the areas such as security, stability, employment, and prosperity. Slovakia fully stands up for continuing the efforts in economic growth and social approximation inside the EU and continuing the use of cohesion funds and instruments of the Common Agriculture Policy – it is necessary to apply a balanced attitude towards funding new EU priorities such as migration and foreign policy, with the original objectives grounded in the EU Treaties,” stated Korčok in the interview.