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Czech News in English » News » Czech Republic and the EU » PM: EU should solve affairs based on all members' consensus

PM: EU should solve affairs based on all members’ consensus

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Brussels, Oct 19 (CTK correspondent) – The EU should solve as many as possible key questions by seeking all members’ consensus, and only if a common position fails to be achieved despite all efforts, the path would open to cooperation on the issue by a smaller group of states, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said on Thursday.

The same practice has been proposed by European Council President Donald Tusk in a document he will submit to the participants in the current EU summit at a joint breakfast on Friday.

The road map, headlined Leaders’ Agenda, which Tusk completed after consulting EU countries, lists the issues the next summits should deal with in the months to come.

Tusk complemented it with his idea of how the discussions should look.

Before an issue is discussed, he plans to submit a review of the member countries’ identical and different positions on it. This should facilitate the political debate of the heads of state and help seek consensus or a compromise in the case of issues that ministers and diplomats had long been unable to resolve.

At the same time, Tusk emphasises the need of the 27 EU countries’ unity.

The unity must not be used as an excuse for stagnation, while an ambition must not be a path to a division, Tusk has written to the participants in the summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently outlined his multi-speed Europe vision.

Sobotka said Prague is one of the countries with a cautious approach to multi-speed Europe.

Already now, there are groups in the EU that reach a different level of integration, such as the euro zone and the Schengen area members.

Most recently, 20 EU countries agreed on their special cooperation in promoting the establishment of the European public prosecutor’s office.

The summit that started yesterday will discuss permanent defence cooperation between the EU members who are willing to join it.

“We [Prague] are interested in the number of the speed lanes being the lowest possible, so that we [the EU] proceed jointly in tackling most issues,” Sobotka said.

He said Tusk’s proposal is based on the conclusions of the previous EU summits in Bratislava and Rome.

The Czechs want it to be consistently implemented, and want EU countries to always seek consensus before giving space to closer cooperation within a smaller group among them.

The opposite approach poses the threat of Europe’s fragmentation into “groups of interests,” which would tend to tailor the rules for their own benefit, Sobotka said.

“Risks do exist for the Czech Republic in this respect, and it may also make Europe’s functioning chaotic,” Sobotka said, referring to multi-speed Europe.

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