Sunday, 15 July 2018

Commissioner: It is vital for EU countries to stick together

ČTK |
22 May 2018

Prague, May 21 (CTK) - It is crucial for the existence of the EU member states to stick together, Czech European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova said at a conference entitled "Challenges for Europe" on Monday.

Nevertheless, she also backed up the proposal that the European Union make decisions in fewer areas, but secure a better cooperation in them than so far.

The Czech Republic should be more active in the EU and not wait for other countries or European institutions to arrive at a decision, Jourova added.

She said the situation in the world had changed and people and European countries must realise that nothing would be the same like in the past decades.

"The solution for us is to realise that it is vital for our existence to stick together in Europe since there are many challenges and external threats," Jourova said.

However, the members states must not feel that European policy is too narrow for them, she added.

The best alternative seems to be that the EU gives up solving trifles and focused on major challenges, while it would push them through in a better way than now, Jourova pointed out.

She said she was convinced that the EU budget outlooks for the next seven-year period reflected this trend. It puts an emphasis on the protection of the EU external border from migration, internal security and strengthened European defence.

At the same time, politicians must better explain to people what the EU is doing to win their trust in the Union, Jourova said.

Politicians must listen to the fears of citizens who feel uncertain in view of the migrant crisis and terrorism, she added.

Jourova also called on the Czech Republic to be more active in the EU and not to try at any cost to express solidarity with Hungary and Poland that the European Commission accuses of restricting liberal democracy.

If the Czech Republic is not active in seeking European solutions to the problems and is criticising them only, it may face troubles in the future, Jourova said.

"If Europe faces more and more pressure, and we know that new threats are emerging, it will tend to throw away sandbags. Those can also be the countries that are not cooperating and are not working on the joint goal," she said.

These tendencies are apparent primarily in cooperation between Germany and France whose role will be growing in the EU after Brexit, she added.

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