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Czech PM Babiš: EU should go back to roots

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Budapest, Jan 26 (CTK) – The European Union is a good project, but it should return to its essence, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said at a panel discussion during the summit of the Visegrad Four (V4; the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) on Friday.

He stressed that the V4 was pro-European and asked the EU to listen to it. It should not try to make decisions without a consensus.

“Let us return to the essence,” Babis said in his speech about the future of the EU. Speeches were also delivered by the prime ministers of Hungary, Viktor Orban, of Slovakia, Robert Fico, and of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki.

The EU often deals with useless things, said Babis who criticises its decision-making procedure within which some countries may be outvoted.

The European Commission should be depoliticised.

“Membership countries should have the main say,” he added.

Babis said the two-speed Europe concept was wrong.

“How is the speed measured?” he asked.

“The Czech Republic has an excellent speed,” he added, referring to the economic situation in the country.

The Visegrad Group is a “wonderful project” which is pro-European and should not be widened, Babis said.

One can look for ad hoc allies for individual projects, he added.

“Europe should listen to us,” Babis said.

The situation in the vote on the redistribution of refugees within the EU is one of the topics in which Europe did not listen to the V4 countries, Babis said.

“For us, the basic problem is posed by the quotas which are divisive, while some still insist on them,” Babis said.

Fico, too, said the V4 was a successful project.

“If the region were not economically so successful, the EU would have a problem,” he said, adding that just thanks to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary the EU was doing well now.

Fico, too, said the V4 was pro-European.

V4’s different view of the refugee quotas should not mean that “we will be pushed out and labelled as black sheep,” he added.

Fico also called on Europe to listen more to the Visegrad countries, trying to look for solutions by consensus.

“If the principle disrespecting consensus is approved, the EU will end,” he added.

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