Slovakia’s highest officials sign the Europe Day declaration

Slovakia’s highest officials sign the Europe Day declaration

On 09 May 2020, the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová, the Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Boris Kollár, and the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Igor Matovič signed a joint declaration at Bratislava Castle to mark Europe Day. They expressed their shared determination, responsibility and commitment to cooperate on conducting a consistent and responsible foreign, European and security policy of the Slovak Republic, and to solidify political consensus in these areas. 

The president stresses the importance of Slovakia preserving its reputation abroad as a responsible and consistent partner. “From my conversations with the prime minister and the speaker of the parliament, as well as based on the government manifesto, I am convinced that we share the same view on Slovakia’s foreign policy values and orientation. And I am ready to continue strengthening this unity”.

The full text of the joint declaration of the three highest constitutional officials: 

We, the three highest officials of the Slovak Republic – the President, the Speaker of the National Council, and the Prime Minister – met today, on the occasion of Europe Day, to express our shared determination, responsibility and commitment to cooperate on conducting a united and responsible foreign, European and security policy of the Slovak Republic.

The Slovak Republic is a free, sovereign and democratic state. We are an EU and NATO member. We have joined these organisations of our own free will. Our membership is an expression of our belonging to the world’s most advanced countries, which are bound together by the values of freedom, democracy, rule of law, protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, respect for international law, solidarity and the will to live and advance in peace. 

Our membership of the EU and NATO is the best path for a successful, prosperous, socially just, and safe Slovakia. It is our strategic and vital interest to continue enhancing our membership, as well as the benefits and obligations it entails.   

This is especially important as we, together with other countries, are facing serious challenges including violations of international law, disrespect for state sovereignty and the impact of climate change. The current pandemic and its economic and social consequences remind us not only of the importance of cooperation but also the need to accelerate our economic transformation. Evidently, we can only meet these challenges through joint efforts, coordination and cooperation with our partners and allies.

We are confronted by the growth of extremism, populism and distrust in state and European institutions. Our common values and the commitments that we have willingly entered into are also being questioned. The social consensus is further undermined by targeted disinformation and propaganda. The absence of consensus on the fundamental direction of our foreign and European policy would only compound these challenges.
On the basis of the above, we the three constitutional officials, declare that together we will:
work to strengthen Slovakia’s foreign policy consensus. We will act, pursue our interests, and communicate clearly and unambiguously about our priorities, decisions and results in a way that leaves no doubt about the orientation of our foreign policy or values. Both at home and abroad, so that Slovakia continues to be recognised as a responsible and consistent partner. In this regard, we will pay increased attention to the spread of disinformation and propaganda and intensify our efforts to address them;
be active and open in defending the values of freedom and democracy, defending the rule of law and respect for international rules, including the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and we will ensure that these principles become the key criteria in pursuing Slovakia’s interests in bilateral and multilateral relations;
actively pursue the interests of the Slovak Republic and its citizens in the European Union and seek partners to jointly advance them based on shared values, goals and interests;
ensure that European policies become domestic policies; and that Slovakia’s interests become the country’s priority in relations with EU institutions and European partners;
ensure the preservation of fundamental European freedoms for our citizens, especially the free movement of persons, goods and services, and the application of common rules in accordance with the principle of solidarity and responsibility of all EU members;
support an EU budget and actions that are conducive to our transition to a modern, environmentally friendly economy built on innovation and modern technologies while preserving our competitiveness and the continued development of our infrastructure;
cooperate actively with other V4 countries. The main criterion of our engagement will be support for Slovakia’s interests and the V4’s contribution to common solutions within the EU;
ensure the Slovak Republic fulfils our collective defence obligations within NATO, in accordance with the principle of Allied solidarity;
support the idea of strengthening European security and defence while preserving NATO as the main pillar of our security and collective defence;
adopt decisions and measures that preserve stability and predictability of our defence spending, with the ambition of achieving a sustainable level of 2% of GDP by 2024, while ensuring that these funds are used in a transparent and efficient manner;
ensure that providing and preserving security for Slovakia, its citizens and its infrastructure are fundamental criteria in all our decisions. This includes economic activities and incoming foreign investments in Slovakia;
ensure the preparation and approval of new strategic documents of the Slovak Republic, especially new security and defence strategies.  
Bratislava, 09 May 2020