Press Advisories

8. 5. 201917:52

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš talked with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on the future of the EU

On 8 May 2019, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the president of the European Council Donald Tusk. The meeting was held in the form of a working breakfast at Hrzán Palace, and both politicians spoke about the future of the European Union, but also about drought and dual quality food issues.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, on the eve of the informal summit of the European Council in Sibiu, which should kick-start the debates on the European Union’s priorities for the next five years. The strategic agenda will be approved by the European Council at its June meeting. Both politicians recalled today’s national holiday, the end of World War II.

“Me and the President have exchanged detail views on the future of the European Union and the European elections, which will take place in a few weeks and can fundamentally affect the future of the European Union. The Czech Republic has a clear idea of what the European Union should focus on. Of course, the priorities include the internal market, Europe’s security, the Schengen area and the energy market. Additional priorities include the cooperation between the European Council and the European Commission, and migration” said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

He also pointed out that one of the short-term priorities of the Czech Republic is that the European Commission should respect our requirements for the use of EU funds mainly for investment. Moreover, the EU budget allocation will be lower in the next programming period 2021–2027 due to the rising standard of living in the Czech Republic. “We are still struggling with the lack of funds for investment, but we are getting money for soft programs, which we are not able to use completely during the period and have no tangible effect on the growth of our economy”, said Prime Minister Babiš.

The meeting focused on dual food quality, drought and electromobility issues. European Council President Donald Tusk said the visit to the Czech Republic on the Victory Day is symbolic and emotional for him as a Polish and European citizen. He also mentioned a personal memory – 40 years ago he spent his honeymoon in Prague. “When your president and my very good colleague Václav Havel said that in Europe freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same story, he accurately described what it means to be a European. Let us recall and honour these visionary voices which drew on the best European traditions and further developed them. The Czechs have always rejected non-authenticity and refused to blindly follow doctrines and dogmas. They have always been able to see things with a certain self-detachment with a wise sense of humour and a healthy dose of scepticism. I would like to tell you: Do not change!”, said Donald Tusk and warned of the dangers of populism and radicalism, which are beginning to spread in Europe.