Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic


On 1 July 2016, Slovakia took over its 1st Presidency of the Council of the EU (SK PRES 2016)from the Netherlands and will hand it over to Malta at the end of 2016.During this 6-month period, Slovakia is the face and voice of the EU, which represents a unique opportunity to form and shape EU policies. It is also an excellent chance to present our country not only within the EU among other Member States but also within other international organisations and third countries. As a result, there is an opportunity for the image and visibility of our country to be increased, tourism advanced and investment boosted. The Presidency will also enable us to make the EU project and its policies more attractive at home among our citizens. This is especially important in Slovakia, where public interest in EU affairs is the lowest within the EU, as the lowest EP election turnout in EU history was recorded in Slovakia in 2014.

However, holding the Presidency is not just a matter of prestige, but it also represents the most demanding assignment to emerge from EU membership. The Presidency country is responsible for fulfilling a number of exacting tasks not only in Brussels, (see section The Presidency of the Council of the EU) but also in Slovakia and third countries. Our country will be responsible for organising a number of formal and informal, political, expert and cultural events in Slovakia as well as in other Member States. Moreover, our representatives will be responsible for the coordination of EU delegates at international environmental negotiations held in third countries, in particular. Consequently, the preparation of the historic first Council Presidency falls under the principal priorities of the current government programme (2012-2016) in the area of foreign affairs policy.

To this end, Slovakia commenced preparations in 2012, 4 years before its induction as recommended for countries of similar size and experience. Since then, the government has already adopted eleven resolutions concerning SK PRES 2016 preparations. In addition, as the preparations overrun one voting cycle, the representatives of all parliamentary political parties signed a political declaration in May 2013 stating that the topic of SK PRES 2016 would not be misused in any campaign before the parliamentary elections in spring 2016 (just a few months before the launch of the Presidency). As a result, the continuity of the preparations, which is vital for its successful performance, should be ensured. 

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