Chapter News

Launch of the Slovak Presidency of the Council

During the visit of the College to Bratislava, Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has offered the Slovak Government the full support of the Commission as the country launches its first-ever Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

In his joint press conference with the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, which followed today’s meeting in Bratislava between the College of Commissioners and the Slovak Government, President Juncker welcomed the priorities of the Slovak Presidency, which are “in total harmony” with the Commission own Work Programme.

The President underlined that one of the most urgent challenges facing the European economy was the lack of investment, which is why the EU needed to “prolong the Investment Plan for Europe which is developing into a real success.” In its first year, the Plan has already mobilised €107 billion across 26 EU Member States.

President Juncker also highlighted the importance of the EU’s Single Market: “We want to use, during the Slovak Presidency, all the instruments and means at our disposal […] to deepen the Single Market, to launch in a definite way the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market, the Capital Markets Union.” He encouraged the Slovak Presidency of the Council also to forge ahead with the completion of Banking Union, including a European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Referring to the recent agreement between Council, Parliament and Commission on the new European Border and Coast Guard, President Juncker called on the Slovak Presidency to implement the agreement so that the new agency can become operational as soon as possible.

The President finally repeated the Commission’s stance on the next steps following the UK referendum, stressing that there will be no negotiation without notification of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the Union. He also underlined that the Commission will forge ahead with its ambitious reform agenda.

Compliments of the European Commission