MEP Kukan: Slovak Presidency Might Be Just What Europe Needs

MEP Kukan: Slovak Presidency Might Be Just What Europe Needs

MEP Kukan: Slovak Presidency Might Be Just What Europe Needs

The forthcoming Slovak presidency comes twelve years after my country joined the European Union.

Since 2004, Slovakia has matured, became proud of its achievements and celebrated its place at the heart of Europe.

Slovakia represents precisely what the EU needs: political maturity, an unwavering European attitude and confidence in the future.

Slovakia is in strong position to lead the Council and demonstrate values and benefits of EU membership.

In tough times for the EU, we need to know what we want. We need to make Europe work better inside for its citizens and become stronger on the global scene. Regrettably, Brexit has overshadowed the start of the Slovak Presidency. We commit to playing our part as an honest broker, to deal with the present situation and to find a solution that delivers what is best for the EU’s 27 Member States. We support a well-functioning European Union working for all its members; large and small.

Brexit, however, it is not the only thing the next six months should be defined by.

Slovakia can help the EU regain its confidence in the field of relations with the rest of the world. Our Presidency offers the opportunity to press ahead with the enlargement process in the Western Balkans and to bring a fresh drive and perspective to relations with the wider neighbourhood. Slovakia should use its first-hand experience from the integration process and its positive attitude towards our closest neighbours to achieve real progress on visa liberalisation and continuing negotiations with EU candidate countries.

This Presidency must confirm Slovakia’s European stance. The country from Central Europe will become the centre of Europe.”