Prague, Dec 9 (CTK) – Manfred Weber, who heads the European People’s Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament, will hand the Robert Schuman Medal to former Czech foreign minister and TOP 09 honorary chairman Karel Schwarzenberg tonight, before an EPP meeting on the future of the European Union.
More than 50 MEPs from the EPP broad leadership will be discussing the EU future and the efficiency of EU budgeting for three days in Prague.
Schwarzenberg, who will celebrate his 78th birthday on Thursday, will be the first Czech to receive the Schuman Medal for contribution to peace, European development and human values. The medal, named after one of the fathers of the European integration process and first awarded in 1986, was also given to Pope John Paul II (2004), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2007) and former EC president Jose Manuel Barroso (2009).
The EPP meeting will be hosted by Czech MEPs Pavel Svoboda, Michaela Sojdrova (both Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and Ludek Niedermayer (TOP 09) who are members of the EPP broad leadership.
On Friday, the participants will include European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, who is responsible for the budget, EU Commissioner for education Tibor Navracsics and EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid Christos Stylianides. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet are to participate as well.
“The debate will oscillate between the migrant crisis, how to proceed with the further integration of Europe and what to do with the situation that is in Britain,” Czech Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek (KDU-CSL) told CTK.
Miroslav Kalousek, leader of the opposition TOP 09, will also take part in the discussion.
The EPP meeting will discuss the demands for a EU reform announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron in November. Cameron wants to impose restrictions on the free movement of people and welfare benefits for EU citizens arriving in Britain.
The organisers said the Prague meeting wants to get European affairs into Czech politics.
On Friday, the EPP politicians will discuss migration with church representatives, including Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka and representatives of the Orthodox church, the Jewish community and Iraqi Christians.
With 216 members, the EPP Group is the strongest group in the European Parliament. It includes seven Czech MEPs elected for TOP 09 and the KDU-CSL.