The issue of the common European policy on the management of borders and the impending reforms of EU institutions were at the centre of talks between the President of the European Council, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Slovakian counterpart Mikulas Dzurinda in Bratislava on Friday (9 May).
The two leaders also discussed issues relating to transatlantic cooperation, as well as the common defence and security policy with emphasis on the aspect of armaments production.
Drawing a parallel with Greece’s European experience, Simitis spoke of the advantages for Slovakia arising from the country’s accession to the EU, particularly in the area of the economy.
“In the present phase of developments in the EU and worldwide, no state can stand alone, no state can remain on the fringes with its own policy, which is not coordinated with a larger supranational organisation,” he observed.
Simitis said also that in the framework of the new international society, although small countries risked losing something of their identity, such risks disappeared “when a state adjusts to the new developments or tries in the new circumstances to project its identity”. He added that “identity is lost when a state, a nation, does not produce new ideas, does not have the possibility to present these ideas and cannot play an important role in this environment”.
The Greek premier also underlined the need for close international cooperation in order to deal with problems such as illegal immigration and the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Dzurinda expressed Slovakia’s support for efforts towards the common management of borders. He said also that the date for the Intergovernmental Conference should be set in Thessaloniki and be sometime in the period prior to the forthcoming European elections.