Working Visit of State Secretary Ružička in France

Working Visit of State Secretary Ružička in France

4.12.2019 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov

František Ružička, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic took part in bilateral meetings in Paris, on December 3, 2019. He met with Clément Beaune, Advisor to the President of the Republic of France for Europe and the G20, Amélie de Montchalin, Secretary of State for European Affairs, the Ambassador Pierre Vimont, and Jacques Rupnik, and other representatives of selected analytics centres. The themes of these meetings were current European affairs, including the preparations for the December meeting of the European Council, the Multiannual Financial Framework, the climate policy, the enlargement of the EU, and also foreign policy priorities and bilateral relations.

“France is our strategic partner and our ally in NATO and the EU. Our bilateral relations have been at a good level, and, from the practical viewpoint, the Strategic Partnership Action Plan 2018-2022 has contributed to the enhancement of our relations. We wish to further enhance our mutual dialogue with France, and cooperate in forming our joint European future,” stated State Secretary František Ružička. He also pointed to the challenge of maintaining positive trends and the need for development of other areas which will help intensify trade relations and cooperation in the area of science, research and innovation.

As for the European themes, the partners agreed to support a more intense effort in the fight against climate change, with the intention of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050 in a way that respects the principle of technological neutrality and the right of the member states to decide about their own energy mix, the principle of maintaining the competitiveness of local and European industry and also social sustainability. It is also necessary to involve the banking and investment sector more actively in the boosting of resources. A prospering Europe calls for an adequate level of financing not only for the new challenges but also for existing policies with a clear added European value, including the Cohesion and Common Agriculture Policies. 

State Secretary Ružička expressed his belief that the enlargement of the European Union based on the set criteria is the most effective instrument for securing stability, democracy and prosperity to the Western Balkans region. “We are ready to actively contribute to this discussion, and we trust that the European Commission will submit their proposal on a more efficient process of enlargement as soon as possible. We wish that the EU Summit on the Western Balkans in Zagreb, which will be held during the Croatian presidency of the EU Council, will bring concrete results.” During the talks, the partners emphasized their support for the European prospects of the Western Balkans.

State Secretary Amélie de Montchalin hosted a working dinner in honour of the visit of State Secretary František Ružička. Dignitaries and representatives of analytics centres, such as Jacques Rupnik, Pierre Buhler, Dorothée Schmid and Claude Meyer, were also invited. The themes of their discussion were the relations between the EU and Russia, China and Turkey. Part of the talks also concerned the expectations from the upcoming summit of the Normandy Group in Paris (on December 9, 2019), which offers an opportunity to send a strong political signal for the positive support of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the enhancement of dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.