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Presidential summit opens in Bratislava, offers solutions for post-crisis renewal

The two-day 18th Central-European Presidential Summit began on the evening of June 12 and is set to feature 19 presidents from central, eastern and south-eastern Europe (plus European Council President Herman Van Rompuy). The ceremonial opening of the summit was held in the Reduta concert hall in Bratislava. Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, as host of the event, welcomed senior officials, the TASR newswire wrote.

The two-day 18th Central-European Presidential Summit began on the evening of June 12 and is set to feature 19 presidents from central, eastern and south-eastern Europe (plus European Council President Herman Van Rompuy). The ceremonial opening of the summit was held in the Reduta concert hall in Bratislava. Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, as host of the event, welcomed senior officials, the TASR newswire wrote.

“Even though Europe has carried out a great deal of work in combating the crisis, there are still some tasks left to fight in order to achieve a clear victory,” said President Gašparovič during his opening speech. "The dynamic region of central, eastern and south-east Europe has the right to offer its own authentic solutions within the pan-European discussion on the way out of the crisis. These should involve solutions based on our experience [as countries' formerly belonging to the Eastern Bloc having undergone various transformation processes after its dissolution]," Gašparovič said. He explained the motto of the current summit “Through the Growth Strategy to the Post-crisis Renewal,” which was carefully chosen, reflecting the five-year fight against the impacts of the financial and debt crisis that is affecting the whole of Europe, regardless of the current political geography of the continent.

Van Rompuy praised the efforts of Slovakia, noting the presence of representatives from both Serbia and Kosovo. The official website of President Gašparovič quoted him as saying that achieving the permanent peace in Balkans is also the effort of the EU. He also highlighted the presence of Croatia, which will join the EU next month.

“Our mutual aim is to create political associations and deepen the economic integration in order to increase the mobility and contacts between the inhabitants of these countries,” Rompuy said. He also praised the progress in negotiations with other countries, like Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine. Regarding the common strategy of the EU to overcome the crisis and anticipate further development, Rompuy pointed to some basic attributes, like the protection of financial stability, structural reforms, combating the joblessness, and strengthening the monetary and banking union.

The summit will wind up on the evening of Thursday, June 13.

Sources: TASR, www.prezident.sk

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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