11/05/2021 | Press release | Archived content
"I´m pleased that at our first official meeting the new Ambassador of the French Republic to Slovakia, the experienced diplomat Pascal Le Deunff, confirmed the importance of the strategic partnership between our countries. The French count on us as a key ally in the Central European region, not only in regards to nuclear energy as part of the fight against climate change and high energy prices, but also as a partner supporting the rule of law, trade, security and the strategic autonomy of the European Union, the aim of which is to strengthen the resilience of the European community. And this is exactly the common interest of France and Slovakia."
This was stated by the State Secretary of the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Martin Klus in Bratislava on Thursday (4 November 2021) during a meeting with the new Ambassador of the French Republic to Slovakia Pascal Le Deunff. The diplomat is quite familiar with the political and security situation in Central and Eastern Europe as he also used to work as the Ambassador of France to Moldova.. The main topics of their discussion were opportunities for the development of bilateral cooperation between Slovakia and France, as well as current European issues.
"I can confirm that on top of the traditional friendship and strong historical ties, our countries are also connected by the growing volume of mutual trade. I´m pleased that the Slovak-French relations are at a very good level and continue to develop further. France is Slovakia's fourth most important trade partner and French companies are important investors and employers here as well, especially in the automotive industry, even during the COVID-19 pandemic," summarized the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry´s State Secretary Martin Klus.
At the same time he expressed his appreciation for the partnership between Slovakia and France and called for the further strengthening of the relations in the areas of common interest.
"With the Ambassador we have identified, for instance, smart and green technologies as potential areas for the further development of our cooperation. In the context of the fight against climate change as well high energy prices, both our countries care about maintaining the right of EU member states to design their own energy mix, including sustainability and modernization in nuclear energy," stated Klus adding that Slovakia supports the ambitious climate policy of the EU because it concerns the global trustworthiness of Europe, as well as the future of the Earth.
The State Secretary of Slovakia´s diplomacy ministry also held talks with French Ambassador Pascal Le Deunff about current European topics as France has already begun preparing for the half-year Presidency in the Council of the European Union, which it will take over as of 1 January 2022.
Klus will also discuss the priorities of the French Presidency in more detail during bilateral consultations with his French partner, which are planned to take place in Paris at the end of November.
"However, during the discussion we also touched on the current preparations of the EU Strategic Compass that should guide our collective efforts so that the EU is more effective and able to face security threats and challenges. I emphasized that for Slovakia there is currently no other alternative for a collective defense than the membership in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). However, at the same time we are ready to reinforce Slovakia´s contribution within the concept of European security as well. Therefore, the EU Strategic Compass as well as the NATO Strategic Concept, which are being prepared at the same time, must, from our point of view, confirm the synergy and approximation of these two strategical partners," stated the State Secretary of the Slovak Republic as an explanation of our position.
The French Ambassador Pascal Le Deunff also expressed his appreciation for the active approach of the Slovak diplomacy with regards to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe in Slovakia, especially the summer Roadshow around Slovakia and the discussion project of diplomats at schools entitled Back to School that explains the functioning of the EU to young pupils and students. Similar activities are also being carried out by France. State Secretary Klus conveyed the expectations of citizens and was interested in how the results of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will be prepared during France´s Presidency of the Council of the EU, would be adopted.