Cabinet Approves Priorities of Slovakia’s Presidency of EU Council

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Cabinet at its session on Thursday approved the official programme of Slovakia's Presidency of the EU Council (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 30 (TASR) – The Cabinet approved the programme of Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU at its session on Thursday, TASR learnt on the same day.

The programme, which basically sets out the priorities for the whole of the EU for the next six months, beginning as of Friday (July 1), when Slovakia will take over the presidency, consists of three parts: the political framework of the presidency, its priorities and the agendas of the individual ministries.

“We’re ready for the presidency, in terms of organisation as well as technical equipment. I believe that we’ll convince everybody [of this],” said Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee).

The Government had been postponing the approval of the programme in order to be able to respond to the result of last Thursday’s (June 23) referendum in the United Kingdom, in which the voters chose to leave the EU.

Lajcak said that the political situation in the EU has been turbulent. “The EU has to deal with the result of the British referendum as well as with the fact that the European idea is losing its popularity among EU citizens. We’re aware of the challenges,” he added.

The approved programme also states the four key priorities of the Slovak presidency – an economically strong Europe, the modern single market, migration and a globally committed Europe.

In terms of a economically strong Europe, the Slovak presidency will focus on increasing the EU’s economic attractiveness. As for the single market, Slovakia wants to focus on a single digital market and Energy Union.

Migration is the third priority. “It’s a huge complex phenomenon, and we must learn to live with it,” said Lajcak. “There are many aspects, and we want to focus on those that are positive and that help EU citizens,” he added.

Slovakia also wants to strengthen the EU as a global player.