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26. 1. 2018 19:54

Prime ministers discuss the future of the EU, the budget and migration policy in a V4 summit

Family photo of the prime ministers of the V4 countries, 26 January 2018.
Family photo of the prime ministers of the V4 countries, 26 January 2018.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš attended, on his visit to Hungary, a summit of prime ministers of the Visegrad Group countries. The main topic was the future of the European Union, the Multi-annual Financial Framework, and preparation for the February meeting of the European Council in Brussels. Later, he also met with the new Prime Minister of the Polish Republic Mateusz Morawiecki.

During preparations for the European Council, to be held on 23 February 2018 in Brussels, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki discussed, among other things, the election of the President of the European Commission and the future composition of the European Parliament.

As regards the Multi-annual Financial Framework after 2020, the prime ministers agreed that the V4 has to uphold its priorities in the form of a strong cohesion and agricultural policy, strengthening Europe's competitiveness, and economic growth and innovation. It is essential to revive real convergence in Europe. It is important for the Visegrad Group to be active and cooperate with partners with similar priorities.

At the end, the prime ministers of the Visegrad Group countries adopted a joint statement on the future of the European Union, declaring a need for a strong and effective EU or a comprehensive approach to the migration policy.

The issue of migration was also touched upon during the meeting. According to Prime Minister Babiš, it is crucial to prevent further approvals of quota and to convince as many states as possible that quotas are inoperative and efficient measures should be promoted instead, including the protection of external borders, activities in third countries of origin and transit, and fight against smugglers. He wants to discuss this matter further on Monday, when he is going to meet with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claud Juncker and the Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans. This week, Andrej Babiš' Cabinet approved a financial contribution of approx. 225 million CZK for a joint project of the V4 in Libya.

Subsequently, all the V4 prime ministers attended a panel discussion about the future of the European Union. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš reminded that the reason for the establishment of the European Union was to guarantee peace and prosperity to European citizens In his view, key areas for the future of the EU are, among other things, better integration, deepening the internal market, enhancing competitiveness in the digital era, and ensuring security. Only a strong and united European Union will be able to play a significant role in the modern world.

“There are a lot of things that remain to be addressed. At the same time, it is finally necessary to depoliticize Brussels and the European Commission. I think that the Member States—Prime Ministers and Presidents—should have the main say. We established that clearly today, we are united and hold the same views. V4 is a great project,“ the Czech Prime Minister said in the discussion.

Babiš also met with the new Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. They discussed, among other things, the possibilities of deepening of economic relationships, and European issues. Prime Minister Morawiecki was appointed in the office in December 2017, and this was his first bilateral meeting with the Czech Prime Minister. 

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