Brussels, December 16 (TASR) – Slovakia will be preparing for its national convention in regards to the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) in late January, although the pandemic might affect the form of the event in the end, Foreign Affairs Ministry State Secretary Martin Klus has stated for TASR.
Klus, who is in charge of CoFoE matters at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, noted in this vein that the situation concerning the pandemic is hard to predict; nevertheless, he expressed the hope that the national convention will take place in Kosice on January 27.
“Time will tell the format of the convention. I hope that, at the very least, it will take place in a hybrid one,” he said. This would mean that some of the attendees would be present in person while other guests would join the event remotely.
The state secretary stressed that the organisers of the event have already sent out invitations, including to the European Commission and the Council of the EU. This is designed to stress the importance of the convention.
“I hope that the public will also get involved because it has to be about it first and foremost, and I’d like young people to be present as well,” said Klus, adding that young people were the focus of a roadshow held during the summer, i.e. meetings with people across Slovakia and a series of events at schools, as well as other activities prepared by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The results of all four CoFoE citizens’ panels will be known by the end of January. At the same time, concrete proposals born out of months of dialogue between EU institutions and politicians and citizens via the online CoFoE platform should appear.
Asked by TASR whether Slovakia is following the progress of this dialogue and also the public proposals for reforming the functioning of the EU, Klus replied that this is a matter for the general affairs department at the the ministry, but he’s also been monitoring these elements as the national coordinator for the CoFoE.
“We’re trying to get a sense not only of what people are saying and demanding at the pan-European level, but also of the way in which this debate is evolving. We’ve set up our national convention in a manner that will allow us to assess basic professional starting points from experts from all four panels that were set up for this purpose in January,” said Klus at the end of the interview.