Acting Czech Foreign Minister and Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček has
defended the right of Czech MEPs to vote in line with their conscience in
the European Parliament vote on whether to launch a procedure against
Hungary on Wednesday.
Hamáček said that he too was concerned by some of the steps taken by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, such as those against the judiciary and the free press.
He said that unlike the Czech prime minister he would not take up the issue with those MEPs who had voted in favour of launching a procedure against Hungary since he understood their line of reasoning.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (Ano) said Thursday that the European
Parliament was wrong to try to sanction Hungary and his government
“stands behind” Viktor Orban, whom he called an “ally”.
Mr Babiš also said he would take up the issue with Ano party members who voted in favour of launching the so-called Article 7 process against Hungary.
It total 448 MEPs, including 21 Czechs, voted in favour of triggering the sanctions procedure over Orban’s challenge to EU rules and values on media freedom, migration and rule of law dating back several years. Four MEPs elected on the Ano ticket voted for the sanctions – Pavel Telička and Petr Ježek, who are no longer in the party; and Dita Chrazanová and Martina Dlabajová.
Mr Babiš told journalists the move only served to divide Europe and that MEPs should be focusing on issues such as Brexit.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, and his Hungarian counterpart,
Viktor Orban, say they want to hold a Visegrad Four meeting prior to an
informal European Union summit in Salzburg in mid-September. The two
politicians made the comment after bilateral talks in Budapest on Friday
evening that focused on economic cooperation, migration and the EU budget.
Mr. Babiš said that the last time Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak leaders had held a V4 meeting was back in June. He also told reporters that Mr. Orban had accepted an invitation to Prague and would visit the city at the end of October.
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.