On 16 September, the Slovak capital Bratislava will play host to informal talks on the future of the European Union, bringing together the leaders of 27 Member States of the European Union, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
In the main, the talks are intended to launch a self-reflection in the EU and consider what the Union will look like after the United Kingdom leaves it. The summit seeks to send a clear signal that the EU remains strong and capable of reaching agreement and bringing improvements to the daily lives of its citizens. 'The Bratislava Summit is designed to answer the question of where the Union stands today. But above all it should bring to the table topics that prove that the EU is a viable project and that it is worth fighting for it', said the Slovak Prime Minister and meeting host Robert Fico. The informal summit should constitute the beginning of the 'Bratislava Process', which will continue in Malta and in Rome in the spring of 2017, when the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome will be celebrated. 'I will be happy if we can define the kind of topics and messages that will be seen in political history as a turning point for the European Union', said Mr Fico.
Topics such as migration, security and the fight against terrorism will also come up for debate at the meeting of the leaders. They will discuss support for investments and proposals to strengthen the so-called Juncker investment plan, as well as digitisation or unemployment of young people.
VIDEO MESSAGE BY PM ROBERT FICO ON THE SUMMIT
INFORMAL SUMMIT VENUES
Bratislava Castle Bratislava Castle will be the main venue for negotiations between 27 leaders of the European Union's Member States. Delegations will be hosted by the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will also take part in the negotiations. Bratislava Castle sits prominently above the Slovak capital. The first written record of the castle dates from the year 907.
During the informal summit the leaders will be given a brief tour of one of the youngest museums of modern art in Europe – Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. It is uniquely located on the edge of a peninsula on the Danube river and on the borders of three countries – Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. Currently it hosts an exhibition of the works of Joan Miró and the CoBrA artists. The exhibition which forms part of the Presidency's cultural programme was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands on the occasion of the handover of the Presidency of the Council of the EU from the Netherlands to Slovakia.
MS Regina Danubia
MS Regina Danubia, a luxury ship also known as 'the floating ceremonial and congress hall on the Danube', will be the venue for the informal lunch of the EU leaders. During lunch, the ship will take them to the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. The ship has a capacity of 400 passengers, it is 70 metres long and 11 metres wide.
Incheba Expo Bratislava Incheba Expo Bratislava has experience with organising high-level political events. During the informal summit, it will host the press centre for more than 1 300 journalists from more than 70 countries. Incheba Expo Bratislava is located in the immediate vicinity of highways connecting Slovakia with Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary and is also close to the city centre. A hotel is located directly on the exhibition premises.
Certain traffic restrictions will apply during the informal summit in Bratislava.
WHO IS WHO
BRATISLAVA CASTLE AS A SYMBOL OF THE INFORMAL SUMMIT
A logo is a standard element of high-level events. The visual identity of the informal meeting of the EU 27 heads of state or government taking place during the first ever Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU is a collage created from the flags of the EU member states and the EU flag.
To easily identify the summit's venue, the flags form a silhouette of Bratislava Castle. The logo thus visually represents the main venue of the negotiations, as well as the presence of the 27 EU leaders and representatives of EU institutions. The logo was created by the graphic designer Jakub Dušička, designer of the Slovak Presidency logo: 'Bratislava Castle made up of flags proved to be the most interesting concept to work with'.
Graphic artist Jakub Dušička was born in Trenčín on 12 June 1992. He is a student at the Visual Communication Department of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. In 2014, he completed a six-month internship at École Estienne, Paris. Alongside his studies, he works as a graphic designer and is among those launching Slovakia’s first brewery run by university students.
The press centre for the Bratislava summit will be set up at Incheba Expo Bratislava, where journalists will find all the equipment they need for their work. It will be home to an accreditation centre, an infopoint, rooms for national briefings and the press conference, media booths, workspaces for journalists, a lounge area and stand-up positions. The booths and stand-up positions for use during the informal summit are provided by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The press conference and national briefings will be organised in the press centre. Other media opportunities will take place outside Incheba Expo Bratislava. As the host broadcaster, the public service 'Radio and Television of Slovakia' (RTVS) will provide broadcasts from the Bratislava summit to media from all around the world. For more information, check the Media Guide.
15 September (Thursday): 01.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m.
16 September (Friday) - 17 September (Saturday): 05.00 a.m. – 1.00 a.m.
GYMNICH: A DIRECT DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY IS INEVITABLE
The current challenges and long-term priorities of EU common foreign and security policy were the key topics of the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers. The meeting which took place on 2 and 3 September in Bratislava (Reduta) was hosted by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák and chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. The ministers agreed on the need to maintain a direct dialogue with Turkey at a high political level. They reiterated that the Union's clear aim is to stabilise the situation and to continue providing support with a view to building a prosperous Ukraine. Read more
SMART INTEGRATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE SUCCESS
OF THE UNION
At the informal ECOFIN Council, ministers expressed the need for smart integration, which is essential for the future success of the Union. 'We need to move forward in a smart way that is based on mutual trust,' said the Slovak Minister for Finance, Peter Kažimír, who led the meeting. The key topics of the meeting included economic growth, investment plans and the fight against tax evasion. Former Italian and Swedish ministers for finance Mario Monti and Anders Borg also participated in the discussion on the future of the EU. The informal meeting of ministers for economic and financial affairs (ECOFIN) was held in Bratislava on 9 and 10 September. Read more
I. KORČOK AND THE MEPs ON BREXIT
The State Secretary at the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Government Plenipotentiary for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ivan Korčok, presented the Slovak Presidency's priorities in the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs. “The presentation to the Committee on Constitutional Affairs today was primarily aimed at calibrating constructively the relations between the Slovak Presidency and the important committee of the European Parliament,” said Mr Korčok.
In his talks with the committee’s members, Mr Korčok also discussed the political ramifications of the decision that the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had taken in the referendum on the country’s EU membership. Against this backdrop, he pointed to the forthcoming informal meeting of 27 leaders of the European Union’s Member States that is intended to mark the beginning of the ‘Bratislava Process’ in the EU. Read more