Sunday, 22 October 2017

V4 PMs adopt Prague Declaration calling for strong Europe

ČTK |
16 February 2016

Prague, Feb 15 (CTK) - The Visegrad Four (V4) countries' prime ministers expressed their effort at the strengthening of Europe and warned against the emergence of dividing lines in Europe in the Prague Declaration they adopted at their meeting on Monday, the Czech Government Office has told CTK.

In the declaration, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia also said they want the door to the EU to be kept open to the present and future candidate countries.

The deepening of European integration is of a crucial importance, they said.

The prime ministers adopted the declaration at the beginning of their extraordinary summit focused on the migrant crisis and cooperation between the V4 and the Balkans countries.

The summit talks have therefore been joined by the Bulgarian prime minister and Macedonian president.

"We have worked to create an atmosphere of partnership, trust, mutual respect and solidarity amongst our four countries. In our future efforts, we will aim to continue to broaden and strengthen the Visegrad bonds within and outside the EU and, through a strong V4, to promote further strengthening of the EU," the four prime ministers said in the Prague Declaration.

They said Europe became united by the V4 countries' accession. However, they are "aware of the risks and negative consequences of any potentially emerging new dividing lines in Europe," they write.

"We are determined to work actively and resolutely to prevent such new dividing lines from emerging. We are convinced that all our European partners share our determination and are ready to act together with us in that spirit," the declaration says.

It repeatedly mentions the need to strengthen the EU.

"We have unequivocally advocated the EU enlargement as a means of expanding the area of stability and prosperity," the prime ministers write, adding that they consider it a moral duty of the V4 countries to keep the doors to the EU open for future candidates.

That is why they want to assist in the transformations of the countries in transition, such as the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership states, they write.

The prime ministers write that "recent developments, whose common denominator is the challenging of peace, security and prosperity of EU citizens, demand a joint response from all European allies."

"We draw the lessons from our own experience of how dangerous weakening of European unity may be," they continue, adding that they "consider the deepening of the European integration crucially important," the prime ministers write.

"That is why we are determined to contribute to its strengthening and proper functioning. We want the European Union to be strong and a stronger European Union needs a strong Visegrad Group," the V4 prime ministers write in the declaration.

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