Declaration by the President, Speaker and Prime Minister on the EU and NATO
President Andrej Kiska, Speaker of the National Council Andrej Danko and Prime Minister Robert Fico signed a joint statement on the priorities of the membership of the Slovak Republic in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Monday at Bratislava Castle:
"The unequivocal continuation in a pro-European and pro-Atlantic direction is in the strategic interest of the Slovak Republic.
Membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
- constitutes the basic framework of security, stability, and prosperity of our country;
- is in line with the values of democracy, the rule of law, and basic human rights and freedoms, which are at the core of our state;
- is a declaration of the civilizational affiliation of the Slovak Republic, strengthens its political influence, and supports its development.
It seems, however, that a broad political consensus on these issues has been lost over the last few years. Opinions against the deeper involvement of Slovakia in the European Union, against the European project as such, and opinions questioning our membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and meeting obligations towards our allies are openly being presented on the political scene.
The European Union is facing numerous challenges and is at an important crossroads in its development. The deterioration of the security situation in Europe, the rise of extremism and populism, the migration and financial crises, Brexit, and a rise of distrust towards EU institutions have all led to a very vivid discussion on the future of the European Union. The Bratislava summit organized during our successful presidency in the Council of the European Union provided good answers to these challenges, and the Bratislava roadmap shifted the European Union towards a more positive trajectory.
For Slovakia and its citizens, the European Union is its living and values space, and there is no alternative to it. Its influence on the economic, social, and political development of our country is undisputedly positive. For these reasons, the Slovak Republic has decided to pursue a path of as deepa co-operation with the European Union as possible.. From Slovakia’s perspective, we prioritize the joint approach of all member states in the Union. We are ready to support such a development together with our neighbors, above all within the Visegrad group of countries, as well as with other strategic partners. At the same time, in a scenario where a group of countries would advance faster in certain areas, we are ready to be part of such a process.
The security environment in which the Slovak Republic is pursuing its objectives has significantly deteriorated. The strengthening of stability in the Euro-Atlantic area as well as the strengthening of solidarity and cohesion within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are of vital importance for the security of our country. The key objectives in the increasing of the security and defense capacities of the Slovak Republic and maintaining our reliability towards our allies require a gradual increase in defense spending, the transparent and effective modernization of our armed forces, and the stepping up of state’s resilience to hybrid threats.
Based on the above-mentioned facts, the highest constitutional officials, the President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic jointly declare that together they will:
- ensure clear and responsible communication of the pro-European and pro-Atlantic orientation of the Slovak Republic and of the jointly adopted decisions at the level of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This should be done equally in our communication outwards as well as inwards towards the citizens of Slovakia;
- support a future for Slovakia inside the core of European integration. Our decisions and actions shall be primarily conducted in the interests of our citizens in order for them to fully use the possibilities of EU membership as well as being in the interests of the entire European Union;
- support the continual deepening of the Eurozone and the development of tools which will support its stability as well as its resilience to future crises;
- advocate principles of equal treatment in the internal single market and the non-discrimination of citizens and consumers in all parts of the European Union (e.g. the dual quality of foodstuffs);
- support a strong and “wise” EU budget that will enable the funding of traditional EU policies and at the same time be capable of reacting to new challenges;
- push for steps that will increase the security of our citizens and the defense capacity of Slovakia, especially by means of implementing the updated Security Strategy, Defense Strategy, and Military Strategy of the Slovak Republic.
- promote the fulfilment of obligations toward our allies, a part of which is increasing the defense spending of the Slovak Republic to a level of 1.6% of GDP by 2020 and the modernization of the armed forces in line with the western standards of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."
In Bratislava on the 23rd of October 2017
Andrej Kiska, President of the Slovak Republic
Andrej Danko, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic
Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic