Saturday, 24 August 2019

Mogherini praises Czech government for focus on EU unity

ČTK |
12 January 2016

Prague, Jan 11 (CTK) - The European foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini appreciated the constructive and balanced position of the Czech government that put emphasis on the need of unity in the European Union, she said after meeting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek in Prague yesterday.
She said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Zaoralek (both Social Democrats, CSSD) always considered EU unity a priority.
In a later public debate, both politicians said the EU must also strengthen the ability to defend its security.
Zaoralek said the key point related to migration was the protection of the European border now. "The protection of the external borders is the sphere in which the EU should agree on the need to be able to do it together," he said.
Well-functioning hotspots are the precondition for coping with the influx of migrants, Zaoralek said.
Mogherini said the recent attacks on women that seem to be committed in German towns by immigrants from Syria were not mentioned in her talks with Zaoralek.
Both Mogherini and Zaoralek resolutely condemned the violence.
Mogherini returned to the issue in a subsequent public discussion on the future of Europe.
She said the violence against women unfortunately occurred even before December 31. She added that sexual attacks are in full contradiction with the European values, but she also warned of abusing them by politicians.
This matter should not serve as a tool for political manifestations, she said and the audience applauded her.
Similar attacks show that rules need to be respected when refugees are accepted, Zaoralek said at the press conference. Europe has the obligation to guarantee that the immigrants respect law and do not violate security, he added.
In the public debate, Zaoralek and Mogherini also supported the strengthening of the EU's hard power in the international field.
"Europe must be able to act resolutely and show that we are able to defend ourselves even physically," Zaoralek said.
An efficient protection of the outer border must be built up in the first place. Another option is to establish a European intelligence service or to put a stronger emphasis on the formation of joint European combat units, he added.
Mogherini noted that Europe relies mainly on diplomacy, but it also uses joint military units. In the future, the EU should more and more use the tools embedded in treaties, she added.
In connection with the migrant crisis, Zaoralek mentioned the EU-Turkey agreement.
The EU has pledged to provide financial aid to Turkey and open some further chapters of the accession talks if Ankara secured a reduction of the refugees' flow.
This agreement is yet to be fulfilled, Zaoralek added.
The migrant crisis topped the agenda of Mogherini´s talks with Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (CSSD) and other lawmakers.
"We welcome the latest steps taken by the European Commission, that is a greater emphasis laid on a stronger control of the European Union's outer border. We are glad that certain conclusions drawn by the European Commission are actually the stands that the Czech Repubilc held several months ago already," Hamacek told CTK.
He said the need to find a diplomatic solution to the Syria situation and the agreements signed on Iran's nuclear programme and at the Paris climate conference were also talked about.
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