Lajcak: Expectations for OSCE Presidency High, Slovakia Inherits Budget Issue

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Slovakia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (stock photo by TASR)

Vienna, January 10 (TASR-correspondent) – The priorities that Slovakia has set for its OSCE Presidency are perceived as realistic and accepted by all members, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak said at a press conference after the presentation of Slovak Presidency’s priorities on Thursday.

“The expectations for our presidency are high. Slovakia has found a favourable response in the OSCE. I’m receiving words of praise about our preparation and the quality of our team from all sides. Hence, the main test is awaiting us now,” claimed Lajcak.

According to Lajcak, Slovakia focuses on themes that don’t divide but rather unify OSCE members. “The support of people, dialogue and stability, engaging in conflict prevention or amelioration of their impacts, tackling challenges posed by the future and espousing multilateralism as an efficient tool,” he said.

OSCE Secretary-General Thomas Greminger, also present at the joint conference, congratulated the Slovak diplomatic service on the fashion in which it was organising and approaching the OSCE Presidency. He also sounded a warning note about the challenges to come in the future, however. “I know, however, that you’re prepared.”

Among the problems inherited from the previous presidency is the 2019 OSCE budget, which still hasn’t been passed to date. “In international organisations, it happens that you condition one issue on the other. But we’re seeking solutions and I hope that a proper budget will be on the table within a few weeks, so that the organisation can set to work,” claimed Lajcak.

The fact that the OSCE started a new year on a provisional budget is nothing new, added Lajcak. “Seeing as this organisation operates on the principle of consensus, we have failed to arrive at a consensus yet.”

Slovakia assumed the one-year OSCE Presidency from Italy as of January 1. On December 19, the Slovak Government approved the three top priorities of the presidency, the core motto of which is “Slovakia 2019: for people, dialogue and stability”.