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Luxembourg PM stresses role of discussion at talks with Czech PM

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Luxembourg, May 10 (CTK) – Luxembourg finds a multi-speed EU better than a still standing Europe, Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel said after meeting his Czech counterpart Bohuslav Sobotka today, adding that internal discussion is important in the EU and that he welcomes the upcoming Benelux-Visegrad Four (V4) summit.

Leaders of the Benelux group states (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) are to meet their counterparts from the V4 (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in Warsaw on June 19.

Bettel said the Benelux countries as well as other EU members really somehow fail to understand the developments in the V4 countries and certain interpretations made by them.

He said the Warsaw summit will be an opportunity to discuss and comprehend each other’s positions, despite some unpleasant issues on the agenda.

The EU has been for many months expressing concern about the developments in Poland, mainly in relation to the Polish constitutional court, and also in Hungary, with its problematic laws on universities and NGOs.

Bettel said the EU cannot move forwards without mutual discussion among its members.

Sobotka said it was he who proposed a Benelux-V4 summit during Prague’s chairmanship of the V4 in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016.

He said he considers the Warsaw summit an important and symbolic meeting within the striving for coherent Europe.

“All of us will be sitting at the negotiating table and contribute to our joint future…by seeking agreement, a balanced compromise, in a way to respect each other’s national interests as well as the need for European cooperation to continue,” Sobotka said.

He and Bettel also discussed migration and Britain’s planned departure form the EU.

Bettel told journalists that the previously approved migrant redistribution quotas should be respected.

The Czech Republic is one of the EU countries that have protested against the quotas from the beginning and that are rather unwilling to accept asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

Sobotka told journalists that this year is the 95th anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovak-Luxembourg diplomatic relations, and that his current visit is the first visit of a Czech PM to Luxembourg in 16 years.

He said there is potential for an improvement in bilateral economic cooperation in areas such as environment-friendly technologies, renewable sources of energy, IT and the promising branch of space and satellite technologies.


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