Sunday, 21 October 2018

ForMin: V4 should submit own solutions to EU issues

ČTK |
2 February 2018

Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) - The Visegrad Four (V4) group should submit its own solutions to EU affairs, Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky said after meeting his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, who again rejected the UN migrant pact at their talks on Thursday.

The V4, comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, should speak with each other of not only what they reject, but they should also come up with proposals of their own, Stropnicky (ANO) said.

He and Szijjarto praised the V4 cooperation.

Szijjarto said Budapest appreciates the Czech help to it with tackling migration. He once again rejected a migrant pact prepared by the United Nations (UN).

The two ministers discussed the need for the V4 countries to resolutely promote their joint positions in the EU.

They should do so not only by being opposed to everything but "mainly by submitting our own consensual proposals for how to solve the number of problems the EU is faced with," Stropnicky said.

"This also applies to the reputed Dublin IV," he said, referring to the planned reform of the EU's migrant policy.

The V4 members are opposed to the EU migrant relocation quotas as a solution to mass illegal migration. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland face the EC's lawsuit over the issue.

Budapest has also expressed its opposition to migration in its comments on the global migrant pact prepared by the UN.

The UN package describes migration as something good and beneficial, and as an unstoppable process. Hungary is of a different view, it considers migration dangerous and feels the need to defend itself against it, Szijjarto said on Thursday.

He said he informed Stropnicky about Budapest's stance.

If the proposal the UN is going to submit in early March were at variance with Hungary's position, Budapest would withdraw from the debates, Szjjarto said.

The USA withdrew from the migrant pact debate a month ago.

Talking to journalists, Stropnicky and Szijjarto praised Czech-Hungarian economic relations.

Stropnicky said he could see further opportunity for cooperation in arms industry, for example.

Later on Thursday, Szijjarto met Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslava Nemcova and Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (both ANO).

Slechtova and Szijjarto talked about the security situation in the world and issues that would be covered by the next meeting of defence ministries of NATO member states in Brussels.

Nemcova and Szijjarto discussed support for the family and employment.

The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU, which reached 2.3 percent in December, according to Eurostat data, compared with the EU's average of 7.3 percent.

According to the Czech Finance Ministry's estimates, the Czech economy grew by 4.3 percent last year and a 3.4-percent growth is expected this year.

Szijjarto said he always admired the Czech economic growth and performance. Budapest understands it that the Czechs have their own economic model, as does Hungary, with its focus on employment and workforce, he said.

The two countries' economies have already hit the natural unemployment level and are short of workforce, Szijjarto said.

Nemcova said Prague and Budapest want to cooperate, also in seeking measures in support of the family and employment.

Szijjarto will also meet Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) during his current visit to Prague.

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