Visegrad Group: speaking with one voice about the future of Europe

Prime Minister Beata Szydło informed that the Heads of Governments of the countries of the Visegrad Group (V4) adopted on Thursday a declaration on the future of Europe, which will be presented at the EU summit in Rome. The necessity to reform the EU, preserving the unity of the Union, strengthening of democratic control – these are some of the postulates mentioned in the declaration.

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Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

The plan of V4 Countries concerning Europe

Prime Minister Beata Szydło pointed out that many countries have hopes that one of the results of the summit in Rome will be meeting the expectations of European citizens by the European Union. According to Beata Szydło the present discussion should not concern joining or leaving the European Union but how to improve its situation. Better Europe means that the European institutions and EU should deal with the real issues of European citizens. Should take care of those issues that bother them and are problematic for them. Moreover, Europe should guarantee security, dignified life, justice and equal treatment of various Member States, stressed the Head of the Government.

We have adopted today the common position, a declaration on the future of Europe, which we will present together as the Visegrad Group at the summit in Rome, informed Prime Minister Beata Szydło. This is our plan for Europe – plan for Europe of Visegrad Group, underlined the Head of the Government.

In this plan we emphasize the need to reform the European Union, due to the negative changes in the EU and external environment. We emphasize that it is essential to preserve the unity of the Union. Each model of future cooperation must guarantee the integrity, coherence of the common market, the Schengen area and the European Union itself, informed the Polish Prime Minister. We do not agree on the divisions in the Union, because it is the easiest way to weaken Europe, she stressed.

We agreed that we have similar plans for a common market, in particular services and digital market. At the same time we agreed that there is an urgent need to oppose to protectionism, especially in the labour market.

For the Visegrad Group it is important that the reform of the Union assumes equality between the interests of all Member States. Changes in the euro zone cannot lead to permanent cracks in the European Union, stressed the Prime Minister. According to her V4 Countries sees the need to develop EU activities in the field of internal security, border protection and external security. Any new forms of security must assume consistency with the objectives and actions of NATO.

V4 for strengthening of the national states in EU decision-making process

We agreed on the need to strengthen the democratic and national control over the legislative and political processes in the EU. This means a clear strengthening of the national states in EU decision-making process, announced the Head of the Government.

As the Prime Minister noted during the meeting, the Heads of Governments of V4 Countries expect from the president Donald Tusk that proposals relating to the reforms of the European Union will become previously agreed. We agreed that we will meet in Rome only to jointly announce a new plan for Europe, said Beata Szydło. She declared that the Visegrad Group is ready to devote next several days to develop a good plan for Europe. A joint declaration on the future of Europe adopted on Thursday by the Heads of Governments of V4 Countries constitutes a basis of this plan.

The Visegrad Group against unfair practices on the market

As the Prime Minister Beata Szydło said at the meeting – on the initiative of the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico – also a very significant problem of dual quality of food was discussed. Poland supports all actions aimed at eliminating unfair market practices and at protecting the interests of consumers, said the Prime Minister. At the same time she stressed that the quality of Polish food is maintained at high level, as evidenced by the results of many checks carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission. Polish food is increasingly appreciated and eagerly purchased by consumers from other EU Member Stated and enter the markets in third countries.

We see a serious problem with quality of food sold in the European Union and the unequal treatment of individual markets. Therefore, we decided to establish a working group to handle this problem. We decided that during the Monday meeting the ministers of agriculture will discuss this issue, stressed the Prime Minister Beata Szydło. She informed that they call upon the European Commission to obey the resolution of the European Parliament adopted in this regard. The V4 Countries call for thorough and careful consideration of this topic by the European Commission. Beata Szydło said that she agreed to closely cooperate in this regard with the Heads of Governments of V4 Countries. Poland supports all actions aimed at eliminating unfair market practices and at protecting the interests of consumers, stressed the Prime Minister.

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