Commentary V4

PM Babiš: Visegrad PMs fought for their countries in the EU

At a gathering of ambassadors in Prague, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš praised the Prime Ministers of Visegrad countries for fighting for their countries in the recent EU leadership appointment process.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš gave a speech at the annual meeting of Czech ambassadors at the Czernin Palace, Prague. The gathering of Czech ambassadors covered topics of foreign policy, economic diplomacy as well as security and consular issues.

In his speech, PM Babiš touched on many topics. Among other things, he urged Czech ambassadors to communicate with the media of their assigned countries and otherwise work at increasing the positive image of Czechia abroad.

The Prime Minister also asked the present ambassadors to highlight the success of the Czech Republic abroad. According to PM Babiš, the country has huge potential. "I am convinced that you have to be proud of the Czech Republic," he told the ambassadors, adding that the Czech Republic grows and gets richer.

At the same time, PM Babiš stated that they should be proud of recent results. As an example, he used the negotiations on appointing EU leaders, which he perceives as very successful. "The debate did not resemble the negotiations in the past when the big countries agreed on something, and everyone else had to comply," PM Babiš said. In this regard, he praised the Visegrad Group as it proved to be a strong block in the EU. According to him, Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland successfully fought for the interests of their countries, and not for the interests of political parties or European factions.

PM Babiš also spoke in favor of a rational debate on climate protection and other potential commitments of the EU as they raise the question of how to hold other countries such as China, Russia, and the United States accountable. "We cannot jeopardize industry, citizens, and competitiveness," he warned, as he confirmed that nuclear energy is a Czech priority.

In a concluding part of his speech, PM Babiš called the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union "unfortunate". He considers the United Kingdom to be one of the top partners of the Czech Republic. "Let's hope a hard Brexit doesn't happen," he added.

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