Prague, June 6 (CTK) – The crises tackled by Europe can be faced only jointly on the European level, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at the beginning of the Prague European Summit international conference yesterday, but added that Europeans have ceased to trust that EU states are stronger together.
Unilateral solutions cannot work, Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
He pointed out the problems the EU has faced in recent years, including the migrant crisis, economic stagnation, the growing influence of Russia, terrorism and the rise of rightist populism.
They all require a joint action on the European level, none of these challenges can be solved unilaterally, Zaoralek said.
He said controversies have been emerging in Europe that violate the EU’s unity. They developed visibly in connection with the crisis of the euro zone, he said.
At present, the issue that divides the EU members is the approach to migration, Zaoralek continued.
Everyone knows what the core of the controversy is – the mandatory refugee relocation quotas. But there is only one way to solve the problem, the European way, he said.
He said the EU will manage to find a different way than the quotas to express its solidarity with war refugees.
In the debate following Zaoralek’s opening speech, EC Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva said she shares Zaoralek’s view that the negative approach to refugees by East European countries stems from these countries’ lack of experience with multicultural society, due to which they feel apprehensions.
Zaoralek said these apprehensions further rise in reaction to the reports about violent attacks in France, Belgium and elsewhere.
Georgieva said European unity is also needed from the economic point of view.
The size does matter, and it will matter in future as well, Georgieva said, comparing the EU’s economic results with economies such as China.
The opening debate at the summit, which is to culminate with the discussion of Visegrad Four prime ministers on Wednesday, also focused on the forthcoming British referendum on EU membership and on the influence of Russia and Russian propaganda.
The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.