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PUBLIC STATEMENT

Slovak voters have opened new door to Europe

The chairman of the European Parliament's Ad Hoc delegation to observe the parliamentary elections in Slovakia has expressed his support for the statements made by the European Commission and the Austrian Presidency concerning the election in Slovakia. He is calling for a debate in one of the forthcoming plenary sessions of the European Parliament, in order to ensure that the EU shows flexibility in dealing with the new Slovak Government.
Mr. Jan Marinus Wiersma (PES, Netherlands) stated that the European Parliament would now follow very closely the procedures for the establishment of the new Slovak National Council and the appointment of the next Government of Slovakia.

The chairman of the European Parliament's Ad Hoc delegation to observe the parliamentary elections in Slovakia has expressed his support for the statements made by the European Commission and the Austrian Presidency concerning the election in Slovakia. He is calling for a debate in one of the forthcoming plenary sessions of the European Parliament, in order to ensure that the EU shows flexibility in dealing with the new Slovak Government.

Mr. Jan Marinus Wiersma (PES, Netherlands) stated that the European Parliament would now follow very closely the procedures for the establishment of the new Slovak National Council and the appointment of the next Government of Slovakia. He considered that the peaceful and efficient atmosphere in which the parliamentary elections took place had opened a new phase, not just in the political life of Slovakia, but also in regard to the prospects for the opening of EU accession negotiations.

The European Parliament's delegation, led by Mr. Wiersma, included Mr. Paul Rubig (EPP, Austria), Vice-chairman of the EU-Slovak Republic Joint Parliamentary Committee and Mr. Johannes Voggenhuber (Greens, Austria), visited Slovakia from 23-27 September and was able to observe voting in over 50 polling stations, as well as observing the count in several places.

The delegation fully supported the conclusions drawn by the OSCE election observation mission, which issued a preliminary statement welcoming the high turn-out in the elections, which it felt had been conducted in a correct and orderly manner. The statement issued by the observer mission in Bratislava on 27 September was in fact a joint statement by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

Mr Wiersma, rapporteur on Slovakia in the Foreign Affairs Committee, will be preparing a new report on developments in Slovakia, which will also take into account the review of progress which the Commission will be publishing in early November. Mr. Wiersma's report will be adopted by the European Parliament in early December, in order to send a clear message to the forthcoming meeting of the European Council in Vienna.


European Parliament public statement, Brussels, September 30, 1998

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