2 months ago
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) commented on the Czech Republic's intentions within the V4 Presidency at a debate organized by the Institute for Politics and Society in Prague.
According to Petříček, one of the priorities of the Czech Presidency is to promote European policies in areas in which the Central European countries are already active. He mentioned the deepening of the EU internal market, the removal of persisting barriers as well as the strengthening of defense cooperation in the EU. Petříček also emphasized that the V4 should encourage the strengthening of EU cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and support the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU.
Besides Tomáš Petříček, the Slovak ambassador to the Czech Republic, Peter Weiss also participated in the debate. He spoke about the new V4 image and agreed with Petříček that the Visegrad Group should be active and bring its own bids to EU meetings more often.
Weiss also spoke about the necessity to integrate the Western Balkan states into the EU. According to him, there is a risk that if the EU does not take these countries under its wings, other countries will get an opportunity to increase their influence in the Balkans. Weiss emphasized that it is not in the interest of the EU, especially for security reasons.
Furthermore, Petříček also mentioned other important goals of Czechia´s V4 Presidency. For example, the support of the development of modern technologies, not only in V4 but throughout the EU is crucial to increasing European competitiveness.
The Minister also pointed out that the Czech Republic does not perceive the V4 as an opposition to the European Union, but as one of the tools for promoting national interests within the EU.