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June 14, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: europe

Visgerad Four Must Be Heard In EU: Vondracek

By ČTK radek vondracek

Bratislava, June 14 (CTK) – Czech Chamber of Deputies chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) would welcome it if the Visegrad Four (V4) countries’ positions were more heard in the EU, he said after a meeting of the leaderships of the Chamber and the Slovak parliament in Bratislava today.

 

The meeting was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, a joint state of Czechs and Slovaks in 1918-1992. Apart from Vondracek, Prague was represented by lower house deputy chairman Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD).

 

The V4’s members are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Bratislava is to take over the group’s year-long presidency as of July.

 

Slovak parliament chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party, SNS) said Bratislava will seek to reduce the mistrust a part of the EU feels towards the V4.

 

“I will be glad if the V4 is more heard in Europe. This applies not only to European Parliament debates but we may also make our relations with the European Commission more intensive. We would like to actively cooperate on creating EU directives,” Vondracek said.

 

Danko said meetings of the V4 parliaments’ representatives with their counterparts from Germany, France and other European countries will be held during the Slovak V4 presidency.

 

“Our priority task is to remove the mistrust that the EP and a large part of the EU has towards the V4 and that stems from the problem of migration, among others,” Danko said.

 

During the EU’s migrant crisis, the V4 countries refused the system of refugee redistribution based on binding quotas.

 

The Czech and Slovak representatives today also discussed a possible approval of separate but still similar ethical codes by the two countries’ parliaments.

 

Another point on the agenda was the protection of personal data on the Internet.

 

“We protest against the data of people on Facebook and other servers being sold,” Danko said.

 

He said the Facebook boss’s conference is insufficient unless the EU does its utmost to prevent people and their personal data from being sold to world consortia.

 

Danko said he is opposed to people being able to anonymously debate on Internet servers.

 

He praised the close relations between Prague and Bratislava.

 

“Who else than representatives of the Czech and Slovak nations should set a good example of cooperation. Who else is an example of [a joint state’s peaceful] split in Europe,” Danko said.

 

The Slovak hosts also presented the Pittsburgh Agreement, a documents in which Czechs and Slovaks living in the USA supported the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918.

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