Polish, Slovakian parliaments should strengthen defence co-operation - Speaker

The Polish and Slovakian parliaments should be more engaged in strengthening co-operation within the defence industry, Polish Sejm (lower house) Speaker Marek Kuchcinski said in Bratislava on Tuesday.

"Common sense demands it," he asserted.

Kuchcinski is on a two-day visit to Slovakia, which started on Monday. On Tuesday, he met with the speaker of the Slovakian National Council, Andrej Danko. At a joint press conference, Kuchcinski stated that his visit testified to "a great boom" of parliamentary co-operation in relations between the two countries. "It's safe to say it is one of the main driving forces in Polish-Slovakian relations," he said, going on to add that the two countries' parliaments should be more engaged in strengthening co-operation in the defence industry. "Common sense demands it," he declared. "The Polish border (...) with Slovakia is the most stable and lasting."

The Sejm speaker also said the two countries should strengthen their strategic and economic co-operation. He further announced that he had talked with Speaker Danko about cross-border co-operation including in the fields of communications and infrastructure development. He added that Poland and Slovakia support the construction of a north-south gas pipeline.

Andrej Danko expressed conviction and hope that the "very good" bilateral relations, which are at a "very high level" would continue to prosper. He said work was ongoing on preparing a declaration of enhanced co-operation between the two countries' parliaments. "I'm very glad that Poland has become a strategic partner not only within the framework of the Visegrad Group, but also on the European forum," Danko commented. The Visegrad Group is comprised of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Danko said the two parliaments could become "an example and a model" for the EU in how to avoid "various errors" in creating laws through "intensive communication and information exchange."  He said only parliaments elected by citizens could set out "effective directions" in political solutions.

Danko said his talks with Kuchcinski had also covered enhancing communication in the field of defence and improving local security through mutual communication and co-operation. He said he "admired" Polish "reform processes." "At the same time I see it as an attempt to improve the country's functioning within the EU framework," he added, emphasising that he very much likes Poland's 'Family 500 plus' social welfare programme.

Talks were held "in the spirit" of deepening ties within tourism, sport and culture, Danko said, asserting that Poland and Slovakia could certainly organise a Winter Olympics. Speaker Kuchcinski referred to these words on Twitter: "A joint Olympics by all means. We need to work on unifying laws on sport and tourism."