Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU
Today (10 December 2018) Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, took part in the regular meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels. From the political point of view, the most significant discussion at the meeting concerned the current situation in the Sea of Azov regarding the Russian military attack on the Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, which occurred on November 25 of this year. The ministers condemned the attack, emphasized their full support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and made an appeal for the release of the detained and unlawfully charged Ukrainian seamen and for guarantees for the free passage through the Kerch Strait for all ships. “The incident in the Kerch Strait was a direct consequence of the annexation of Crimea. Slovakia as the upcoming holder of the chairmanship of the OSCE has a strong interest in the achievement of a sustainable peaceful solution which will be based on the Minsk agreements and will respect the territorial integrity of the Ukraine,” stated Minister Lajčák in this regard. They then discussed the situation in detail with the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, including several EU scenarios to strengthen the economic support for the regions of Eastern Ukraine that are affected most by the conflict.
On Monday (12 November 2018), František Ružička, State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, attended a meeting of the General Affairs Council and the General Affairs Council (Article 50) in Brussels. Ministers and state secretaries for European affairs of the EU member states opened the meeting with a discussion about Brexit...
Today (8 November 2018) Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, delivered a speech at Prešov University as a part of the #MYSMEEÚ series, the aim of which is to make the national discussion on current EU themes more lively, with a special emphasis on the position of Slovakia in the further direction of the European project. In his speech, the minister accentuated five principal messages. The first message is that the European Union has been our vital space for living and should be valued. We automatically cross internal EU borders without passports, drive on highways built from European money, and make roaming-free telephone calls. The Union is also a resource of prosperity. In this regard, Minister Lajčák emphasized that the economic growth of Slovakia after accession to the EU has continuously exceeded overall EU growth, and the unemployment rate has gone down significantly. “We are part of the European family, we use the European currency, we help protect its external borders, and we freely move around its space,” the head of Slovak diplomacy concluded. Of course, this does not give us a reason for absolute complacency, and the Union has been going through its crises, the proof of which is Brexit.
Today (18 September) František Ružička, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, took part in the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels. As part of a packed agenda, the ministers dealt with the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, legislative priorities for next year, the issue of rule of law in Poland and Brexit issues, as well as the agenda for the October European Council meeting.The policy debate of the ministers focused on the priorities that should be primarily covered as part of the new budget framework after 2020. The proposal reflects new challenges that the EU must currently face. These are, for example, strengthening of programmes focusing on citizens’ security, protection of external borders and also issues related to migration in the countries of origin. The cohesion countries, however, notified that these ambitions cannot be pursued to the detriment of traditional policies such as the cohesion policy and common agricultural policy.
Brussels (14 September) – At an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s development segment, at which the Slovak Republic was represented by Lukáš Parízek, State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the discussion among the development ministers was focused on the proposal of creating the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) by integrating the EU’s external policies in the relevant areas. The discussion was held in the context of the 2021-2027 EU budget negotiations. This has been the very first political discussion concerning this issue since the NDICI proposal was published on 14 June. Slovakia’s priority is the migration issue, particularly in terms of how its fundamental causes in countries of origin and transit can be resolved. An equally important issue for Slovakia is retaining the separate European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).