Korcok: EU Enlargement Still Priority of Slovak Presidency

Korcok: EU Enlargement Still Priority of Slovak Presidency

Brussels, September 19 (TASR) – Although the issue of EU enlargement wasn’t on the agenda of the informal summit in Bratislava on Friday (September 16), it’s an important topic in terms of the priorities of Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council, said Foreign and European Affairs Ministry State Secretary Ivan Korcok on Monday.

Korcok, who is also Government Proxy for Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, was speaking at the Moving EU Enlargement Forwards: Why Better Communication Matters conference held at Slovakia’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

“The enlargement process is one of our priorities and I believe that at the end of our Presidency we will be able to show positive results,” said Korcok. He added that when discussing the future of the EU, the talks shouldn’t focus solely on how to “manage the house” after the British departure, but the leaders should also realise that there are projects such as enlargement. That is “the most effective tool for stabilising our neighbourhood,” according to Korcok.

“We want to send a clear message to those countries that want to join the EU what they should do. We aren’t a country that is uncritically pushing the topic of enlargement ahead, but we’re clearly communicating to these countries what they need to do in order to see evident and measurable steps forward,” he said.

Korcok noted that over the first two months of its Presidency, Slovakia has managed this process well, since the EU has opened two key chapters in the accession negotiations with Serbia – first on judiciary and fundamental rights and second on justice, freedom and security. Korcok said that Slovakia is ready to open other accession chapters that are prepared by the end of the year. However, the date(s) of their opening must be agreed upon by all EU-member states.

In addition, the European Commission is about to discuss the request submitted by Bosna and Hercegovina for opening its accession process, stated the Government proxy.