Andrej Kiska

    is the fourth President of the Slovak Republic, elected as an independent on 29 March 2014. A graduate in microelectronics, former businessman and philanthropist, he has held various management positions, founded several companies as well as The Good Angel, a charity, which helps families with children who have found themselves in financial distress because of a serious, life-threatening illness. According to an opinion poll conducted by the Focus agency in October 2015 he was the most trusted elected official in Slovakia. In a speech celebrating the start of Slovakia’s EU presidency of the EU Council President Kiska said: ”The European Union remains a splendid and successful project of peace, democracy and prosperity, unprecedented in history. And I don’t think that anybody reasonable can doubt that we in the European Union have sufficient resources and the capacity to manage all imaginable problems. What we need most of all today, urgently, is to renew our trust and confidence. Not only to enjoy success, but to be able to learn to live in such a large family that can manage not only celebrations and feasts, but also misfortunes, errors, mistakes and weaknesses. Everything that is part of everyday life. Slovakia has prepared useful concrete priorities for our Presidency. But the greatest priority, ambition and contribution we will offer the European Union during the following six months is the services of an honest, fair and sincere mediator. In our search for trust and confidence. Between member states and their interests, for the good of the whole. Let us be an attentive, patient and empathetic host and moderator, encouraging everyone who speaks about self-reflection and cares about the European Union. I call upon you to add specific ideas to your wishes. We want to help in the mediation of European dialogue in which we all maintain the ability to listen to each other without immediately making judgments. We want to help by reacting to the stormy emotions across the European Union as people with big hearts, goodwill and wise experience so that we can treat one another tactfully and generously. In order to strengthen the knowledge that we are all responsible for a Europe of peace, democracy, solidarity and dignified, safe lives for all. And that we carry this into the future, and hand over our alliance as a continent of peace, freedom, democracy, solidarity and prosperity to our children in a good condition. We all carry this responsibility. Not only Brussels. But also Tallinn and Madrid. Prague. Amsterdam and Ljubljana. Rome. Warsaw and Lisbon. Riga. Dublin and Budapest. Nicosia and Copenhagen. Vilnius. Valletta and Helsinki. Athens. Vienna and Stockholm. Zagreb. Luxembourg and Bucharest. Sofia. Paris and Berlin — and Bratislava. This is definitely not commonplace. This is simply great. We will manage, Slovakia. We will manage, European Union.”