Prague, July 18 (CTK) – An active dialogue with the European Union (EU) is a significant priority for the remaining months of the current Czech government, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in an interview with CTK today.

The mandate of his centre-left government of the CSSD, ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will end after the October 20-21 general election.

The voice of the Czech Republic must be heard in the EU since a number of important documents are being drafted there, including that on drawing European funds, he said.

Sobotka does not prepare any big foreign trip by the end of the autumn when he is to end as head of government. However, he is likely to attend the autumn summit of the EU and Latin America, he said.

Sobotka dismissed the criticism saying the Czech Republic was moving away from the EU in its stance on the solution to the migrant crisis.

“We are not moving elsewhere, we have simply not changed our mind. Someone may have expected us to change the opinion during the debate on the (refugee) quotas, but we did not. This means that the Czech position remains the same,” he pointed out.

“We have also criticised the directive on firearms, but we have failed in our effort to influence and change it. This means that we are rasing objections that we have been repeating for several months in this case, too. This is nothing new. But the Czech Republic is definitely not a country that should move away from the EU in the viewpoint of its strategic, social, economic and security interests,” Sobotka said.

The Czech Republic is active in the aid to the countries where it can see the migration causes and in the protection of the EU border, he added.

“We want to focus on the strengthened cooperation within European defence. We want to be an active EU member but also a member that is able to form its opinions and interests clearly, and will not fear to get into a conflict at the moment it finds out that its view differs from the mainstream,” he added.

The parties proposing that the Czech Republic leave the EU and NATO, mainly the Communists (KSCM), are rather minority ones.

Such stances are marginal and no serious political party proposes the Czech Republic’s departure from the European and Alliance structures.

“This would be a complete nonsense and would run counter the national and vital interests of Czechs and the Czech Republic,” he added.

hol/dr/kva