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UPDATE: Regional leaders in Warsaw discuss EU budget, COVID-19 recovery

03.07.2020 17:50
Regional leaders meeting in Poland on Friday discussed the European Union’s next long-term budget and post-coronavirus cooperation.
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki talk to the press in Warsaw.
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki talk to the press in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary met face to face at a regional summit in Warsaw. The four countries together form a regional cooperation platform known as the Visegrad Group (V4).

The meeting marked Poland’s assumption of the group’s rotating presidency.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Visegrad Group countries were weathering the virus crisis while maintaining stability.

He added that they wanted to "help the EU" in concluding international trade agreements, and in determining the shape of the bloc’s budget for 2021-2027 and its COVID-19 recovery fund.

The European Union’s executive in May unveiled a EUR 750 billion proposal to prop up economies battered by the coronavirus.

Polish media reported at the time that Poland stood to receive more than EUR 63 billion from EU coffers in grants and loans under the recovery plan.

Morawiecki said on Friday that the regional leaders meeting in Warsaw had also discussed migration policy, including the Visegrad Group’s opposition to mandatory relocation, the need to protect the EU’s external borders, and cooperation with the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Belarus.

Addressing the Warsaw meeting, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that now was “the time to get back on track” economically as well as return to interpersonal contacts and the business as usual in the region.

Duda cited new data by the European Union’s statistics office, the Eurostat, according to which he said member countries in Central and Eastern Europe boasted “the lowest unemployment rates in the EU.”


Source: PAP