Fico: Narrow Meetings of EU Leaders Beneficial for Mutual Understanding

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Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Photo by TASR)

Brussels, June 23 (TASR-correspondent) – The meeting of prime ministers from the Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) with French President Emmanuel Marcron on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels on Friday showed that such meetings are beneficial to understand individual leaders’ opinions, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said later in the day.

Fico noted that prior to the meeting on Friday, he had a telephone call with Macron, and so he wasn’t surprised to hear the French president’s accent on the Posting of Workers Directive. According to Fico, the meeting, similarly as one featuring himself, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern in Brno, the Czech Republic on Thursday, and earlier session of V4 prime ministers with those of Benelux showed that individual EU leaders don’t know each other well enough. Meanwhile, it’s necessary to organise such meetings, as there isn’t enough scope for getting familiar at EU summits, said Fico.

“It’s good that we’ve agreed with Macron on regular meetings, perhaps ahead of every EU summit,” said Fico, stressing that the V4 has 65 million people in total, a fact that can’t be neglected even by countries such as France.

Describing the meeting of V4 prime ministers with Macron as an encounter of two different worlds, Fico said that it was beneficial to listen to each other and present factual arguments – even though there were also some “spicy” comments towards the end on Macron’s earlier statement that new EU members from Central Europe view the Union as a mere supermarket, which is only about economic benefits and not values.