01/11/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/12/2022 03:12
"During its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), which began on January 1, 2022, France can count on Slovakia to be a constructive and active partner in addressing European issues of common interest. We welcome the priorities of the French Presidency and appreciate its clear focus on strengthening the EU for the benefit of its citizens, not only inside the European community but also externally, by shaping the Union as a foreign policy and global economic player. In difficult times, the strengthening of mutual cooperation and the protection of our values are more important than ever before. We face several challenges and there is no doubt that 2022 will also be extremely important for the whole of the EU. I therefore wish our French friends a successful presidency and I look forward to working together to meet the current challenges."
This was stated by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Martin Klus, on Tuesday, 11 January 2022, in Bratislava, during an online press briefing on the priorities of the French Presidency of the EU Council, which began on 1 January 2022, The event, which was organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia in cooperation with the Embassy of the French Republic in the Slovak Republic, was also attended by experts on European issues, representatives of the Slovak state administration, academia and non-governmental organizations and the media.
At the beginning of the meeting, the French Ambassador to Slovakia, Pascal Le Deunff, presented the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, which are based on three basic ideological pillars - recovery, strength and a sense of belonging. France has set itself the goal of strengthening Europe so that, in addition to its functioning internal cooperation, it is also strong and sovereign in the world, beyond its borders.
"The priorities of the foreign and European policy of the Slovak Republic are linked to the French Presidency of the Council of the EU on several common grounds. On behalf of the diplomacy service, I can reaffirm that we welcome the program and the objectives of the French presidency. I would also like to emphasize that Slovakia will continue to be a constructive partner in addressing all issues that improve the quality of life of EU citizens. I do not mean only economic or social issues but also, for example, the principles of the rule of law," said the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Martin Klus.
He also thanked Gregor Kozovinec, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Slovak Republic, for the success and results achieved by Slovenia while it chaired the EU Council during the second half of 2021. Key priorities of the current French Presidency include progress in the fight against climate change and global warming. The governments in Bratislava and Paris have very similar positions, especially in the case of taxonomy and the use of nuclear energy.
"This topic will certainly have an impact on grasping the important discussion on climate and energy legislation in the package called Fit for 55; regarding this point, Slovakia is ready to actively cooperate with like-minded countries, including France," said Martin Klus. As part of the bilateral agenda and the topic of hydrogen use, he sees room for strengthening cooperation between Slovak and French entities in the field of science, research, industry and production.
According to Martin Klus, as for the other declared priorities of the French Presidency, Slovakia is ready to continue to contribute to progress on the issue of EU enlargement and support for the Western Balkans. An equally important topic remains the continuation of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the results of which will shape the further direction of the EU as well as Slovakia's place within it.