#WEAREEU: Korčok has discussions with students in Martin as part of the series of events within the National Convention on the European Union

#WEAREEU: Korčok has discussions with students in Martin as part of the series of events within the National Convention on the European Union

15.5.2018 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov | Národný konvent o Európskej únii | SR a EÚ | Slovensko a Európska únia | Slovensko diskutuje o EÚ

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic today (15 May) held another event within the series of the National Convention #WEAREEU (#MYSMEEÚ) at the Jessenius Faculty at Comenius University in Martin. The event was opened by Andrea Kalavská, Slovak Health Minister, Ján Danko, Dean of the Faculty, and Ivan Korčok, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.  

“As we can hear voices putting the benefits of our membership in the EU and NATO in doubt from several sides, I consider it to be of real importance to recall again why we entered these organizations and why this is important for us even now.  Although Slovakia has been an EU member state for 14 years already, more than a half of Slovaks are not clear about where Slovakia belongs to – to the East or to the West.  Therefore, it is very important to have an open and critical discussion about what the West is and what EU membership brings to us,” stated Korčok in his address. In the first panel to follow, the State Secretary discussed with students the place of Slovakia in the EU and the priorities and ideas the young generation has about the future of the EU.  “While for my generation the EU was an almost unreachable ambition, the young generation takes the European Union and its related advantages for granted.  Therefore, I have been pleased today that the talks among the young people today featured the idea that the EU is first of all a peace project,” stated Korčok.  The discussion also attested to the fact that the students of the faculty perceive the EU positively especially vis-à-vis the opportunities it offers: travelling, studying abroad through the Erasmus project and getting-to-know new people and cultures.  

The second panel discussion was devoted to expert topics resonating at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine: that is the health of the population, health care, its funding, as well as the future in relation to EU policies in this area.  In the panel moderated by Zuzana Martináková, Director General of the Radio Aktual, three experts in health care Miriama Letovanec, Director of the Implementation Unit of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office for Investments and Informatization of the Slovak Republic, then Martin Smatana, Director of the Health Policy Institute, and Pavol Čekan, a Slovak scientist and co-founder of the MultiplexDX Compay, gave their addresses. The discussion featured the funding of health care and more efficient allocation of public funds for its improvement.  The panellists also exchanged views on other important topics such as greater emphasis on prevention and more effective diagnostics, as well as prevention of a medical brain drain abroad, and more effective application of expertise and knowledge from other EU member states to the conditions of the Slovak Republic.  

Within the accompanying program, the participants could also participate in more activities of the non-governmental organization Sebavedomé Slovensko (Self-Confident Slovakia) focused on raising awareness about our membership in the Euro Atlantic structures, as well as the performance of puppets by Memo Gym picturing important personages of Slovak and European history.  At the end of the Convention, a working lunch by State Secretary Korčok together with several prominent personalities of Martin public life was held. On top of the discussion at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, within the additional Convention activities the State Secretary also paid a visit to the Slovak National Library in Martin, which collects all Slovak periodicals and non-periodicals, as well as audio-visual works. 


The National Convention on the EU is a way for the ministry to naturally follow up to the discussions held last year with students and the wider public at Slovak universities. The Convention´s objective is to create an appropriate platform for discussion about the European Union and about the value framework, security, prosperity and stability of Slovakia that has no alternative outside the EU.  The Convention also represents an opportunity to get feedback from the Slovak public. This year the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic opened a series of events in Bratislava, wherein the three top constitutional representatives and other 500 guests participated. Bratislava has been followed by Žilina, Zvolen and today by Martin. By the end of this year seven regional events will be held; the next one is organized by the Ministry at University of Prešov at the beginning of the next school year.