Prague, June 8 (CTK) – The EU will not collapse over the migrant crisis but it is populism and people’s frustration that pose a far bigger danger, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said at a meeting of the Visegrad Four (V4) prime ministers in Prague yesterday.
A solution lies in enhancing trust between EU members and strengthening European cohesion, Sobotka said at the meeting held within the Prague European Summit conference.
The V4 members are Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Europe should not forget about its own achievements, Sobotka said.
“The migration issue has been intensively debated in Europe, and it has almost flooded the public space. Nevertheless, I do not think that the European project can fail now,” Sobotka said.
Europe has been far more endangered by nationalism, which has been misused by populists, and Europeans’ growing mistrust of the EU, he said.
“Nationalist tendencies have been rising in Europe and radicals have been emerging, who offer simple solutions,” he warned.
The best way for Europe to prevent these tendencies is the return to the essence of European cooperation, i.e. the building of a peace community of states and improving the living standard of Europeans, Sobotka said.
He said one of the reasons behind the rising frustration of people in Europe is the EU’s incapability of telling positive stories.
“We must speak not only about the challenges we are faced with but also about our successful coping with them,” Sobotka said.
As an example of success he mentioned the EU-Turkey agreement on readmission of illegal migrants.
In his speech, Sobotka rejected the idea of Europe’s division into smaller units.
Polish PM Beata Szydlo expressed the same opinion, saying that the EU must not allow itself to be divided in several small unions.
“If someone has a different opinion, we have to listen to them,” Szydlo said.
Europe must show solidarity with the states that are directly faced with the migrant crisis, she said.
She said the EU countries must cooperate because even if the migrant crisis is overcome and the British decide to stay in the EU, there are other crises that may threaten the union, such as the “dormant financial crisis.”
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban mentioned other problems of the EU. In recent years, [the West’s] foreign policy based on the building of democracy has not worked, he said.
“On the contrary, it causes problems. We have intervened in Iraq, Syria and Libya, but these countries no longer exist now, we have actually destroyed them,” Orban said.
That is why so many people have been streaming to Europe, since they have lost any prospects in life, Orban said.