Press Advisories

22. 1. 2018 19:59

Prime Minister Babiš talked to Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov about country's priorities during its presidency of the Council of the EU

Předseda vlády Andrej Babiš jednal s bulharským premiérem Bojkem Borisovem, 22. ledna 2018.
The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš talked to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Bojko Borisov, 22 January 2018.
On Monday, 22 January 2018, the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš visited Bulgaria. In Sofia he met with the Prime Minister Bojko Borisov and the President Rumen Radev. They discussed mutual bilateral cooperation and, particularly, the topical European issues in connection with the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister Babiš wished success to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria in the course of its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union which  Bulgaria  took over from Estonia on 1 January 2018. The Prime Ministers jointly discussed principle issues of the European Union, such as the budget, migration or institutional topics. The Prime Ministers have agreed that the EU budget should focus on migration, defense and security.

The Prime Ministers also talked about expansion of the Schengen area. The Czech Republic will continue supporting the idea of including all countries which meet the specified requirements. “We positively support Bulgaria´s accession to Schengen. It is very important that Europe should think over its functioning. I do not understand why Greece is a member of the  Schengen  area and Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are not. Why we do not we defend the European continent as a whole and why we keep talking about defending the external borders but, in reality, the struggle against traffickers and the border protection have not produced any satisfactory results, said the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

An important topic of the talks was migration and a reform of the common European asylum system, particularly the Dublin IV Regulation. During the meeting, the Prime Minister Babiš stressed the importance of prevention of the migration crisis by means of functional solutions, primarily protection of external borders, activities in third countries of its origin and transit, struggle against smugglers and human traffickers  and  return policy, with the objective to reduce migration pressures. The Czech Republic has been proactive in this area in the long term, providing both financial and material assistance. The Czech Prime Minister has also stated that no reform of the asylum system is acceptable as long as it involves mandatory refugee quotas which have repeatedly proved to be non-functioning.

The topics also included double standards of food quality. Bulgaria will organize a summit about this issue on 30 April 2018 which will be also attended by the Czech Republic.

In conclusion, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš invited the Bulgarian Prime Minister Bojko Borisov to visit Prague.

Subsequently, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev. They discussed the mutual bilateral relations and deepening of economic cooperation. The trading turnover between the two countries has been growing and for three years in a row it has exceeded 1 billion EUR. In the course of the talks, the partners focused on tourism and Bulgaria as a destination rediscovered by Czech holidaymakers. In this connection they appreciated cooperation between Czech and Bulgarian policemen during the summer season.

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