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25 October 2016
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Positive reaction to Presidency's mid-term review in the European Parliament

Strasbourg (25 October) – The State Secretary at the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ivan Korčok, spoke before the chairs of the European Parliament’s committees on Tuesday to present the results of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU halfway into its term.

“The situation we’re in now is different from the one in July, at the beginning of the Presidency, but the atmosphere of uncertainty persists. We believe that the best strategy is efforts aimed at producing tangible results.”

Ivan Korčok

“The situation we’re in now is different from the one in July, at the beginning of the Presidency, but the atmosphere of uncertainty persists,” said Mr Korčok. “We believe that the best strategy is efforts aimed at producing tangible results.”

A whole gamut of topics came up for debate during an exchange of opinions that lasted almost an hour, ranging from home affairs and justice to the EU’s budget, energy and agriculture. Several MEPs recognised the joint work with the Presidency thus far, for example, within the trilogue on the Firearms Directive. 

“The Conference of Committee Chairs represents an important link between the Presidency and the EP’s ‘legislative engine’ – its committees,” said Mr Korčok. He went on to underscore the areas to which the Presidency will pay particular attention, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the Capital Markets Union, the digital single market and the full functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard.  

The Conference of Committee Chairs is made up of the chairs of 24 committees and sub-committees, and coordinates their work. Meetings in this format take place during every plenary session of the EP.

Internal security

At the EP plenary session, the State Secretary represented the Member States in a debate on the EU’s internal security, taking stock of progress made in the fulfilment of approved measures and outlining pending challenges and tasks. 

“One of the vital elements of the EU’s strategy in the area of internal security is to improve access to information and its exchange, particularly through interconnectedness of various information systems,” said Mr Korčok. 

He highlighted the importance of this topic by pointing to the agendas of two Councils scheduled for November. The home affairs ministers (JHA Council) will discuss issues concerning internal security. The ministers for education (EYCS Council), for their part, will talk about ways to prevent radicalisation leading to violent extremism.

Mr Korčok also represented the Council in a discussion on the European Semester. Meanwhile, in the margins of the plenary session, Mr Korčok met the European Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources, Kristalina Georgieva, as well as the chair of the EP committee for budget and the rapporteurs for the mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework.

The State Secretary, Mr Korčok, speaks on the EU’s internal security on behalf of the Council of the EU

Photo: EU 2016 - EP

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