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Programme and priorities

Programme of the Presidency Trio

The work programme established by the presidency trio attaches the greatest importance to economic issues related to kick-starting economic growth. That said, it also responds to the current and unprecedented challenges to security that stem from the migrant crisis. At the same time, the programme seeks to put forward policies in the areas of job creation, competitiveness, the Digital Single Market and the Energy Union. The programme rests on five pillars that the Council needs to address during the 18 months.

1. Jobs, Growth, Competitiveness

In the field of economy, the three presidencies prioritise delivering strong economic growth across the Union. Increased investment, support for reforms and quality job creation are important instruments in these efforts. Support for innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises and youth employment will also be at the forefront of the work of the presidency trio.

2. A Union that Protects All Citizens

The three countries commit themselves in the programme to stepping up their efforts in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. In this regard, priority has been given to the swift adoption of measures aimed at modernising education and establishing links between students and the labour market. The trio also pays due attention to health security and the improvement of the health of the population.

3. An Energy Union with a Forward-looking Climate Policy

The area of energy will also rank high on the agenda. The greatest amount of attention is expected to be paid to reducing Europe’s dependency on the import of fossil fuels and to increasing the utilisation of indigenous energy sources. The completion of the EU’s energy market and the fostering of environmental sustainability constitute another priority.

4. Freedom, Security and Justice

The programme also draws attention to the currently most prominent issues, notably the quality of external border management, the fight against organised crime, corruption and terrorism. The fight against illegal migration flows and people smuggling remains the most important topic in Europe.

5. The Union as a Strong Global Actor

The current global environment is both a challenge and an opportunity for the EU, and this is reflected in the programme of the presidency countries. A stronger partnership with neighbouring countries, support for action in conflict prevention and speaking with one voice externally also feature prominently among the efforts of the presidency countries.

Latest news

20 December 2016
European Union Agency for Asylum: Council ready to start negotiations with Parliament
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council a mandate for negotiations on the regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum. On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament.
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20 December 2016
Capital markets union: Council confirms deal on prospectus rules
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, an agreement with the European Parliament on prospectuses for the issuing and offering of securities.
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20 December 2016
Money laundering and terrorist financing: Council agrees its negotiating stance
Brussels (20 December) - The Council has agreed its negotiating stance on strengthened EU rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The Permanent Representatives Committee, on behalf of the Council, asked the incoming presidency to start talks with the European Parliament.
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20 December 2016
Control of firearms: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed, on behalf of the Council, the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons, which reviews and completes existing directive 91/477/EEC.
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25 November 2016
Violence against women - simply unacceptable!
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights in the world and one of the least prosecuted crimes in the world.
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9 November 2016
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic on the adoption of the 2016 Enlargement Package
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic welcomes the adoption of the European Commission’s 2016 Enlargement Package, which contains assessment reports concerning the individual candidate countries and potential candidates for EU membership. We recognise the fact that this year’s package is centred around an assessment of the implementation of last year’s strategy, while also taking stock of trends in the region in key areas such as the rule of law, fundamental rights, migration, the functioning of public authorities, economy and regional cooperation. The reporting methodology introduced last year was expanded to cover additional areas. This has facilitated a better assessment of the overall progress made over the past year, as well as mutual comparisons between the individual applicants.
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23 August 2016
Joint Statement: Ministerial Conference on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes
(Bratislava, 23 August 2016)
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12 July 2016
Speech by Foreign Minister M. Lajčák at the EP Committee AFET
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7 October 2016
2 climate weeks: „small step for humanity, giant leap for Slovak Presidency“
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16 December 2016
Notice: Last Council under the Slovak Presidency dealing with the revision of the emission trading system
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14 December 2016
Notice: Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia, at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels
The Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, will attend the regular meeting of the European Council in Brussels on 15 December 2016. On this occasion, Mr Fico will meet with the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and fellow leaders of the EU member states.
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12 December 2016
Notice: Enlargement package dominating GAC agenda
On Tuesday 13 December, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák will chair the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels.
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12 December 2016
Notice: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg
On Tuesday 13 December 2016 the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, will travel to Strasbourg to visit the European Parliament, to mark the end of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU.
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23 June 2016
Presidency glossary
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23 June 2016
Slovak Presidency Website eu2016.sk
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22 June 2016
Accreditation and registration
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5 May 2016
Presidency in Figures
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Venezuela
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on EU strategy on China
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Turkey
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19 July 2016
EU priorities at the United Nations and the 71st UNGA
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