Intensive diplomatic final steps before commencing Slovak Presidency

Intensive diplomatic final steps before commencing Slovak Presidency

2.6.2016 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo SR v Rade EÚ | SR a EÚ

Bratislava (2 June) – With less than a month to go from the start of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic is becoming a place of intensive diplomatic activities and top-level visits.

Over a span of a few hours in Bratislava, Minister Miroslav Lajčák welcomed two important European counterparts in Bratislava with whom he discussed the content of the Slovak Presidency and gave an address at the regular meeting of all of Slovakia’s ambassadors held every two years – and, also on Thursday, Prime Minister Robert Fico gave an address there.

The concrete agenda Slovakia will take over from the current Dutch Presidency on 1 July was up for discussion when Minister Lajčák and his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders met on Thursday. During their meeting, Minister Lajčák was interested in the current experience of the Dutch Presidency.  Both ministers profiled open issues that are on the current agenda of the Council and will overlap with the Slovak Presidency as well.

The ministers also signed an agreement on the Slovak-Dutch cooperation during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU. Based on it, Dutch experts will help in such areas where Slovakia lacks enough expertise for objective reasons. This might be true of some international environmental and fishing policy issues.

Minister Koenders came to Slovakia already on Wednesday evening when he had a working dinner in Bratislava with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, at the invitation of Minister Lajčák. Just shortly before the dinner she held bilateral talks with Minister Lajčák on the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the EU and the representation of the Union abroad by Slovakia in cooperation with the European External Action Service she heads.

Mogherini also discussed the current challenges facing European diplomacy on the international policy scene with the Slovak ambassadors, and the role of the Slovak representation offices abroad in terms of representing the EU policy and interests in the world.