Conference on the future of Europe is opportunity to say how we want it to be

Conference on the future of Europe is opportunity to say how we want it to be

On Sunday 9 May 2021, Europe Day, President Čaputová, together with Prime Minister Eduard Heger, Chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Boris Kollár and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ivan Korčok opened the Conference on Europe’s Future at Bratislava Castle.

According to the president, it is extremely important that we in Slovakia are present in this discussion in order to voice our opinions and standpoints.  The Conference on Europe’s future is primarily an opportunity for people to meet and express their opinions regarding the Europe we desire and how we will support it together. "Because the European Union is us. This is not just a phrase; it is an expression of our free will. Along with other EU countries we share a common geography and a common currency. We are vitally connected with the EU. Up to 90% of direct foreign investment in Slovakia comes from European countries. A large portion of legislation that our parliament discusses was created with the participation of our European Union."

According to the president, we are confronted with great challenges which we must address together. How will we approach the restoration of European economies? How will we jointly become more resilient against future threats? How can we improve the social status of our citizens. How will we ensure sustainability and achieve the goals of a carbon-neutral continent? "We need to look for answers to these questions together.  The Conference on Europe’s Future is not only about these challenges. It is also an opportunity to remind ourselves that together with other countries we share values which we commit to promote jointly: respect for human dignity, freedom and democracy, equality, the principles  of the rule of law and adherence to fundamental human rights.  The opportunity to discuss what we are ready to do for their defence and protection. The standpoints to assume concerning threats to these principles. Where will we set the boundaries for the actions of our governments and joint institutions in relation to global companies. How can we enforce our laws and rules in a world of hybrid threats and conspiracies.”  

The European Union faces many challenges and questions concerning its orientation. "Today we are the ones who are expected to provide the answers. The European Union is not based on a single leader or ideology. We define it. It is a space of democratic values, a space of cooperation. Cooperation which enables us to draw benefits arising from membership and to commit to participate in solidarity in resolving common challenges. It is my wish that Slovakia continues to be perceived as a constructive European partner. We will also contribute to this through our objective discussion about Europe’s future."