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Korčok at the foreign affairs ministerial meeting of V4, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Cyprus and the Balkan partners

Korčok at the foreign affairs ministerial meeting of V4, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Cyprus and the Balkan partners

11.5.2018 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov | Slovensko a Európska únia |

Ivan Korčok, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, represented Slovakia at the foreign affairs ministerial meeting in Cape Sounio, Greece, on 10-11 May, organized by Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister. The discussion focused on the future of the EU, its enlargement and energy security.

 

The ministers agreed that the European Union must again provide a convincing vision and prospects, and to respect the interests of its member states but not to push to the background the values on which the EU has been built. “We must stick to our values. These are the principles of liberal democracy through which the West is identified, Slovakia being a part. If we don´t defend these, we have no chance to be successful in the global competition," stated Korčok in this regard.  

 

When reflecting on the current state of the EU, the ministers stated that we have been in a whirlwind of crises so the Union must fight for its trustworthiness now. “Since we entered the EU, our citizens can see a different picture of the EU than they expected because most of the time since 2004 we have been in a permanent state of crisis management. Despite this, we can still lean upon a solid majority of citizens in Central Europe who support the EU. We cannot overlook at the same time that there is certain disillusionment present among the citizens, also occurring because the EU cannot defend our interests especially in foreign policy and we are also witnessing protectionist measures on the internal market. If the freedom of movement of goods and services faces bigger and bigger obstacles, we cannot be surprised the people stop understanding the EU and that the populists win," said Korčok.

 

State Secretary Korčok also stated that despite all the problems EU membership is undoubtedly a success story for Slovakia.  “As in every aspect of life, EU membership also has its price; however for Slovakia it is natural that we belong to this European family and sit together at one table. This is my message for the Western Balkans, which must continue in demanding reforms.  Only through these reforms together with modernization can the journey to the EU be made. On the other side, those best ready for EU membership cannot be held off from membership only because of political reasons," he stated.