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Slovak EU Commissioner Ján Figeľ evaluates his term

SLOVAKIA should, according to its European Union Commissioner Ján Figeľ, make better use of the tools that are in the EU’s kitchen.

SLOVAKIA should, according to its European Union Commissioner Ján Figeľ, make better use of the tools that are in the EU’s kitchen.

“In the kitchen one can stand about or the chef can add something, cook, shape, create and serve up offers, either within the EU or to neighbours,” said Figeľ at an assessment press conference after completing five years in the post of Slovakia’s EU commissioner, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

In Figeľ’s opinion, European relations with Ukraine should go through Slovakia to a much greater extent than they do at the current time, adding that there should be more concrete projects to help Ukrainians.

Regional levels of government in Slovakia should be more involved in the European agenda than they are now, especially in regards to EU funding schemes.

“I’m convinced that if the eight self-governing regions [in Slovakia] were more involved in requesting European funds, the draw-down would be better,” the TASR newswire quoted Figeľ as saying.

He also spoke about the situation of Slovak universities which, in his opinion, should cooperate more with the business sector.

“Our universities won’t be able to compete if they have not developed European and international relations,” he said, as quoted by SITA, adding that universities are developing these relations, but that increasing their pace, intensity and quality require the creation of a better platform for meetings and exchanges between universities and businesses.

“The first don’t have enough money; the latter don’t have enough qualified workers,” Figeľ said.

According to Figeľ, Slovakia is now, five years after joining the EU and after having entered the Schengen zone and the euro zone, fully connected to European affairs and should therefore participate more actively within the EU. This should also be reflected in the turnout of Slovak voters for the European parliamentary elections, TASR wrote.

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