Sobotka: V4 Has Prepared Joint Statement on Various EU Issues

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (left) is arriving to the informal EU summit in Bratislava (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – The Visegrad Four (V4) countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) have prepared a joint statement in support of bolstering EU security, providing tighter control of external borders and preserving the Union’s Cohesion Policy, the free market and the Schengen zone, said Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka after arriving for the informal EU summit at Bratislava Castle on Friday.

“The Czech Republic is convinced that we shouldn’t waste time on a discussion on European institutions. We should focus instead on the practical issues required for people’s everyday lives; namely, safety, security and prosperity,” said Sobotka.

The Czech prime minister isn’t worried that the conclusions of the summit might be inadequate due to differences of opinion. “There’s a very strong will within the EU to continue cooperation. There’s a plethora of issues that we agree on. We speak about security, the fight against terrorism and putting a stop to illegal migration. We have a shared interest in employment and in modernising the European economy. Europe must stay competitive,” he stressed.

“Extremely important in Bratislava today will be the mood and prevailing climate. We need to seek issues that bring us together and not waste time on things that we know we won’t overcome. Because what’s the alternative? – only protectionism, the building of fences and conflicts between individual states, and nobody wants that,” he added.