Brexit, migration issue, among the tough challenges ahead Slovakian Presidency of the EU

Slovakia’s ambassador to Romania, Jan Gabor, said on Thursday that his country will continue to invest in the European project, adding that Slovakia, which has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union as of July 1st, will not be a mere crisis manager, but also a credible player.

The Slovakian ambassador presented his country’s priorities while at the helm of the EU Presidency in a conference also attended by the Romanian minister of Foreign Affairs Lazar Comanescu and the head of the European Commission Representation to Romania.

The ambassador pointed out that Slovakia is taking over the presidency at a time when the EU is facing serious crises, with the Brexit and the migration issue high on the agenda. He informed that these topics would be detailed during the EU Summit in Bratislava due in mid-September. “We must continue to invest in the European project. (…) The European Union is the most successful peace project,” Jan Gabor said.

One of Slovakia’s priorities is to set up sustainable policies on migration, as this issue put huge pressure on the Union, the ambassador stated.

“We don’t want our role to be that of a mere crisis manager. (…) Drawing highly skilled migrants anywhere is a need for our economies. (…) We consider Romania to be one of Slovakia’s closest allies,” he said, while voicing against the mandatory migrant quotas meant to narrow down migration.

He further stated that the debate on migration must include the strengthening of the EU borders, including of the Schengen Area. “The Schengen Area practically ended the Cold War,” the diplomat considers.

In his turn, Romanian FM Lazar Comanescu showed that Slovakia is taking over the helm of the EU Council in a complex, complicated period, when the Union is facing unprecedented situations, but he assured that Romania would closely support Slovakia.

“Insisting on the importance of a more cohesive Union is very important. (…) One of the strong points of the European project consisted in its capacity to overcome crises,” Comanescu pointed out.

Referring to Schengen accession, the minister voiced hope that Romania would evolve to joining Schengen area, arguing that our country had proven its capacity of protecting the EU’s external borders.

“A Romania inside the Schengen Area would be enhancing the EU’s capacity of rendering its borders secure. The simple fact that Romania is currently the second most important FRONTEX contributor (…) speaks for itself,” the Romanian Foreign Minister argued, adding that all these elements make him hope that further steps will be taken this year to achieve this target.

AmbassadorBrexitconferenceEU bordersEU presidencyjan gaborlazar comanescumigrationminister of foreign affairsprioritiesSchengenSlovakia
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