Development priorities of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council

The Slovak Presidency of the EU Council runs from 1 July to 31 December 2016. In terms of development cooperation, the Slovak Presidency will focus on the progress in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and in the debate on the future of relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states. The focus will be on improving the coherence of the development policies in order to comprehensively address the crises, including the migration crisis.

Slovak EU Council Presidency programme.

The Presidency will chair strategic discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 implementation with an emphasis on a strong link between its external and internal dimensions. Following the adoption of the Agenda 2030 and the need to adapt EU development policy, it is expected that a revision of the European Consensus on Development will be launched during the Slovak Presidency. In this context, the Slovak Presidency will stress the principle of policy coherence for development.

Attention will be given to the role of energy in EU development policy. It will focus on reaching progress in promoting the EU’s comprehensive approach by linking security and development policies. In the implementation of the goals of the Agenda 2030, increased attention will be paid to the issues of financing for development in the spirit of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA). Equal attention will be given to the fulfilment of obligations and opportunities arising from the Paris Climate Agreement.

In view of the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020, the Slovak Presidency will continue preparations for launching formal negotiations – on the future framework for cooperation with ACP countries, due to start in 2018 at the latest. The Slovak Presidency will promote an open and informed discussion on the future framework with ACP countries.

During the Slovak Presidency, discussion in the Council will continue on the need for a more flexible and targeted response to challenges brought by the migration and refugee crisis and on the need for addressing its causes. In April 2016, a Commission communication on linking development and forced displacement was released, which will be followed by further steps related to linking humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

The Slovak Presidency will promote a comprehensive approach to the EU’s engagement by improving both the coherence of the EU’s external policies and the coordination of the external and internal security tools. One of the pillars of the foreign policy is the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, the implementation and development of which will be the main focus of the EU in the next period.