Slovakia's first ever EU Council presidency has started at a difficult time. There are many challenges ahead of us. The largest of these, undoubtedly, is the negative result of UK's referendum.
We need to start to draw new contours of how the relationship between EU and Great Britain may look in the following six months. The voice of British people must be heard and fully respected.
It is also a time for self-reflection on both sides. There is no space for blame. People rightly expect concrete, sustainable and pragmatic solutions.
The Slovak EU Council presidency's priorities have been clearly laid out. They include economic stability, the development of the single market, including the energy union, support for the digital single market and more intense global engagement.
One of the most important topics is the focus on sustainable migration and asylum policies. Individual states' positions on the right solutions to the refugee crisis currently differ.
It is a very difficult task, which is putting enormous pressure on our external borders and on the asylum systems of many member states.
Unfortunately, it has also contributed to the change in Europe' political map and the rise of extremism.
Slovak leaders will therefore place a major emphasis of more sustainable migration and asylum policies, including the pressure on the effective protection of external borders.
They will do their best to contribute to the successful achievement of compromise within the Council on this crucial topic.