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Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus presents priorities of Presidency of the Council of the EU

The decision of the UK voters to leave the EU and the migration crisis are going to be the priority issues of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU which began on July 1. Slovakia, which joined the EU in 2004, assumes the rotating Presidency for the first time.

Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus, Oksana Tomova, presented the priorities of the Slovak Presidency during a press conference on Monday, at the EU House in Nicosia.

She pointed out that her country assumes the Presidency in very challenging times while the EU is faced with serious crises. The Ambassador said that the EU leaders regret the fact that the UK has decided to leave the bloc, underlining that the EU is the best solution for Europe.

“Brexit will overshadow and dominate the meetings during our Presidency, it is a fundamental change that the UK is leaving the EU but this is a momentum to see how we can build a better bond between the citizens and the EU”, Tomova said.

She recalled that the EU leaders will discuss Brexit during a meeting in Bratislava set for September 16. The Ambassador said that “we could approach the challenges from a positive angle,” adding that failure is not an option and the recent developments do not mean that the EU has failed.

Tomova also said that the EU should be closer to its citizens, adding that it is necessary for the people not to receive the messages of the EU in a bureaucratic language.

Regarding the migration crisis, she said that migration puts extra pressure on external borders and that the Slovak Presidency will focus on sustainable migration. Tomova also said that the discussions should continue in order to find efficient measures to protect the Schengen area.

The four priorities of the Slovak Presidency are namely an economically strong Europe, a modern single market, a sustainable migration and asylum policies, and a globally engaged Europe.

The Presidency will focus on initiatives that help create an appropriate environment for investment and for the further development of the Union, to further develop unifying projects, such as the energy union and the digital single market, to encourage the Union to develop more sustainable migration and asylum policies, and to strengthen the Union`s position in the world.

The priority themes which will be at the forefront of the Slovak Presidency are driven by three interconnected principles: Achieving tangible results, Overcoming fragmentation and Focusing on the citizen.

During the Slovak Presidency a total of 19 ministerial meetings, 180 events at working level and 7 parliamentary events will take place in the capital Bratislava, a city of 417,678 inhabitants which is expected to receive 20,000 delegates.

CNA

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Source: Cyprus News Agency