NEWS IN SHORT

PM, FM divvy up EU affairs

PRIME Minister Iveta Radičová and Foreign Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda have agreed on the division of decision-making powers between their offices on EU-related matters. Under the new arrangement, the EU agenda will be handled at two levels within the cabinet, the SITA newswire reported.

PRIME Minister Iveta Radičová and Foreign Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda have agreed on the division of decision-making powers between their offices on EU-related matters. Under the new arrangement, the EU agenda will be handled at two levels within the cabinet, the SITA newswire reported.

Top-level political decisions will be coordinated by the prime minister and her office and other issues to be considered at the level of state secretaries and general directors will be coordinated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, including tasks such as incorporation of EU directives, regulations and similar undertakings.

The original draft statutes for the Ministerial Council for EU Affairs, which the Foreign Affairs Ministry had sent for interdepartmental review, proposed a model under which the prime minister would not have had the right to vote, reportedly causing discord between Radičová and Dzurinda. According to Rado Baťo, Radičová’s spokesman, the division of responsibilities is based on an agreement between the two politicians.

Baťo explained to SITA that the need to change the model of dealing with EU issues at cabinet level surfaced because Slovakia’s current cabinet does not have a deputy prime minister directly responsible for European affairs.


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