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Ružička: Membership in the EU and Transatlantic Structures Is a Strategic Priority and an Existential Necessity for Slovakia

Ružička: Membership in the EU and Transatlantic Structures Is a Strategic Priority and an Existential Necessity for Slovakia

12.4.2019 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov | SR a EÚ | Slovensko a Európska únia

František Ružička, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, attended the event entitled “Slovakia in the EU after 2019” organized by GLOBSEC at the University of Economics in Bratislava held on 11 April 2019.  The Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Peter Pellegrini, in his role as the keynote speaker, stressed that strategically, politically and economically there is no alternative to Slovakia’s EU-Atlantic orientation.

 

During the panel discussion, State Secretary Ružička stated: “Membership in the EU and transatlantic structures is a strategic priority and an existential necessity for Slovakia. Peace and development are not to be taken for granted. I don’t know of any better alternative for our foreign policy orientation than the European and transatlantic structures. Nobody says that the EU is perfect but with our common will we can work to remove its imperfections.” According to the State Secretary, it is important that the public actively participate in creating our positions since decisions adopted at the EU have a direct influence on our day-to-day life. It is necessary to revitalize a serious discussion on European issues in Slovakia since this has gradually disappeared from the public.  As the State Secretary added, “Slovakia firmly sits at the European negotiation table. It participates in the preparation of pan-European solutions. This does not weaken our sovereignty, quite the reverse, it strengthens it." The Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry actively engages in discussions with the public and students on current foreign policy and European issues, for instance through the National Convention on the EU #MysmeEU (#WeareEU). “The fundaments of our strategy and civilization should be not only the subject of a public discussion but also of a stronger political consensus in line with the joint statement of the three top constitutional officials from 2017.“

 

Another topic discussed was disinformation and its influence on public opinion. The participants in the debate agreed that it is important that politicians, media, educational and EU institutions, as well as the EU member states actively communicate with citizens about the advantages, benefits, rights and obligations ensuing from EU membership.

 

Ladislav Miko, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia, said that just as Slovakia is not only Bratislava, so also the European Union is not only Brussels – the EU is the sovereign member states and their citizens.

 

Together with the State Secretary and the Head of the Representation of the European Commission, the discussion was also taken up by Ivan Štefanec, Member of the European Parliament, Katarína Cséfalvayová, MEP and the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and Aneta Világi, Vice Dean,Faculty Development and International Relations, Comenius University.