On Friday (4 August), Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajčák signed a declaration of intent on deepening their bilateral cooperation. The Foreign Ministers’ talks focused on the future of the EU and strengthening the United Nations. Lajčák is assuming the Presidency of the UN General Assembly from September.
Joint declaration on deepening partnership
At his meeting with his counterpart Miroslav Lajčák, Foreign Minister Gabriel emphasised that Germany and Slovakia had already had ties in many areas. The aim is to develop these relations in the future. A comprehensive dialogue is to be established between the two countries encompassing the entire field of domestic and foreign policy, as well as business and education policy. A joint road map for this dialogue is to be adopted by the spring of next year.
Bridge-builders in the EU
Gabriel added that Germany and Slovakia were not only close partners in the bilateral context, but that Slovakia was also playing an important role in the context of the EU with respect to reforms in the Community.
“As important as the partnership between Germany and France is, Europe consists of 28, soon 27, countries on an equal footing,” said Gabriel. In the current debates on the future of the EU, he went on, we must remember that the EU would not survive if only two or three major countries worked together. Only if all countries continued to develop common values and concepts for business and society would it be possible to safeguard the future of the EU, he added.
The main aim, he said, was to avoid a division of the Community into western and eastern European countries. Gabriel added that Slovakia had an important role as a partner and bridge-builder in this regard.
Security through stability: strengthening the role of the UN
Germany and Slovakia will soon be cooperating closely with each other in a further area. Miroslav Lajčák is assuming the Presidency of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in mid-August. Gabriel said that it was important to strengthen the role of the United Nations. In view of the current global security situation, the focus should not only be on rearmament, but, above all, on stabilisation and sustainable development. Slovakia could count on Germany’s support for its presidency, Gabriel stated.