This is a historic day in the calendar of Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council, as it is the last time when the Reduta building is being used as the main venue for top level events and sessions, Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on October 11.
“Today we begin to dismantle them [additions to Reduta] and to return it [the building] to its original state,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I’m very pleased that we were able to turn this beautiful historical building into a modern congress centre. I can say that all the delegates who’ve visited it were fascinated and appreciated the conditions that we prepared for them.”
As many as 24 days of deliberations and 19 ministerial meetings have taken place at Reduta during the Slovak presidency, which began on July 1, the minister added.
“There have been more than 700 delegations from 45 countries including the United States, Canada, and more than 2,100 delegates here at Reduta alone,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “Of course, this isn’t the end of our presidency; events at a lower level will continue in the old parliamentary building, at [Hotel] Bôrik and in the congress hall of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.”
There are still some 100 events ahead for Slovakia and also “a great deal of work” in Brussels as the country has just entered the second half of its presidency, the minister continued. The most visible phase of the presidency in terms of public exposure is however over, he noted.
Among the most striking events of the first three months of the Slovak presidency Lajčák stressed the Bratislava summit held on September 16, an agreement on ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change at the EU level and subsequently the handing over of the ratification documents to the UN depository in New York (October 7), the launch of the new European Border and Coast Guard, an agreement on visa liberalisation with Georgia and the beginning of EU accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, as reported by TASR.