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Preparations for EU presidency to cost €15.6 million

SLOVAKIA will spend about €15.6 million next year preparing for its presidency in the European Union, which will take place in the second half of 2016. The country will have to pay for the increased number of Slovak diplomats in Brussels, language courses for some state employees and computers, according to a report passed by the government in its September 17 session.

SLOVAKIA will spend about €15.6 million next year preparing for its presidency in the European Union, which will take place in the second half of 2016. The country will have to pay for the increased number of Slovak diplomats in Brussels, language courses for some state employees and computers, according to a report passed by the government in its September 17 session.

Most of the money will go to temporary jobs that will be created in connection with the presidency and to diplomats in Brussels. Between September 2014 and second half of 2015, their number will increase by nearly 70. Slovakia will pay nearly €11 million for so-called personal expenses, which include fares and rent, the SITA newswire reported.

Moreover, it will pay €680,000 for English and French language courses and skills training for the state employees. Nearly €790,000 will go to logistics and security, while €600,000 will go to cultural and media promotion for the presidency. Toward that end, the Foreign Affairs Ministry wants to launch a new website or purchase various promotion materials.

In addition, the state needs to buy new laptops, computers, tablets, mobiles and devices for making copies and scans. This will cost some €490,000, according to the report.

Another €500,000 will be allocated as capital expenses. Slovakia plans to establish a videoconferencing network between the headquarters and representation offices in Brussels, which should secure a faster exchange of information, SITA wrote.

It is still not clear exactly how much Slovakia will spend on the presidency. Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said last year that the sum may hover between €50 million and €80 million. The ministry notes that Czechs paid €136 million, Poles €116 million, Hungarians €81 million and Slovenians even €62 million, as reported by SITA.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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