BRATISLAVA. By solving our own national problems, we can help to solve the European and global problems as well, agreed the Slovak, Slovenian and Croatian presidents in their introductory remarks at the global security forum GLOBSEC taking place in Bratislava. Although the presidents identified common economic challenges especially in Europe as central, all of them emphasized the fact that the EU was created primarily as a security project aimed at promoting peace and stability in Europe. Croatia, who recently concluded its accession negotiations with the EU and will join the club next year, appreciates this dimension of the EU as well as of NATO more deeply. „Complicated relations with our neighbours are the heritage of the war. We need to cooperate more with our neighbours with the sense of responsibility, but it is already possible to see that the relations are better than they used to be,“ said Croatian president Ivo Josipović. He also emphasized the importance of the EU and NATO accession process for the Balkans and its transformation effects on the regional relations and called on his Slovak and Slovenian partners to further support the Balkan countries in their integration efforts.
Danilo Türk, Slovenian president together with his Slovak counterpart Ivan Gašparovič expressed their support for the Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro, in particular, whose Prime Minister Igor Lukšić participates at the global forum in Bratislava as well and later today will also address the distinguished audience at GLOBSEC. President Türk, however, apart from the necessary consolidation of the European economy, emphasized the need for the European Union to deepen popular participation and strengthen the sense of European identity among Europeans in order for the EU to provide more accurate responses to the current global economic and security challenges. The Slovak president, who opened the second day of the Bratislava forum, spoke not only about the need for the European countries to consolidate their economies but also to refocus their attention to pooling and sharing of resources and opportunities in defence and security area. „After the shift of attention away from security with our accession to NATO, we need to refocus our attention in this direction now. The US is currently providing ample opportunities for its European partners to take the lead in this area,“ he said. The presidents also touched upon the topics of the Arab spring, situation in Syria and European and Euro-Atlantic relations with Russia and China.