Will Brexit hijack Slovakia's presidency? That was the main question analysts in Slovakia were discussing when people of the UK voted to leave the EU just a few days before Slovakia took over its first-ever presidency.
Two months into the presidency, and just before the informal meeting of heads of states and governments in Bratislava, it seems that Slovakia has managed to deal with other topics that are currently on the EU's table. Brexit, however, still takes the lead as it affects most if not all the future decisions of the club, analysts say.
“The official beginning of Slovakia’s EU presidency has been overshadowed by the crisis management of the post Brexit vote,” Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer, a policy analyst from the Brussels-based non-governmental European Policy Centre (EPC), told The Slovak Spectator. “This unexpected responsibility felt more in the hands of the European leaders and of the heads of state and government of the largest member states.”
Observers however agree that despite that Slovakia has played an active role, for instance, in closing the negotiations about the budget for the next year and in progressing in EU enlargement talks, as the presiding country.
Not only Brexit
After the UK vote, the general concern in Slovakia was that Brexit and the preparations for it might overshadow any other topics that Slovakia listed among its presidency priorities.
Local analysts now say this has not happened, except in the early days of the presidency when the topic of Brexit was still new and widely discussed in the media.
How has Brexit impacted the Slovak EU Council presidency? What changes have already been adopted?