Slovakia Assumes EU Presidency amid post-Brexit Uncertainty

World » EU | July 1, 2016, Friday // 19:58| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Slovakia Assumes EU Presidency amid post-Brexit Uncertainty Slovakia's Prime Mnister Robert Fico. Photo EPA/BGNES

Migration into Europe and the implications of Brexit for the future of the European Union will dominate Slovakia’s presidency of the bloc over the next six months, Prime Mnister Robert Fico has said.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a considerable influence, Fico said at a joint news conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Bratislava on Friday as Slovakia takes the rotating presidency of the bloc for the first time since joining in 2004.

Robert Fico told reporters ahead of the formal announcement that one or two members of the bloc or its founding members cannot decide the future of Europe, according to Reuters. He stressed that the EU needs to reconsider its unsuccessful policies, particularly on immigration, and reform its single market.

During Friday’s visit of the College of Commissioners to Bratislava Jean-Claude Juncker offered the Slovak government the full support of the Commission. At the joint news conference with Robert Fico Juncker welcomed the priorities of the Slovak presidency, which are "in total harmony" with the Commission’s own work programme, the EU executive said in a statement.

One of the most urgent challenges facing the European economy was the lack of investment, which is why the EU needed to "prolong the Investment Plan for Europe,Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"We want to use, during the Slovak Presidency, all the instruments and means at our disposal […] to deepen the Single Market, to launch in a definite way the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market, the Capital Markets Union," the head of the European Commission said.

Jean-Claude Juncker also reiterated the Commission's stance that there would be no negotiation without notification of the UK's intention to leave the Union.

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Tags: Slovakia, Fico, Juncker, presidency, Bratislava
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