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Poles, Czechs share similar view of Europe's future, says Polish PM

20.07.2023 22:30
Poland and the Czech Republic have similar views in many policy areas, including the future of the European Union and migration, the Polish prime minister has said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and the Czech Republics Petr Fiala (left) meet in Katowice, southern Poland, on Thursday, July 20, 2023.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and the Czech Republic's Petr Fiala (left) meet in Katowice, southern Poland, on Thursday, July 20, 2023. PAP/Zbigniew Meissner

Mateusz Morawiecki’s words came after the two countries held intergovernmental talks in the southern Polish city of Katowice on Thursday.

Led by Morawiecki and his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala, senior Cabinet ministers from both countries met to discuss issues including protection of borders against illegal migration and a range of bilateral topics, according to officials.

Key topics included defence, regional and European security and infrastructure development, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

At a joint news conference with the Czech Republic's Fiala, the Polish prime minister said: “Through international cooperation, by emerging together from the economic crisis, we are seeking to ensure that Katowice, its region and all of Poland are able to develop as fast as possible.”

He added: “To make it happen, it is worth developing international cooperation, especially with tried and tested partners such as the Czech Republic.” 

'We are on the same wavelength'

Morawiecki told reporters: “We have a very similar view on areas such as agriculture, migration, energy, defence, climate challenges, the economy and the future of Europe. We discussed all of these topics today and I can say we are on the same wavelength.”

He added that Poland and the Czech Republic also “share a similar view of Europe and a similar view of the future of Europe.“

The Polish prime minister said: “Poles and Czechs know what solidarity is. We realise the challenges of the last few years and emphasise that solidarity must be properly understood in Europe. In proportion to our populations, Poland and the Czech Republic accepted the largest number of refugees from Ukraine.”

He added: “I am convinced that the voice of Poland and the Czech Republic will be presented together in Europe, making us heard and listened to.” 


Morawiecki told reporters that "the principle of solidarity should also be reflected in the EU’s budget," including through additional funding for support to refugees from war-torn Ukraine. 

He said: “We need to ensure that there is no such disparity, such discrimination, whereby a country is fined EUR 22,000 for every illegal migrant it refuses to admit, while we receive 100 times less money for welcoming refugees from Ukraine.”

The Polish prime minister added that “the issue of illegal migration can’t be solved by making migration legal.”

He stated: “Our efforts must focus on protecting the European Union’s external borders, targeting humanitarian aid where it is most needed and implementing the conclusions of the European Council from June 2018.”

Morawiecki also said that the EU needs changes “to remove the corset paralysing the single market and to restore trust in the bloc’s institutions.”

He argued that the EU should expand to include the Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine, while protecting the interests of smaller member states such as Poland, the PAP news agency reported.

Russia, Belarus seeking 'to destabilise' Poland, NATO, EU

Morawiecki said the Polish-Czech intergovernmental talks also focused on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the presence of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus.

He stated: “We are firm in our strong resistance to any provocations by [Belarusian leader Alexander] Lukashenko and Belarus, but we realise we must above all remain vigilant, because Belarus and Russia are working hand in hand to destabilise Poland, to destabilise the eastern part of NATO and the EU.”

The Polish prime minister told reporters that security was a key topic of Thursday’s talks.

He said that "Ukraine and other neighbours of Russia constitute a security cordon for the entire European Community.”

‘A common view on many issues’: Czech PM

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s Fiala said that both countries had been supporting Ukraine since day one of Russia’s invasion. 

He added that both Poland and the Czech Republic expected the EU to provide “better support than to date” to member states that had borne the brunt of the wave of refugees from war-torn Ukraine.

Fiala also said that both Prague and Warsaw “seek to combat together illegal migration to Europe … that capitalises on human misfortune.”

The Czech prime minister stated that Poland and the Czech Republic shared “a common view on many issues.”

He told reporters: “We are also bound by deep friendship. I believe that it is extremely important, and that it provides a wonderful platform on which we can build a prosperous future for both our countries.”

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Thursday is day 512 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAPrmf24.pl