Lajcak: It’s Time to Look at EU Critically

Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 11 (TASR) – Passion for EU membership has been replaced with Euroscepticism and exhaustion from enlargement, said Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) in Bratislava on Monday.

Lajcak also said that division and an individual approach are winning out over unity, while the economic and financial crisis has shaken people’s trust in the euro currency. The EU needs to address the migration crisis and Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

“All of this is serious, but we have to remain calm and act jointly,” stated Lajcak, adding that Europeans don’t have enough trust in the EU’s ability to perform well any more.

“People are afraid of losing their sense of security, identity and prosperity. They fear most the EU’s inability to cope with all the challenges we’re facing. It’s time for us to look at the EU and ourselves in a critical way,” added Lajcak.

Slovakia’s chief of diplomacy emphasised that the EU wants to retain as good a relationship with Britain as possible. The future of the EU will also be dealt with at an informal summit in Bratislava due to take place on September 16. “We all want a modern and forward-thinking Europe of all citizens. We’d like to see more things that bind us than divide us. I have to explain clearly to our people that the EU is a solution and not a problem, a friend and not an enemy, and why there is no better alternative,” added Lajcak.

Lajcak presented the priorities of Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, stressing efforts to strengthen the European economy, to modernise the internal market and to expand it via power engineering and the digital economy, to develop sustainable migration and asylum policies and to facilitate trade agreements and enlargement.

“We want to be pragmatic and realistic. It’s time to achieve concrete and tangible results. We want to unite people, we want to be the voice of people. We have to address the real problems that our people are facing,” said Lajcak.