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19. 7. 2017 20:26

The prime ministers of the V4 countries discussed migration, help for Italy and dual food quality

Family photo of the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries, 19 July 2017.
Family photo of the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries, 19 July 2017.
On Wednesday, 19 July 2017, Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka attended the second summit of the Visegrad Group under the Hungarian presidency in Budapest. With the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, he talked about migration and dual food quality. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the guest of the second part of the summit, and will then meet Prime Minister Sobotka in a separate session.

The Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlova followed up on their meeting of 4 July. In the introduction, they dealt with the proceedings brought against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for breach of contract on relocation obligations. According to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, quotas do not work and the Commission’s stance is somewhat delaying the successful solution to the migration crisis. Attention should be paid, in particular, to the protection of the external borders, cooperation with key third countries and a more effective return policy. These principles of the V4 Prime Ministers were incorporated into a joint statement.

Particularly in the Mediterranean, the situation is now very serious. According to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the Czech Republic is immediately ready to provide financial assistance of almost 900,000 euros for Libyan coastguard operations and to help Italy with the return of illegal migrants. The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group sent a joint letter to the President of the Italian Government to help with the consequences of the migration crisis. 

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, with other premiers of the Visegrad Four countries, discussed again the issue of dual food quality. In his opinion, since the March V4 summit in Warsaw, which was devoted to it, no significant shift has occurred. A new study by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture has also confirmed that dual food quality is a real phenomenon. "I consider these practices to be deceptive and thus punishable. I am convinced that the European Union has a tool to address this situation,“ said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. The prime ministers of the V4 countries therefore adopted a joint declaration calling for the EU institutions to address this issue urgently and possibly to amend EU legislation.

Other topics that the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group countries discussed included the European Pillar of Social Rights and the relocation of EU agencies following the exit of the UK from the European Union.

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