Written by Dora Boytha (Office of the Deputy Secretary-General),
On 1 July 2016, Slovakia will take over the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from The Netherlands, as part of the Dutch-Slovak-Maltese ‘Trio Presidency’. The Slovak “coalition of historic compromise” was only sworn in on 23 March 2016 and Prime Minister Robert Fico was just released from hospital at the beginning of May after heart surgery, still the Slovak government is expected to steer a challenging Presidency programme. On 24 February 2016, the (previous) Slovak government adopted the framework agenda of the Slovak Presidency, yet the final Presidency programme will be approved by the government on 29 June 2016.
In the first half of the year, the Commission has put on the table the politically most important legislative dossiers, such as the energy security package, proposals for e-commerce, an action plan to fight against corporate tax evasion, the review of the posting of workers directive, the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard and recommendations for visa liberalisation in Ukraine and Turkey. As of May 2016, of around 140 active ordinary legislative procedures, some 25 are being negotiated by the co-legislators in view of a first or (early) second reading agreement. This note aims to present the state of affairs in the priority fields of the Slovak Presidency, as well as the most important related dossiers to be addressed by the Presidency in the next semester.
As the fastest growing eurozone member between 2004 and 2014, Slovakia will be closely following the debate on the creation of a fiscal capacity for the eurozone; and as the largest car producer per capita in the world, it will also be sensitive to the adoption of market surveillance rules and limitations in emissions from cars. Other priorities will include the implementation of the Capital Markets Union proposals, the completion of stage 1 of the Economic and Monetary Union, delivering on Energy Union measures and the Single Market, as well as external relations with a particular focus on transatlantic ties and Eastern Partnership. Slovak political priorities will inevitably address the migration crisis, a revision of the Dublin system and the fight against terrorism.
In the second half of the year, institutional changes are also likely be on the agenda, concerning namely the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, the European electoral reform, the European Parliament’s right of inquiry, implementation of the IIA on better law-making and the upcoming IIA on transparency register. Finally, the Slovak Council Presidency will have to address the consequences of the referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU, to be held on 23 June 2016.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Priority dossiers under the Slovak EU Council Presidency‘
The Deputy Secretary General (DSG) is responsible for legislative coordination and planning both within the Parliament and in relation to other Institutions, particularly the Council and the Commission. In carrying out these tasks, the DSG is assisted by the Inter-institutional Relations Unit and the Legislative Planning and Coordination Unit (she is also responsible for the Classified Information Unit). The DSG together with her services assists the President and the Parliament’s governing bodies with briefing and background notes on specific dossiers and procedures, prepares the preliminary draft agendas of plenary sessions, as well as other documents in relation to strategic programming, such as on activities of the Commission and the Council.