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Four priorities outlined for Slovak EU Presidency

BRATISLAVA, Feb.22 (Xinhua) -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico outlined four issues that might influence the country's agenda during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which is scheduled for the second half of 2016.

After a session of the Solidarity and Development Council on the country's upcoming Presidency of the EU Council on Monday, Fico referred to Greece's financial crisis, the Nord Stream 2 project, Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and security threats connected to migration and the situation in Ukraine and Syria.

"Such a tough role can only be handled by a strong government," added Fico.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said that after three-and-a-half years of preparations, Slovakia is finally near the presidency.

"We're focusing on five areas: economic growth, strengthening the internal market, energy, migration and enlargement and external relations. This is the framework, but the precise priorities will be approved by the government in June. We'll respond to current events," said Lajcak.

According to Fico, Slovakia will have to spend around 70 million euro (77.15 million U.S. dollars) on the presidency.

The Presidency of the Council of the EU rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency's function include chairing the meetings of the council, setting its agenda and facilitating dialogue at council meetings, etc.

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