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IN SHORT

Slovakia must better promote interests in EU: observers

SLOVAKIA is successfully promoting its interests within the EU in certain areas, but there is room for improvement, delegates at a conference on the country's EU representation concluded.

The conference, entitled Slovakia's Voice in Brussels, was held in Bratislava on June 28.

Slovakia has been successful in the number of experts representing the country in the European Commission, and is better represented than some other EU member states.

However, Renáta Králiková of the Slovak Governance Institute, which organised the conference, said Slovakia is still lagging behind other new member states in several other areas, thus leaving itself unable to boost its influence over events within the EU.

One problem area is filling middle-management posts in the EC. Králiková noted that there are not enough qualified people interested in working for EU bodies, or for Slovak offices that communicate with officials in Brussels.

One serious shortcoming is the lack of a Slovak House in Brussels.

"Its creation would provide Slovak interests in the EU with a place at which the state, regions, and the private sector would find joint representation," said Ctibor Košťál of the Slovak Governance Institute.

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