Joint Statement from the Session of Government Representatives of the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Poland (Poprad, 27 March 2013)


On 27th March 2013, the first session of the Slovak and Polish government representatives took place in Poprad under the auspices of Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic R. Fico and Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland D. Tusk. The representatives discussed the current stage of bilateral cooperation, set priorities and identified challenges for further development.

Both parties confirmed the strategic significance and the excellent level of mutual relations as an outcome of a 20-year-old cooperation based on friendship. Slovak-Polish relations represent an important pillar of regional stability and a positive contribution to the entire European fellowship. 

Both parties emphasized their shared priorities in terms of foreign and security policies. They also showed their interest to further coordinate their bilateral positions within the Visegrad Group as well as on a European level. They reconfirmed their resolve to work actively on strengthening European defence capabilities, the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and NATO. In order to reinforce stability and prosperity of the European continent, both sides will pay particular attention to the policies of the Eastern Partnership and to the EU enlargement process. 

The government representatives paid close attention to the current EU development in terms of resolving the economic crisis. They deemed it necessary to seek a balance between fiscal consolidation measures on the one hand, and measures supporting growth and employment on the other. In particular, they will support adopting measures to reduce unemployment, of young people especially. They welcomed the European Council’s adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014–2020, as well as the outcome of the common effort within the Friends of Cohesion Group. They expressed their strong belief that the inter-institutional compromise will be reached in the first half of 2013 at the latest and they will act together in this direction. They agreed it was necessary to ensure the most effective use of EU funds.

Currently, the EMU architecture is undergoing significant transformation. Both sides support transparency and integration, and agree that this process should include all member states willing to participate in deeper integration. In connection with the Polish Government’s interest to enter the Eurozone in the future, the Slovak side expressed its readiness to share experiences from adopting the European currency.

Having noted the successful development of mutual cooperation, both sides discussed further possibilities of economic, commercial and investment exchanges, measures to increase competitiveness and economic growth. They also expressed their interest to continue cooperation in terms of energy security. In the wake of the political support granted for the construction of the Polish-Slovak gas interconnector the respective transmission system operators were invited to agree on the outcome of the feasibility study in April 2013 at the latest. The feasibility study should constitute a basis for an intergovernmental agreement concerning the cooperation between Poland and Slovakia with regard to establishing the gas interconnector to be signed by the Ministers of Economy by the end of June 2013. These developments should prove the Polish-Slovak interconnector together with the related domestic projects (North-South Connection in East Poland) to be eligible for the EU financial assistance under the Connecting Europe Facility.

Both sides once again confirmed their readiness to build up cross-border infrastructure – as an important factor for developing economic relations, furthering growth in tourism and building contacts. They agreed to monitor progress in this area.

In the area of agriculture, they showed the interest to cooperate closely in the area of Common agricultural policy and rural development, and the attention was paid to the issue of proceeding and control coordination in food safety and quality.

In the matter of the environment, representatives discussed the significance of preserving cross-border protected areas and conservation of the species occurring in protected areas. 
Both Polish and Slovak representatives confirmed their support for joint organisation of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and expressed their readiness to make every effort in the interest of successfully enforcing their candidacy. The two countries will examine all relevant aspects in terms of organising a sports event of such worldwide significance, so that it can contribute to the visibility of the region, to the development of sport, transport and tourist infrastructure, and to creating new jobs.

A joint bid for the organisation of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games and the XIII Winter Paralympic Games represents a unique opportunity to integrate the efforts of local communities, local governments and public authorities, as well as a perfect platform to strengthen cooperation between cities, regions and states. Both countries perceive the joint organisation of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as a chance to advance mutual relations, understanding and confidence. 

The effectiveness of this form of cooperation was upheld by both parties and it was agreed to perpetuate such a format in the future.