Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Focus

EU wonders how to win back people's trust

  • Slovakia and other eastern EU states said voters wanted national governments to run the show (Photo: theodevil)

EU institutions and member states should stop bashing each other in public and EU capitals should take back some powers from Brussels, Slovakia has said after initial talks on how to react to Brexit.

Slovakia, which currently chairs the EU Council, issued its advice after an informal meeting of member states in Bratislava on Monday (25 July).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“We should stop sending out negative messages”, its junior minister for EU affairs, Ivan Korcok, told press.

“Member states very often criticise Brussels, but it also doesn’t help … if we receive statements from Brussels which say that problems originate at member state level, that we bear the responsibility for the problems”, he said.

The Bratislava meeting, on how to improve the EU’s image, comes ahead of a summit on EU reform, to be held also in the Slovak capital in mid-September.

Korcok said that it would take more than a PR agency or media strategy to win back trust.

He said the EU needed to clarify “what are the responsibilities of the EU institutions and where, on the other hand, the EU must have no responsibilities or no powers”.

He said Monday’s meeting did not come up with any “ready-made solution” on where to draw those lines.

“You have two camps at the moment. Those who feel we need to move toward greater transfer of powers and competencies to the EU institutions. We [Slovakia] don’t agree with that. Then there are those who say the EU is itself the problem and we need to transfer competences back to member states”, he said, summing up Monday’s debate.

He said the ministers briefly touched upon EU initiatives, such as building an energy union and a digital single market.

But he said it would have been “paradoxical” if the meeting had not been “overshadowed” by the implications of the British referendum.

He said no one seriously thought that the British exit could somehow be avoided, but he added that the UK had a full say on EU decisions until the day it leaves.

“After today’s meeting it’s quite clear that the UK government has no alternative plans other than … to fulfil the decision of British voters”, Korcok said.

He added that EU-UK negotiations would not start, even at a low or “technical” level, until it formally notified the EU that it was leaving.

He also said that a report on Sunday in British media about a draft deal on EU migrants was “highly speculative”.

David Jones, the British junior minister for Brexit, also said in Bratislava that the outcome of the referendum was “very clear” but that the UK, for the time being, still had all its EU “rights”.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said the EU’s message should be that it was important for the future of young people and that only joint action could tackle problems such as migration or climate change.

“We have to explain why we needed the European Union after World War II and why we need the European Union for this century”, he said.

Slovakia’s Korcok noted that EU-aspirant states in the Western Balkans were also “asking about the future of this project [the EU]” in the aftermath of the British decision.

He said, after meeting his counterparts from the region on Sunday, that the EU remained a “very attractive” prospect for candidate nations.

He also said member states which believed in further enlargement, such as Slovakia, must protect the “credibility” of the process.

“If these countries are delivering … then at the end of the Slovak presidency it would be very important to adequately reward this progress”, he said, referring to the prospect of opening new accession “chapters” in some of the talks.

Report: UK and EU sketch out deal on migrants and trade

A brake on EU migrants, single market access, and UK contributions to the EU budget - a British daily reports that informal talks on Britain's EU exit have started despite EU statements to the contrary.

Estonia tests water for own virtual currency

Following the success of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, some in the Baltic nation propose introducing their own version for their e-residents. But what about the euro?

EU posted workers face hurdles

Negotiations among the EU institutions will start soon, but could be difficult on several issues - like the inclusion of the transport sector or the duration of a posting.

Supported by

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban