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EM Germany: Slovakian Council Presidency Briefing Report

Economic and monetary union, digital single market, migration, security,……this presidency surely promises to be a busy six months. On June 13th European Movement Germany and the Slovakian Embassy in Berlin welcomed more than a hundred guests to their Briefing about the Slovakian Presidency Council and it’s planned programme. H.E. Dr. Peter Lizák, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic, defined his country’s aims as ”Recharging Europe” or simple making the European Union ‘better, more comprehensible and more pragmatic’.

Although overshadowed by the Brexit referendum, the presidency will not focus merely on the possible exit of the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, negotiating these conditions will become important. Despite the negative impact that a Brexit may have on the EU, the current situation of the UK seems to be initiating a “healing” process for the remaining EU27, making them stand together more closely.

The priorities that Dr. Lizák presented focused on strengthening the economic and monetary union, as well as decreasing unemployment, particularly youth unemployment. A strategy of investment aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises is envisaged to create an attractive environment for potential investors. Balancing economic and environmental interests is one of the key issues in this matter.

Another important factor that was outlined in the briefing is the development of the digital single market. Representing up to 5% of the GDP of the European Union, the Slovak Presidency believed that this sector should attract much more focus.

Migration and security of the external borders was also high on the political agenda. And developing better relation with origin and transit states, such as Turkey, was said to be become much more important.

First concepts and results of the Slovak Council Presidency are expected for the EU Summit in mid-September. Overall, the atmosphere at the briefing in Berlin was optimistic but realistic with the Dutch Presidency having set an excellent example of a busy but successful Council Presidency.

The full report of the Slovakian Council Presidency Briefing in German can be found here.

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