Prague, Aug 27 (CTK) – Uncontrolled migration is a threat to Europe, including the Czech Republic, and this is why the foreign policy goal must be to curb its causes, Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said at a conference of Czech ambassadors today.
He mentioned armed conflicts as well as climate change and bad economic conditions of inhabitants in the countries surrounding Europe as the major causes of uncontrolled migration.
The solutions are border protection and a well-targeted development aid, Hamacek added.
“We must create a belt of prosperity and safety around Europe, and better protect joint borders. We must make development aid conditional on some criteria to improve the situation in developing countries and prevent their inhabitants’ exodus to Europe,” Hamacek said.
Along with wars and armed conflicts, a population explosion and the lack of water caused by climate change are serious threats. All these causes make young people leave for richer countries in the North, he said.
Hamacek added that the Czech Republic would like to open a diplomatic mission in Mali to have a better access to the Sahel north African region south of the Sahara, comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, where these problems existed.
Besides migration problems, which PM Andrej Babis (ANO) also mentioned in his speech at the ambassadors’ meeting, Hamacek talked about the situation in Europe.
“The Balkan countries’ approaching to the EU has been stagnating, for which we are to blame, and therefore the launch of the EU accession talks with Macedonia and Albania must be supported,” he said.
Europe must increase its military and political readiness to be able to face global challenges. This is also why the Czech Republic supports the strengthening of European defence cooperation, Hamacek noted.
The EU must “move from words to deeds” and prepare actively, he said.
In this respect, Europe does not compete with NATO, which remains the main security guarantor, he said.
He added that not only the rise in defence spending, but also the Czech soldiers’ involvement in the Allied units proved a strong bond between the Czech Republic and NATO.
Hamacek as well as Babis pushed for an active foreign policy and the promotion of national interests.
The Czech Republic must be heard more, Hamacek said.
“Though we are a small country, we are able to influence affairs together with our neighbours, within the European Union, NATO and other organisations,” he said.
Hamacek, who is also the interior minister in the coalition cabinet of his CSSD and Babis’s ANO, was assigned to head the Foreign Affairs Ministry in late June after President Milos Zeman refused to appoint the CSSD’s candidate for diplomacy head, MEP Miroslav Poche. The Social Democrats are to deal with this situation at their leadership’s meeting on Friday.