Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

06/29/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2022 00:41

Martin Klus: I believe this historically first visit of Irish parliamentarians will give yet another impetus for further enhancement of our bilateral and economic cooperation

"I am particularly glad to welcome the first ever visit by Irish parliamentarians - members of the Irish-Slovak Parliamentary Group of Friendship from the establishment of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava today. This group of senators and parliamentarians of the Lower House began working only a year ago. Today we can already see the fruits of its endeavours - a working visit to Slovakia."

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Martin Klus made this statement after receiving members of the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas) led by Senator John Cummins from Fine Gael, the second strongest party in the current governing coalition in Ireland on Tuesday, 28 June 2022. Senator Garret Ahearn, also from Fine Gael, and the Member of the Lower House, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, from the main opposition party, the Republican Sinn Féin were also part of this delegation. The visit of the Irish parliamentarians to Slovakia is part of a joint effort to develop a Slovak-Irish parliamentary dimension of cooperation.

"I have tried to give political impetus to Slovakia's relations with Ireland after the COVID-19 related downturn in May through my bilateral consultations with the Irish Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, which are now gaining a new dimension and further room for cooperation also thanks to this parliamentary visit. I am very pleased that the visit also confirms the shared views of our countries on pro-European orientation and the protection of European values," said Klus, State Secretary of the MFEA SR.

Among other topics, the discussion explored the possibilities of strengthening business cooperation between Slovak and Irish companies. The State Secretary also mentioned, as yet unrealized trade mission by Irish entrepreneurs to Slovakia. "I see untapped potential in our economic cooperation and yet our economies have many commonalities - they are smaller, pro-export oriented, mainly driven by small and medium-sized enterprises in the Union's single market, also sharing the same currency. I am pleased that Irish parliamentarians have pledged their personal commitment to make the visit by this business delegation a reality," said Martin Klus.

The Irish parliamentary delegation also updated the Slovak counterpart on the state of relations with the United Kingdom following unilateral steps taken by the British Government to pass legislation that would repeal some of the key provisions of the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, making clear its appreciation for efforts made by the European Commission and the support of Slovakia. "I confirmed our common interest - proper implementation of the Protocol and good relations between the EU and Britain, which will allow us to preserve peace, prosperity and the current state of affairs on the Irish island - along the so-called invisible border between Northern Ireland and Ireland," added Martin Klus, the State Secretary of the Slovak foreign ministry.