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State Secretary Ružička at Working Consultations in Athens

State Secretary Ružička at Working Consultations in Athens

21.9.2019 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov |

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic František Ružička held working consultations in Athens on 19-20 September 2019. The talks with Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister of Greece for European Affairs, revolved around bilateral cooperation as well as the broader development in the EU and the region. The State Secretary assessed the mutual cooperation as good and promising:  “I’m pleased with the long-term positive trajectory of the bilateral relations and the ambition shared by both sides to move this forward in ways that include trade and economic relations, innovations and education. It is important that also in response to the numerous internal and external challenges we as partners in the EU are interested in joint European solutions that will contribute to a safe, prosperous and globally strong Union. Both partners unequivocally endorsed the integration ambitions of the Western Balkans countries and expressed their support for the opening of accession talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania during the General Affairs Council in October. Brexit is not among the pleasant chapter of the relations between the EU and Great Britain; however, we respect the will of the voters. It is important for the EU to maintain its unity and at the same time support solutions that would enable it to avoid a no-deal withdrawal. Slovakia as well as Greece expressed their support for preserving strategic relations with Great Britain, which are of core importance from the point of view of our citizens, economy and trade, as well as security."

 

The negotiations with Dimitris Mitropoulos, Advisor for Strategic and European Affairs to Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, focused on the current European agenda. The partners talked about the composition of and the expectations from the new European Commission, priorities of the new budget, Brexit developments, the EU enlargement policy, as well as strengthening the rule of law in the EU. The State Secretary appreciated the close views with regard to the resolution of several strategic issues on the EU agenda that will influence its direction for the years to come:  “Greece is a valuable partner for the Slovak Republic in the ongoing talks on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. Together we promote an emphasis on the cohesion policy including flexible implementation rules, as well as providing for adequate financial resources in the Common Agriculture Policy. We also share similar thoughts on the future of the Western Balkan region - the prospects of its European integration represent clear political and strategic investments for the EU. We jointly support maintaining the ambitious character of the enlargement process and its concrete results."

 

State Secretary Ružička also held talks with Deputy Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament and Chairman of the Special Standing Committee on European Affairs Nikitas Kaklamanis, during which a strong interest in reinforcing mutual cultural exchange and interpersonal contacts was voiced.