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Commissioner Figeľ speaks about Slovakia's priorities in the EU

IN A statement on Slovak and European priorities in 2007, EU Commissioner Ján Figeľ said that increasing the knowledge potential of society was a decisive factor for higher employment, sustainable economic growth, and competitiveness in Slovakia.

As Slovakia's commissioner in the 27-member Union, Figeľ is responsible for education, training, and culture within the European Commission.

According to Figeľ, Slovakia should concentrate this year on the expansion of the Schengen area. If Slovakia wants to join the borderless zone, it will have to expend considerable effort and money to achieve this goal, he said.

Another priority is preparations for entry into the eurozone on January 1, 2009. The coming two years will be a demanding preparatory period for the country as well as its economy, banks and citizens.

Slovakia also has to prepare to make effective use of over 11 billion euros in EU funds over the next seven years, Figeľ added.

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