Brussels, June 22 (CTK correspondent) – The Czech Republic wants to take an active part in the emerging strengthened cooperation of EU countries in defence, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists arriving at today’s EU summit.
The summit is to give the green light to the countries interested in this to start to more actively cooperate.
Within the “permanent structured cooperation” (PESCO), the summit is to call on interested countries to submit specific proposals within three months which other EU countries could join.
“We are ready to take part in the projects. It will depend on how precisely the conditions will be defined in the months to come and what specific projects will be implemented,” Sobotka said.
The Czech Republic also supports the emergence of a European Defence Fund (EDF), which would support EU countries’ effort to upgrade the armed forces and the development of the defence industry.
Turning to another point on the agenda of the summit, Sobotka said the Czech Republic clearly supports the launch of a system of registration of people entering and leaving the EU, or a system that ensures the registration of people from countries with visa-free relations in order to reduce the security risk.
He dismissed new French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of east and central European countries for their “cynical attitude.”
Macron said in the media the countries draw European money, but refuse to participate in solidarity projects.
In this connection, Sobotka repeated the Czech stance on migration. “We do not agree with the proposals for redistribution of refugees, mandatory quotas. We can see big risks behind this,” Sobotka said.
He said he is glad that he and the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, which together form the Visegrad Four (V4), are to meet Macron on Friday morning.
At the meeting, “I want to stress the arguments we have in connection with the migrant crisis,” Sobotka said.