The Bratislava summit on 16 September will launch a reflection on what needs to be done to overcome the problems the EU faces, which could result in a clearer vision to be formulated in March 2017 – the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty – the Slovak Presidency said.
Speaking in the European Parliament yesterday (5 September), Ivan Korčok, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, unveiled some details of the preparation of the informal Bratislava summit of the 27 heads of state and government of the post-Brexit EU.
As EurActiv.com previously wrote, the summit will focus mainly on security, although a reflection about the future of the EU could also take place.
Korčok said his country, who holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, was hoping for a “frank discussion”, to discuss “the diagnosis” of the problems the EU is facing.
This type of discussion is long overdue, the diplomat said, adding that the primary objective is that once leaders leave Bratislava, they will have “a common picture of where we are and what the problems are”. It is important to “name things by name”, and “come up with tangible results, to convince people that EU is delivering”, he insisted.
Korčok there was a need to agree on two-three areas where citizens expect progress. He added that his country believes that first is internal security, including its external dimension. Second is migration, he said, adding that this phenomenon “will be with us in the future”. In terms of best response to the migration crisis, he said that what was needed is a very effective protection of the external borders.
The Slovak official said that “maybe in March next year”, when the EU will commemorate 60 years of the Treaty of Rome, EU heads of state and government will be able to come up with a vision for the citizens they will clearly understand.
The Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community (TEEC), is an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC). It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany and came into force on 1 January 1958.
Asked about an idea by the Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni for setting up an “inner circle” of core members to reset the EU, Korčok said he was glad the reflection had already started.
The Slovak diplomat said he had nothing against any proposal led by the idea of improving how the EU is operating.
“But we are approaching moment we should start common reflection, and that will be in Bratislava”, he said, adding that unity and a sharing common point of departure was the recipe for success.