National parliaments and the European Parliament should deepen their cooperation, concurred Speaker of Slovak Parliament Andrej Danko and European Parliament President Martin Schulz who opened a two-day informal summit of parliamentary chairmen from the EU countries with their joint statement on the evening of October 6.
The event initiated by Danko should help partners to get to know each other better, overcome differences and improve cooperation among parliaments.
“It provides a floor for informal discussions between parliamentary chairmen,” Danko told a news conference, adding that he wished the parliamentary chairmen would meet more often. “We will introduce to you our nation, ethnic minorities, songs and traditions in order to know each other better and to overcome all wiles that the EU must cope with.”
Danko informed Schulz that the Slovak Parliament should soon adopt an amendment to the rules of procedure that will enable MEPs to take a floor in the national parliament.
“We, Slovaks and our ethnic minorities, are serious about our participation in the EU,” stressed Danko.
Schulz praised the aforementioned change in the rules of procedure.
“It is important to get the European message and ideas to the national level,” said Schulz, noting that this is already a practice in Austria. “Therefore, we welcome the initiative that will enable MEPs to speak in the national parliament.”
Schulz stressed a need for more intense cooperation than there has been in the past. Therefore, he appreciated the fact that the summit of the parliamentary chairmen is taking place.
In the end, Danko gave a personal gift to Schulz – a historical coat that is a part of the uniform of Parliament’s Guard of Honour. The two officials later joined the remaining parliamentary chairmen for a common dinner. At the dinner Danko wants to present Slovak traditions, food, wines and regions to his counterparts.
The working part of the summit on October 7 will focus on the challenges that the EU is currently facing. Parliamentary chairmen will discuss current problems involving European unity and overcoming the distance between the EU and its citizens. They should also touch on the issues of the EU’s internal cohesion and a globally engaged Europe.
6. Oct 2016 at 21:58 | Compiled by Spectator staff