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Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Countries of the Visegrad Group and France

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Countries of the Visegrad Group and France

18.4.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Slovensko a V4 |

Today (18 April 2019), a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of the Visegrad Group and France took place in Bratislava, at the initiative of the Slovak presidency in the Visegrad 4. The heads of diplomacies of the Visegrad 4 countries expressed their solidarity to their French partner with regard to the big fire in Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris) - a jewel of the world and European spiritual and cultural heritage.

 

The ministers discussed the future of the European Union, including the UK withdrawal from the EU and the current developments in the international global environment.  They agreed that the challenges of the current times may be dealt with in a better way and more efficiently if we cooperate and seek common solutions. This corresponds with the baseline of the Slovak presidency in the Visegrad 4, which is to pursue a positive European agenda with the aim of strengthening the EU. “As part of the Visegrad 4, we wish to contribute to the discussion on the future of the European Union, and, as the presiding country, we would like to introduce constructive proposals that will be broadly acceptable. The Visegrad 4 countries are full members of the EU. This is our common existential space which provides us with a high scale of security and prosperity. I am convinced that the Union is also our common home. We wish that the EU will have the ability to be the leader in trends in technology and modernization, and its significance in terms of foreign policy will correspond with its economic dimension,” stated minister Lajčák.   

 

The joint meeting of the Visegrad Group + France was also an opportunity to speak about the support for the countries of the Western Balkans in their efforts to be integrated into the EU, as a result of their fulfilment of the set criteria. Other themes discussed in a rich debate of the foreign affairs ministers were the transatlantic cooperation and relations with China. 

 

The ministers discussed current topics related to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which Slovakia is currently chairing. Minister Lajčák presented the priorities of the Chairmanship of the Slovak Republic. “We are currently facing various and literally critical challenges -- be they economic, social, security, or climate ones.  We live in an extraordinarily fast and changing world. As part of the Euro-Atlantic community of values and with regard to its current chairmanship in the OSCE, the Slovak Republic wishes to contribute to an active dialogue between the partners. Conflict prevention, a safer future and efficient multilateralism -- these are the priorities which Slovakia has set for its chairmanship,” emphasized the head of the Slovak diplomatic service. The developments in Ukraine, where the second round of presidential elections will take place this weekend, were also one of the items of the discussion. The partners also discussed several topics that dominate the broader sphere of international politics.

 

After the meeting in the V4 + France format ended, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, took part in a bilateral meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic. The meeting took place at a time of significant anniversaries, including the centenary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic, which we commemorated in the autumn. 2019 is also the year when we commemorate General Milan Rastislav Štefánik who played an active role in the process, and who also took action directly in France. The partners confirmed their interest in the dynamic continuation of the development of bilateral cooperation and enhancement of the economic dimension of this. France is a strategic partner for the Slovak Republic, and the enhancement of bilateral relations is one of the long-term priorities of Slovak foreign policy. 

 

Photographs and the videorecording of the press conference can be downloaded at www.mzv.sk. and https://www.flickr.com/photos/mzvsr/sets/72157708226743204 

 

Press Conference