- Title: SLOVAKIA: TWO-DAY SUMMIT ENDS
- Date: 24th January 1998
- Summary: LEVOCA, SLOVAKIA (JANUARY 24, 1998) (RTV ACCESS ALL) 1. SLV PRESIDENTS ENTERING ROOM AT START OF PRESSER 0.13 2. SCU ITALIAN PRESIDENT LUIGI SCALFARO SPEAKING AT PRESSER 0.28 3. SCU AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT THOMAS KLESTIL ADDRESSING PRESSER 0.36 4. SCU GERMAN PRESIDENT ROMAN HERZOG SEATED 0.39 5. SCU CZECH PRESIDENT VACLAV HAVEL SPEAKING AT PRESSER 6. SCU SLOVAK PRESIDENT MICHAL KOVAC SAYING: "NO ONE IS IGNORING SLOVAKIA. IT WAS CONFIRMED THAT THERE IS NO INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION OF SLOVAKIA" (SLOVAK) 1.09 7. SCU GERMAN PRESIDENT HERZOG SPEAKING AT PRESSER 1.20 8. SV HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT ARBAD GONCZ SPEAKING AT PRESSER (HUNGARIAN) 1.54 9. SV PRESIDENTS LEAVING BY BUS (3 SHOTS) 2.27 Initials S3 P3 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 8th February 1998 12:00
- Location: LEVOCA, SLOVAKIA
- Country: EUROPE Slovakia
- Reuters ID: LVA9APTSUVV3N9SFOAIPJEWAPRYN
- Story Text: INTRO: Eleven European presidents have ended a two-day summit, saying they are determined to strengthen democracy in the post-Communist continent The presidents of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Italy ended their fifth annual informal meeting on Saturday (January 24). This year the summit was held in the picturesque town of Levoca in the Tatra mountains of Eastern Slovakia.
Several of the leaders, notably Czech President Vaclav Havel, stressed the need to rebuild civil society -- the charities, environmental groups and other bodies which bridge the gap between the state and citizens and which were destroyed during decades of Communist rule.
After two days' of talks on the theme of "civil society and the hope for a united Europe", all were agreed on the need to give citizens of post-Communist Europe a bigger say in rebuilding democracy as their countries seek ever closer ties with the West.
Slovak President Michal Kovac said it was important to develop strong grassroots democracy as East European countries sought to join western organisations.
Slovakia, once seen as a front-runner to join the EU, was the only applicant left out of the first wave because of alleged shortcomings in its democratic system.
Kovac said the meeting showed the rest of the region was determined Slovakia would not be isolated.
The summit, the biggest gathering of leaders in Slovakia's short history as an independent state, brought together 11 presidents from East and West Europe. Most of the presidents lack real constitutional power but analysts say their annual meetings have taken on symbolic significance as East and West seek to put aside Cold War era of Levoca in the Tatra mountains of Eastern Slovakia.
The heads of state of Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine also joined the meeting.
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