Visegrad Four summit in Prague

06-02-2006

Over the weekend, leading representatives of the governments of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary met in Prague to discuss common concerns regarding the European Union, and to sign a declaration on the opening of labour markets. With the second anniversary of EU entry coming up in May, leaders of the Visegrad Four want the original restrictions on labour movement lifted, or at least eased.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK With the European Commission about to launch its Year of Mobility, leaders of the Visegrad Four countries meeting for a summit in Prague over the weekend signed an appeal to older EU-member states to lift restrictions on their labour markets. At this stage, only Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have opened their labour markets to nationals from Visegrad Four countries. Visegrad Four leaders are basing their declaration on the belief that only open, mobile markets prosper, and countries like France and Germany should not fear workers from the E.U.'s eastern regions.

Visegrad Four leaders in Prague, photo: CTKVisegrad Four leaders in Prague, photo: CTK Ryszard Legutko, Vice-President of the Polish Senate also stressed the important role of national parliaments within EU structures.

"The growing role of national parliaments may be a way to make this democratic deficit less painful. Whether the growing role of national parliaments will indeed be a remedy to democratic deficit in the European Union I do not know, and I would not risk any definite thesis on that point."

It's clear that the EU's direction is an open question after the rejection of the EU Constitution, and regional structures like the Visegrad Four could find more room for expressing their own interests.

06-02-2006

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