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2 June 2016
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Presentation of the vision and the priorities of SK PRES in Brussels

Brussels, 1 June - Slovakia will act during its Presidency of the Council of the EU as an honest and neutral broker. Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, announced this in front of more than 200 diplomats, experts, representatives of EU institutions, think-tanks and media, who attended the Slovak Presidency event at the European Policy Centre.

Exactly one month away from taking over the rotating six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU Mr Lajčák outlined Slovakia's intentions at the helm of one of the three most important EU institutions.

"To promote our vision and priorities, Slovakia will act as an honest negotiator, trustworthy player, visionary manager, honest and neutral broker," stressed Mr Lajčák. To use his words, Slovakia takes over the Presidency at a difficult time, when EU faces an entire range of challenges and problems.

"The scale of the challenges that we face today requires European common sense and a joint European response."

Miroslav Lajčák

"The past and current crisis points to one lesson: none of the problems or challenges can be resolved solely at national level. Planned administrative solutions do not work either. The scale of the challenges that we face today requires European common sense and a joint European response," observed Mr Lajčák. That is also why the Slovak presidency will address the current challenges in a positive spirit.

"We intend to be pragmatic and secure tangible results. Therefore we will focus on European projects with practical benefits for the citizens. We want to be unifying in our approach and search for solutions that are acceptable both to all member states and to the EU as a whole. And we want to focus on citizens' needs in order to restore their faith in the EU," stated Mr Lajčák.

He also outlined four priority areas on which Slovakia will focus in terms of content. "Our ambition is to strengthen the EU's economy, modernize and deepen the common market in the areas of energy and digital economy, work on sustainable migration and asylum policy and engage in the EU's external relations in the context of trade agreements and the enlargement policy," said Mr Lajčák at a breakfast meeting at the European Policy Centre.

Then, together with other ministers, Mr Lajčák attended a joint session of the Slovak Government and the European Commission where both partners discussed plans and priorities of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU. Mr Lajčák also accompanied the Prime Minister Róbert Fico to his bilateral meeting with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

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