Miroslav Lajčák discusses preparations for Slovak Presidency with European Commission and National Council officials
Mr Lajčák’s talks with the Secretary-General of the European Commission, Alexander Italianer, and with the Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, centred on progress made in Slovakia’s preparations for the Presidency, the formulation of priorities, and on cooperation with the other EU institutions.
“We’re looking to focus on issues capable of bringing Europe together,” said Mr Lajčák. “The programme of the Presidency and our priorities will be ambitious, but also realistic and aimed at securing tangible results so as to ensure that our Presidency is successful both for Slovakia and the entire European project,” he added.
At the same time, Mr Lajčák stressed that such success is only possible with effective cooperation between the country holding the Presidency and all EU institutions, including the European Commission.
“We’re looking to focus on issues capable of bringing Europe together,” M. Lajčák.
In his talks with the Commission officials, Mr Lajčák also discussed the preparations for a joint session of the College of Commissioners and the members of the Slovak Government in Brussels in June, as well as a visit to be paid by the European Commissioners to Bratislava when Slovakia takes over at the helm of the Council of the EU in July.
Ivan Korčok, the State Secretary at the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Government Plenipotentiary for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, also held talks with the European Commission’s senior officials on details pertinent to the Slovak Presidency’s work programme.
The European Commission is one of the EU’s three main institutions, acting as the guardian of the Treaties and putting forward legislative proposals. The Secretary-General, who is the Commission’s most senior non-political official, is responsible for its functioning and adherence to procedures. The President of the European Commission is responsible for the policy agenda and represents the European Commission vis-à-vis the Member States.
After talks with the European Commission officials, Mr Lajčák attended a session of the National Council’s committee for European affairs, where he briefed the Members of Parliament on the preparation and priorities of the Slovak Presidency and presented the Annual Report on the Membership of the European Union. In an extensive debate that followed, Mr Lajčák answered questions from the MPs on both topics, which are currently the subject of much public and political interest in Slovakia.