Fico: EU Must Show Positive Face and Become Strong Global Player

French President Francois Hollande (right) and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Photo by TASR/AP)

Paris, August 25 (TASR-correspondent) – The European Union should show a positive face following Brexit and become a stronger international player, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said after a meeting of leaders of European socialist parties at Le chateau de la Celle Saint-Cloud castle near Paris on Thursday.

The socialist leaders also debated the agenda of the upcoming informal EU summit in Bratislava set for September 16 on “new communication” with the European public.

“There’s more or less an agreement on the agenda. We want that the EU shows a positive face after Brexit,” said Fico, adding that the Union should speak with a more human voice on its activities.

“I also wish to see Europe as a stronger player in international conflicts. I don’t understand how it’s possible that we’re observing what’s taking place in Syria,” said the Slovak premier, calling for more communication, strength and stability from the EU abroad. He pointed out that individual member states have had differing opinions on several key issues, among them attitudes towards the Iraq war in 2003 and the current sanctions against Russia.

Concerning the migration crisis, Fico said that EU member countries should be given more freedom in adopting migrants instead of seeing mandatory quotas imposed on them. With several European leaders and the European Commission having different opinions on the matter, Fico said that “the EU doesn’t need a boost in powers for its institutions – it needs more understanding between member countries instead”.

The meeting near Paris was hosted by French President Francois Hollande and attended by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, among others.