SUMMIT OF THE PRESIDENTS
1998 - summit of the Presidents
The 5th Summit of the Presidents of the Countries of Central Europe took place on 23-24 January 1998 in Levoca. Its central theme was: Civil Society - Hope of United Europe.
The idea of regular informal summits of the heads of Central European countries was born in Salzburg during the summit of Czech, Hungarian, German and Austrian presidents in 1993. The first summit took place in the Czech town of Litomysl. In 1995 Italian president joined his counterparts of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia and Poland in Hungarian Keszthely. They met again in Portorozie, Slovenia, at their 4th summit. A year ago, Ukranian president was invited to Lancut, Poland. The president of Slovakia Michal Kovac invited the presidents of Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine as well.
Eleven presidents met on the 5th Summit in Levoca. They were: Petar Stojanov /Bulgaria/, Vaclav Havel /the Czech Republic/, Arpad Goncz /Hungaria/, Roman Herzog /Germany/, Aleksander Kwasniewski /Poland/, Thomas Klestil /Austria/, Emil Constantinescu /Romania/, Milan Kucan /Slovenia/, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro /Italy/, Leonid Kucma /Ukraine/, and Michal Kovac /Slovakia/.
Levoca, decorated with snow, welcomed the heads of the European countries by a fire of a cannon. At 2 p. m. the eleven presidents greeted the people of Levoca. After the honourable fire and a "historic round", a round -table discussion in the historical Town Hall ollowed. The president Michal Kovac and the mayor Peter Pekarcik unveiled a memorial board, which catches the greatness of the event.
The presidents went to a chamber concert at the Town Theatre in the evening and they had an official dinner.
The second day of the Levoca summit continued by a meeting with 13 nongovernmental organizations. After a press conference with almost 400 journalists, members of protocol and diplomats of the participating countries at the Town Theatre, the presidents had lunch in Stary Smokovec, after which they went back home from the airport in Poprad.)
The Levoca Summit was the best full stop after five years of the mandate of the first president of independent Slovakia. It was equally appreciated by the participating presidents who valued president Kovac as a man promoting the European norms of democracy.