Monday, 20 November 2017

Babiš wants to form government active in EU politics

ČTK |
2 November 2017

Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) - ANO leader Andrej Babis, conducting talks on the new cabinet, wants to form a Czech government that will take an active part in the EU reform, he told CTK after meeting Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the European Parliament, on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, President Milos Zeman entrusted Babis, from the election-winning ANO, with the talks on the new government.

Babis said there was no reason why Prague should not insist more resolutely on its own interests in the EU.

"If I manage to form a new government and if I gain support for or tolerance of it in the parliament, it will be vital for us to be more active in Europe," Babis said.

Verhofstadt said it was important for the new Czech government to be pro-European.

EU reform should be the main topic for the future of Europe, Babis and Verhofstadt said.

They agreed that the Czech Republic had the same right to take part in the discussion of the future form of the EU as the big countries.

This cannot be only a question for France and Germany. All the other countries must play an important role, Verhofstadt said.

He said the EU reform should include the defence cooperation, a new attitude to migration and changes in the euro zone.

Babis stressed the need to increase security.

Babis said the Czech Republic might fill the post of director of the European police office.

"There will be the decision on the new director of Europol. So why should we not seek the post?" he asked.

Former Czech police president Oldrich Martinu is the Czech candidate for the post of Europol director. In early October, the information was confirmed by Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) to the server Aktualne.cz.

Since 2011, Martinu has been working as a deputy of Europol director Rob Wainwright whose term of office ends this year.

Babis, who is often very critical of the EU, pointed out the contributions of European integration.

"The project is excellent primarily because we have peace, but the existing problems have not been tackled for long," he added.

Babis and Verhofstadt have met very often. Verhofstadt heads the ALDE, which includes ANO.

ANO's foreign policy expert Pavel Telicka is one of the MEPs elected for ANO. In October, Telicka ended his cooperation with ANO.

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