Bratislava, October 23 (TASR) – Slovakia can be an influential and confident country only within a coherent EU, concurred the country’s top constitutional officials – President Andrej Kiska, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) and Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) – at Bratislava Castle on Monday.
The three also agreed that key EU issues can’t be resolved by member states individually but must be dealt with jointly.
“I’m very pleased that the three of us have agreed on and prepared a joint statement on EU issues, our security and our NATO membership. It’s important for our country because it concerns people’s lives, the future of our country and public security. I consider it to be of the utmost importance that the three of us will always and on every occasion confirm the direction of our country and the values and alliances to which Slovakia has adhered,” said Kiska.
The Slovak head of state is convinced that the three top constitutional officials have a duty to show and persuade people that the country can act as a confident and influential country only within a consistent EU. “People need to feel safe, so I welcomed the fact that the Government has approved a new security and defence strategy. I hope that Parliament will greenlight it as well,” said Kiska.
The president further proposed to Danko and Fico that the three should meet before every important EU and NATO summit. “We have to show our people that when it comes to the country’s strategic interests, we stick together,” said Kiska, adding that Slovak ministers should speak more about current EU issues, such as creating a joint European Public Prosecutor’s Office, completing the single market or a banking union.
Danko pointed to Slovakia’s success during its presidency of the Council of the EU and lamented the fact that the country sometimes can’t appreciate its achievements properly. “We keep polarising ourselves, and then we can observe a growth in populist forces here that can’t bring anything but insults and criticism,” said Danko, adding that he’s glad that the top constitutional officials are capable of displaying unity concerning foreign policy issues.
According to Danko, it’s important for everyone to assume responsibility. “I’m calling on the media to help Slovakia promote a good image abroad … We’re clearly aware of EU issues, but it’s really useful when we can meet and openly discuss processes regarding how to support the Union. Our declaration doesn’t mean the rash implementation of all European processes; it means that in the processes that are successful the Union has unanimous support from the three of us,” said Danko.
Fico is convinced that Slovakia is becoming a pro-European island within the central European region. “Slovakia is a country that has clear stances on foreign policy issues. The top constitutional officials speak a common language. We wanted to show Kiska the cohesion of the coalition, so [coalition Most-Hid party leader] Bela Bugar was also present. We know what we want, and we act accordingly,” said the premier.
According to Fico, in terms of foreign policy Slovakia has set the world on fire. “We’re a respected country that has shown that it’s capable of managing complicated processes. We’ve demonstrated sovereignty in the issues of migration and double standards in food quality, and we also want to demonstrate it when it comes to drafting the EU budget. We’ve become a certain pro-European island in central Europe, and I want to maintain this orientation, as nothing suits Slovakia better than European integration,” said the premier.
Kiska, Fico and Danko at the meeting adopted a declaration in which they promised jointly to observe the pro-European and pro-Atlantic orientation of the country, both abroad and vis-a-vis Slovakia’s citizens. Moreover, they support the country’s future at the EU’s core and the constant deepening of the eurozone. They’ll advocate the principles of equal treatment on the internal market without discrimination against any EU consumers.