Foreign ministers of the Visegrad Four (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) at the international security conference GLOBSEC in Bratislava on Thursday, April 18, unveiled a joint declaration on bolstering their collective security and defence policy within the EU.
The declaration was initiated by Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák in November. The document represents a contribution of the V4 countries to the preparations for the EU summit on defence in December. The declaration calls for boosting the efficiency and visibility of the common European defence policy and strengthening of the EU's defence capacities and the military industry. The aim is to create a more efficient NATO at a time of overall cuts in defence budgets, Lajčák told the TASR newswire.
Estonia is a living example that stringent austerity measures can pave the way for economic growth, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said after meeting his Slovak counterpart President Ivan Gašparovič in Bratislava on Thursday. Ilves conceded that the success is a result of the liberalisation of the labour market and reducing state spending.
Ilves came to Slovakia to pay the country a two-day official visit between April 18 and 19, and also to attend GLOBSEC. Even though the visit is said to be the first-ever visit of an Estonian president to Slovakia, Ilves had visited the country several times before as Estonia's foreign minister. During his visit, he is further slated to meet Prime Minister Robert Fico and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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19. Apr 2013 at 10:00