On Thursday (6 February) Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth had talks with his Slovak counterpart Peter Javorčik in Berlin. The main focus of this first meeting was European policy coordination and cooperation in the Visegrad Group.
The German Minister of State for Europe and the Slovak State Secretary responsible for European affairs met in Berlin for a first exchange of views.
Relations between Germany and Slovakia are close and amicable, Roth and Javorčik agreed. In European matters the two countries held very similar views.
After the talks Minister of State Roth commented as follows:
On many European issues Germany and Slovakia are like minded partners. This was also very clear when we discussed, for example, the need to further deepen the economic and monetary union. Given its economic and political track record, Slovakia has an important role to play in Central Europe. It is highly active in the Visegrad Group – a political grouping of four Central European countries – and this summer will once again take over its presidency. Particularly in connection with the Eastern Partnership, the efforts to draw the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the EU and our shared commitment to the EU’s fundamental values, we are keen to work closely together.
Close ties between neighbours
Germany and Slovakia recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. They are close partners in the EU and in NATO. The around 4,700 Carpathian Germans in Slovakia and the 100,000 strong Slovakian community in Germany create a strong bond between the two countries.
Economic trends in Germany also affect Slovakia, since the two countries’ industrial sectors are closely integrated. Over the past two decades some 400 German companies have created over 100,000 jobs in Slovakia.