OLaNO-NOVA: Bratislava Summit Is Both Success and Wasted Chance

A stock photo of a gas pipeline (by TASR)

Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – The Bratislava summit of EU leaders on Friday is a success for Slovak diplomacy, but it’s also a wasted opportunity, as Slovakia could offer substantial solutions at a time in which Europe and the whole world are listening to it more than ever before, stated Opposition party Ordinary People-NOVA on the same day.

“The informal summit of leaders of 27 EU-member states in Bratislava is a success for Slovakia’s Presidency [of the Council of the EU] and of Slovak diplomacy. Slovakia’s first ever presidency is also a symbol that Slovakia is a full-fledged and responsible EU member,” wrote the party in its statement.

However, the Slovak Cabinet hasn’t proposed any specific vision for where the EU should go next. “Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Government hasn’t succeeded in promoting themes that are key to Slovakia, such as energy security. The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project drafted by Germany and Russia is set to bypass Slovakia, and this could cost us around €800 million per year [in lost gas transit revenues],” added OLaNO-NOVA.

The party emphasised the need to protect the euro and praised the idea of closer European cooperation in the area of defence. “We think this is the right move forward, because Europe has to ensure the security of its citizens. At the same time, with Britain gone and long-term reductions in defence budgets [of EU-member states], the creation of a European army isn’t realistic,” said OLaNO-NOVA.

The downside of the presidency is that Slovakia hasn’t managed to unite individual member states, thinks the party. “They’ve come to the Bratislava summit divided into various interest groups. This is partly a result of the populist stance of this Government towards the EU, with Robert Fico giving preference to political advantage and capital over a responsible search for solutions,” added OLaNO-NOVA.

It’s difficult to take responsibility and become an objective and impartial leader of the EU on questions such as migration, international politics and relations with Russia and Turkey, stated the party.