Slovak Presidency: the EU should take account of concerns of people in terms of migration and security
The EU must come together and deliver tangible results, with clear benefits for its citizens, to regain their confidence and fight growing populism and nationalism across the continent, agreed Slovak Prime Minister Róbert Fico and most MEPs in Wednesday morning’s debate on the priorities of the incoming Slovak Presidency in the EU Council of Ministers.
"We have arrived at a stage where we have to overcome fear. The fear of our citizens, fear of migration, (...), the fear of terrorism (...) and the fear of economic problems", but also "fear of political leaders that we will not be able to overcome the crises," which leads to loss of citizens’ confidence in the EU and strengthens extremists and nationalists in Europe”, Mr Fico said.
Mr Fico praised the EU as "an amazing and unique project" which "is not perfect", but for which there is "no alternative." But he also said the "EU has to listen more closely to critical voices" and "become more flexible, less bureaucratic and more responsive to diversity."
"We need a discussion on how to make the EU better and more efficient. The outcome of the British referendum is the proof of that," Mr Fico said, adding that "we cannot focus on crisis management only" but must offer EU citizens a “long-term vision.” He also announced that the Presidency intends to start a "deep reflection on what the EU wants and must offer to European public" and promised that it will seek to "deliver tangible results", so as to "regain confidence" of EU citizens and "fight growing populism and nationalism."
To view the full speech of Prime Minister Fico, click on following links:
Part two, and
For the EFDD, Petr MACH (CZ), said "the EU should take account of concerns of people in terms of migration and security" and praised Mr Fico's government for being "brave" enough to bring a European Court of Justice case against the Council's decision on an urgent relocation mechanism. He also said that Czechoslovak “divorce” in 1993 could be used as an example for an "amicable Brexit."