President Kiska received French president Macron

On Friday the president of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, received the president of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, on his first official visit to Slovakia.

Both presidents agreed that relations between Slovakia and France are very warm and friendly. We are united by our shared history and our membership of the European Union and NATO. France is an important ally for Slovakia, both as an investor and a business partner.

Andrej Kiska highlighted Emmanuel Macron as a politician with a clear and strong European vision. He underlined that it was vital to Slovakia’s interests to be an integral part of the European Union. The EU is part of the solution, not the problem, both for Slovakia and for Europe as a whole.

Both presidents agreed that dividing the EU into old and new, or eastern and western states, was unacceptable. The priority is for the European Union to complete its ongoing projects – Schengen, the Eurozone and the single market. Andrej Kiska emphasized that Slovakia also wants to be part of the solution in new initiatives in the digital economy, transport and European defence. A clear stand needs to be taken against populistic solutions. On migration, the Slovak president said that the only good solution is cooperation, overcoming differences, solidarity and shared empathy and understanding.

The French president expressed his appreciation for Slovakia’s historic decision to become a member of the European Union as a clear reflection of its fundamental values. He especially praised the fact that Slovakia is in the core of the EU – part of Schengen and the Eurozone. He also thanked Slovakia for its constructive approach and support in dealing with the issues of European transport, taxation in the digital economy and its active involvement in projects to strengthen European defence.

At the end of the meeting, Andrej Kiska spoke about the complex situation affecting Ukraine. He reiterated the arguments against the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project, which is a political and not an economic project. At the same time, he expressed his wish for good relations with Russia. Nevertheless, these are hard to achieve when Russia is currently acting in a hostile manner towards multiple EU members.