Bratislava, June 6 (TASR) – European Union (EU) citizens need a strong and united Europe able to assert itself in global politics, said Slovak President Andrej Kiska at the Globsec 2019 security conference in Bratislava, also stressing the need for greater integration and investments in security and joint technology, such as a European chip.
“In order to fulfil our ambitions, we need to be more integrated. A return to national states is no solution. We must be more European, not only in our speeches and not just in Brussels. Being European means respecting the principles of the rule of law as well as defending the freedom of the media and civil society because our EU isn’t just an economic project, it’s a union of values and democratic principles,” said Kiska, delivering his final speech on foreign policy and security as Slovak president.
Kiska also highlighted transatlantic relations, conceding that many people are worried about their quality, however. According to him, it’s natural that Europeans don’t like the current communication tone of the US administration or considerations regarding tariffs. “However, we have no arguments against criticism that we aren’t doing enough for our own defence, that we aren’t investing sufficiently in it,” he said.
The president believes that if Europe wants to be a respected player, it mustn’t be dependent on the help of others. “If we invest in our forces, we’ll strengthen the European pillar of NATO and strengthen Europe. That’s why we need to invest in the armed forces, not in new structures – to be able to act independently as Europe if we choose,” he said.
According to Kiska, serious threats to security in Europe are posed by technological imprudence and the lack of a strategy in this area. “If we aren’t serious now, no investments in the military will compensate for the damage that our ignorance will cause,” he said, adding that Europe should have technology that member states would own collectively. “I’m talking about a European chip. This key part of infrastructure must remain in our, European, hands,” he stated.