Fact of the Week: Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU will start in less than 1 month. What are Slovakia’s priorities?

Slovakia will be the next EU Member State to hold the 6-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, taking over from the Netherlands. The Council of the European Union is one of the EU’s three main institutions. It shapes the EU legislation, coordinates its policies and seeks agreement between the individual institutions on important political issues.

Holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union is one of the most important and demanding tasks arising from EU membership. During that period, the Member State holding the Presidency chairs meetings at all levels within the Council and is responsible for shaping European legislation from expert to ministerial level. Along with the European Parliament, the Council is the main decision-making body. The Council meets in ten different configurations, depending on the subject under consideration. The European Commission is the third main institution responsible for drafting legislative proposals of the EU that are sent to the Parliament and the Council for the negotiations.

Less than one month away from taking over the Presidency, Slovak representatives announced their main priorities for the next 6 months. Slovakia wants to strengthen the EU’s economy, modernize and deepen the single market in the areas of energy and digital economy (the Digital Single Market), work on sustainable migration and asylum policy and engage in the EU’s external relations in the context of trade agreements and enlargement. More precisely, the Presidency will pursue the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union that will help increase competitiveness. On the topic of the digital single market, Slovakia will prioritize the elimination of barriers to the digital economy, the facilitation of the use of e-services and access to the market, the availability of digital content, as well as a high level of consumer protection. In the area of migration, Slovakia will aim to strengthen the implementation of the EU external border protection policy and safeguard the integrity of the Schengen Area.