Press Advisories

23. 8. 2017 23:37

The prime ministers dealt in the Slavkov format on economic and social convergence, safety and migration

Prime Minister Sobotka had a meeting with Austrian Federal Chancellor, Slovak Prime Minister and French President on 23 August 2017.
Prime Minister Sobotka had a meeting with Austrian Federal Chancellor, Slovak Prime Minister and French President on 23 August 2017.
In Salzburg, on Wednesday, 23 August 2017, a meeting of the Slavkov format, namely of the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia, took place. French President Emmanuel Macron was the guest of this fourth meeting.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and French President Emmanuel Macron talked mainly about the future of the European Union, economic and social convergence, free movement and posting of workers, industrial policy, safety, common defence and migration. Regarding the issue of the future direction of the European Union, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reminded the key role of preserving and strengthening the unity and cohesion of the twenty-seven. For the prosperity of the EU, the digital administration and the social dimension of integration, which the summits in Tallinn and Gothenburg will be dedicated to, are high priorities.

Economic and social convergence was the key theme of today’s dealing. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka pointed out that just strengthening convergence is the key to sustainable prosperity. According to him, the reconstruction of economic, social and wage convergence across the Union will be concurrently a driving force of the further growth. He considers cohesion policy a basic tool to promote convergence within and between the Member States. He identified social dumping then the problem of the EU as a whole as well as the problem within the Czech Republic. The states should therefore focus on fighting fraud and avoiding breaches of current legislation. He also invited for a discussion on the convergence of wages between individual countries.  

The prime ministers of the Slavkov format together with the French President also discussed the deepening of EU defence cooperation. They agreed on the necessity to ensure strategic EU autonomy by strengthening European defence. The Czech Republic, as a workhorse of the discussion on strengthening European defence, declared its interest in taking part in all the forthcoming initiatives.

In the field of migration, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka confirmed that the Czech Republic is ready to contribute both to the protection of external borders and to cooperation with third countries. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Czech Republic has already sent 200 policemen to Frontex, 63 experts to hotspot and other 339 policemen for bilateral assistance to individual countries. Financial aid then went to Jordan, Lebanon or Niger.

Prior to the meeting of the the Slavkov format, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka also met with French President Emmanuel Macron and subsequently with Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern.

In the evening, a joint dinner of the prime ministers was held and then they took part in a Salzburger Festspiele piano concert featuring leading performers, Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim.

The meeting of the Slavkov format has taken place for the fourth time since its establishment in January 2015 in Slavkov near Brno. For the second time, the meeting has been held outside the Czech Republic and has been first attended by a guest. The grouping’s objective is to develop cooperation between the member states in the field of neighbourhood relations, European policies with the emphasis on promoting economic growth and employment and in other areas including transport and Industry 4.0. Presently, Austria presides over the Slavkov format. The last meeting of the prime ministers in the S3 format took place in Brno on 22 June 2017.

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