Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the agreement on migration reached after nine hours of gruelling talks at an EU summit in Brussels as a huge success for the Visegrad Group’s common policy. The newly-appointed head of government, who has vehemently fought the idea of mandatory quotas, said the focus had shifted with the accent now on voluntary cooperation and the need to resolve the migrant crisis outside of Europe.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, has responded to French comments
regarding the Visegrad Four and an informal EU meeting on migration planned
for Sunday. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the fact
that the V4 countries – which include the Czech Republic – were
boycotting the mini-summit on Sunday would make it harder to find a
Europe-wide deal on migration at a major summit of the EU 28 at the end of
Mr. Babiš described Mr. Griveaux’s words as “unfortunate”. He said the V4 were not boycotting anything but were just not attending Sunday’s mini-summit, which he said had been called in a most irregular manner.
On Thursday morning the Czech PM said he was going to Sunday's meeting. However, after V4 and Austria talks later that day he said none of the Visegrad states would be represented there.
The government has approved police president Tomáš Tuhý’s departure
for the post of Czech ambassador to Bratislava, the news site
Neovlivní.cz. reported. However, Mr. Tuhý had previously said he had no
intention of leaving the force and on Thursday wrote on Twitter that he had
no information about such a move.
The news site Aktuálně.cz reported that Mr. Tuhý would only become ambassador to Bratislava when his mandate as police chief expired next year.
President Miloš Zeman is due to pay a three day official visit to Poland
from May 9th to May 11th, the president’s office announced on Monday. The
head of state will be meeting with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and
government officials.The talks are expected to focus on bilateral relations
and EU matters.
It will be President Zeman’s second foreign visit since his reelection for a second term in office. His first foreign trip was to Slovakia.
Auto associations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, have met in Prague to compare their responses to crucial European proposals for further curbing emissions of key pollutants. The future emission limits are clearly aimed at paving the way for low emission and no emission vehicles, such as electric cars. And that represents a radical challenge to the sector across the region.
The newly-appointed Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini held talks with Czech top officials in Prague on Wednesday on what was his first foreign trip since taking office. Twenty-five years after splitting up, the two neighbor states are cooperating closely to defend their national interests and boost their position in the EU.
President Miloš Zeman is on a two-day visit to Slovakia, his first trip
abroad since getting re-elected for a second term in office.
The Czech president's talks with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska focused on bilateral relations, the situation in Slovakia following the murder of a Slovak journalist just over a month ago and the nerve agent row with Russia.
He will later meet with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. On his arrival to the one-time sister state the Czech president was greeted by the Czechoslovak national anthem.
Czech Minister of foreign affairs Martin Stropnický has suggested that the
Visegrad Four regional grouping should present its own solutions to
European Union problems. He added that they should not just take a common
stand against policies.
Stropnický was speaking after meeting with his Hungarian counterpart in
Prague, Péter Szijjartó, on Thursday.
It was their first meeting since Stropnický took up his new post in government. Both ministers stressed the importance of the regional grouping which embraces the two countries as well as Poland and Slovakia.
Szijjartó thanked the Czech Republic for its support on migration. Hungary has refused to take immigrants under the EU’s proposals to share out most of those who fled their countries and are now mostly in Italy and Greece.
Hungary, which is currently chairing the V4 group, has also taken a stand against United Nations plans on migrants which the international body hopes will form the basis for a global compact.
The Hungarian minister was later due to meet with the Czech minister for labour and social affairs, minister of defence, and also outgoing prime minister Andrej Babiš.