Prime Minister Robert Fico will lead the Slovak delegation to the June meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) in Budapest. From July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, Hungary presided over the V4. According to rules of Visegrad cooperation, at the end of its presidency, the presiding country hosts a meeting of heads of cabinets on its territory. The planned summit will take place at the invitation of Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán on June 24, 2014. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso plans take part in the gathering of V4 prime ministers.

At the June meeting, the V4 prime ministers will evaluate the achievements of the year-long Hungarian presidency. They will then hear a report about the programme and priorities of the Slovak V4 presidency lasting from July 1, 2014 till June 30, 2015. The V4 prime ministers should formally approve the programme of the Slovakia’s presidency in the Visegrad group. During a special event with the President of the European Commission they want to discuss the EU Cohesion Policy and priorities for the programming period 2014 to 2020.

The motto of the Slovak V4 presidency will be “A dynamic Visegrad for Europe and the world”. Slovakia's goal will be to coordinate foreign policy, economic, and sectoral priorities of the V4. Slovakia’s presidency will focus on energy security, transport infrastructure, defence cooperation, and common foreign and
security policy, according to officials.

In the energy sector, Slovakia wants to focus on the completion of the internal gas market in the V4 countries as a contribution to building a single European energy market. The priority is the implementation of projects already under
construction, the north-south gas interconnection, harmonisation of our markets, as well as the continued linking of electricity markets.

The Slovak presidency also wants to pay due attention to building the missing transport links and an integrated transport system in the countries of the region, which are a precondition for strengthening trade and investments in central Europe, according to officials. In defence cooperation, Slovakia will concentrate on the final phase of training the V4 battle group to be on standby in the first half of 2016. The Slovak presidency intends to continue to address the issues of employment, social affairs, education, culture, health care, agriculture, and environment. One of the objectives of Slovakia's presidency will be to continue the successful cooperation of the V4 format. The Slovak presidency will also put emphasis on intensive communication with the public and promoting the Visegrad brand inwards and beyond the V4 countries.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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