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Lajčák with Swiss counterpart on Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU

Lajčák with Swiss counterpart on Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU

10.3.2016 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo SR v Rade EÚ

Bratislava (10 March) - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák received Foreign Affairs Minister of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter in Bratislava, who came to Slovakia to discuss bilateral issues and the upcoming Presidency of the Slovak Republic in the Council of the European Union.
 
Minister Lajčák appreciated the quality of bilateral relations and intensity of Slovak-Swiss contacts, which will receive another impetus in June when Slovakia should be visited by the President of Switzerland. On top of the political dialogue, they also highlighted the cooperation in economy, science and innovation. Lajčák also mentioned the cooperation with Switzerland in consular services, as it represents Slovakia in six countries where Slovakia does not have its own embassy.
 
Minister Lajčák also confirmed the resolve to continue in the cooperation in the Visegrad Four plus Switzerland format and appreciated that Bern has been an active contributor to the International Visegrad Fund.
 
The talks with Burkhalter focused on European issues and preparations for the upcoming Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU. Although Switzerland is not an EU member, there is integration in several European policy areas and Switzerland has adopted a substantial part of EU legislation.
 
There are several open questions between the European Union and Switzerland at the moment. EU-Swiss relations have recently faced added complications following the Swiss referendum as of February 2014 on limiting excessive migration – including from EU countries, and both sides are currently involved in talks on how to implement its result without limiting the existing free movement of people agreements. Due to the situation incurred, EU-Swiss negotiations on several other joint agreements are also currently on hold. The resolving of some of these open issues may culminate during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU in the latter half of the year. 
 
“Slovakia wants to constructively contribute to finding bilaterally acceptable solutions that will move relations between Switzerland and the European Union forward,” stated Minister Lajčák following the talks with his Swiss counterpart.