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State Secretary Ružička Takes Part in the Meeting of Visegrad 4 State Secretaries and the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher

State Secretary Ružička Takes Part in the Meeting of Visegrad 4 State Secretaries and the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher

6.2.2020 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov | BREXIT |

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, a meeting of State Secretaries of the Visegrad 4 countries with the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher took place in Prague. At the event, which was held as part of the Czech presidency, the Slovak Republic was represented by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, František Ružička.
 

The key theme of the meeting was the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. “The United Kingdom has been an important partner for us, also during the decision-making processes in the EU concerning areas such as the single market, enlargement, or energy. You could bring the necessary balance in the process of the EU negotiations,” said State Secretary František Ružička, acknowledging the UK’s contributions to the EU.
 

The partners assured each other about the readiness of their countries to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, which, inter alia, protects the rights of citizens during the so called “transition period,” which will run until the end of 2020. 
 

Negotiations between the UK and the EU are now entering into another phase in which the parties need to come to an agreement on the future arrangements of relations. “We all have a common goal – a broad, ambitious and fair agreement which will be in harmony with the strategic nature of our relations,” concluded František Ružička. 
 

The lack of time remains a challenge for achieving such a comprehensive agreement. 
 

The meeting provided a forum for the mutual exchange of information about the priorities that the countries have for the next stage of negotiations. “A free trade agreement with no customs tariffs and quotas must go hand-in-hand with fair conditions for economic operators. It is necessary to maintain fair trade and competitiveness for our undertakings,” said František Ružička, describing the Slovak priorities for negotiations about future relations.