European University Institute

Slovakian Minister Ivan Korčok joins the conversation on the Future of Europe

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, H.E. Ivan Korčok visited the EUI for a discussion on some of the biggest challenges faced by the EU today, including the controversies over the Rule of Law, the climate crisis and border concerns.

25/11/2021 | News - Event

On Monday 22 November, the EUI welcomed H.E. Ivan Korčok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, for a hybrid lecture on 'The Future of Europe: a Central European point of view.' Present at the event were EUI President, Professor Renaud Dehousse and Secretary General Marco del Panta, along with faculty, students and researchers from the EUI and James Madison University in Florence. 

The lecture was followed by an inspiring Q&A session with the audience. Students from four Slovakian universities, namely Comenius University, the Matej Bel University, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, and the University of Economics in Bratislava, followed the lecture online and were able to engage in the conversation with the Minister and pose questions from remote.

During his speech, the Minister pointed out both the internal and external challenges to the stability and prosperity of the European Union today. Among the internal, more 'structural' challenges, the Minister mentioned the multi-faceted vulnerability that was revealed by the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the most recent controversies around the Rule of Law. “Without Rule of Law there is no European Union, everything we have achieved so far is based on the Rule of Law. [...] One should not question this basic principle on which the European Union has been built," he said. 

Minister Korčok also reminded the audience that “the world hasn’t stopped,” and there are many external developments that should interest the EU, such as the ongoing global competition between superpowers, the fight against climate change and the EU ambition to be an international champion of it. Reflecting on the importance of remaining involved in what happens beyond the EU borders, he added: “You cannot be a respected foreign policy player unless you are able to ensure that there is stability in your own neighbourhood.”

In his concluding remarks, Minister Korčok added “I am a strong champion and proponent of the idea of the Conference on the Future of Europe,” underlying the value of constructive dialogue between EU institutions and citizens of all member states, especially younger generations. “Let’s use this difficult period for mankind to engage in some serious thinking. From the perspective of my country, a Central European country, there is no better tool than trying to agree on common European solutions.”

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