Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU
Preparations for the European Council ahead of the meetings in Brussels (on 14 and 15 December 2017) was the core issue discussed at the General Affairs Council (GAC) today (12 December). The Slovak delegation was led by State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Korčok. In terms of the summit, he stated the following: “One of the clear political messages will be the launch of the member states´ cooperation in defence. The so-called PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence) is a tangible outcome to which we have already committed at the Bratislava summit. However, we will be able to deem it successful only when this cooperation is reflected in building tangible capacities. It is very good that the leaders will supervise the realization.”
The prospects of the Mideast Peace Process following US President Donald Trump´s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, as well as current developments in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iran in light of defining the form of future cooperation with these countries vis-à-vis the EU’s strategic interests in the region, were the core topics of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the EU today (11 December). The Slovak delegation was led by State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Ivan Korčok.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs SR, Ivan Korčok, attended a working luncheon of the EU foreign ministers and the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in Brussels today (5 December). The key discussion themes included issues of mutual relations, Iran’s nuclear program, the situation in the eastern area of Ukraine and relations with Russia as well as the Middle East peace process. This was the first EU-U.S. meeting at the foreign ministry level under the current American administration. The meeting confirmed the importance of Trans-Atlantic relations for the security and prosperity of people living on both sides of the Atlantic. “It is especially at the time of uncertainty, regional conflicts, a tense global security situation and much disinformation that we need to keep reminding about what our security stands on, its foundation is EU-US cooperation based on trust and common values,” noted State Secretary Korčok.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs SR, Ivan Korčok, alongside the Defence Minister SR, Peter Gajdoš, upon the mandate granted by the SR government, signed the notification on accession to the so-called Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on defence within the EU, an important initiative to further strengthen EU member states’ cooperation in defence, on behalf of the Slovak Republic, today (13 November) in Brussels. The relevant instruments were signed by 23 states. “Creating PESCO means that certain member states decided to jointly do more in cooperation in the area of security and defence. This has confirmed what we have been saying for a long time already: European integration will be faster and will go deeper in certain areas. The security and defence agenda has thus acquired new dynamics a year since the Bratislava Summit. Several ambitious initiatives have been launched and PESCO is their epicentre. This pace needs to be kept,” noted Korčok while reminding that the process is just starting through the signing of the notification.
The topic of strategic communication within the EU and signing of the notification on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on defence dominated today’s (13 November) Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, first at the level of foreign ministers from the EU member states and later in a format extended by the defence ministers. State Secretary Ivan Korčok of the diplomacy department, who was representing the Slovak Republic at FAC, evaluated the discussion dedicated to strategic communication as a stimulating one, especially its part where the ministers delved into the opportunities to strengthen the existing capacities and long-term financing of the fight against dissemination of propaganda. “I share the feeling of urgency on the topic,” noted Korčok, “because propaganda and disinformation campaigns are a threat to the EU and undermine the values it is built on.