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Prime Ministers' Declaration on Migration and the UK Referendum

June 9th, 2016

The Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group countries adopted a joint declaration formulating their position on migration and the UK referendum

At the summit of the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group member countries, held on June 8, 2016 in Prague on the occasion of the conclusion of the Czech Republic's V4 presidency, the Prime Ministers of the member countries adopted a joint declaration. In it they point out the need of deepening mutual understanding in Europe, holding an active and constructive dialogue, and surmounting contradictions.

The joint declaration focuses mainly on the issues of migration, defence, the British referendum on EU membership, support of the Ukraine, multiannual financial framework and situation on the markets of farming commodities.

Regarding the migration issue, the V4 countries draw attention to the need of striving for a joint and coherent solution at European level, and concentration on the fundamental causes of the migration crisis. Of great importance is protection of the external EU frontiers, fully functioning hotspots, effective policy of returning the migrants, and last but not least, an effective reform of the Dublin Regulation.

As concerns the British referendum, the V4 countries support the continuation of the United Kingdom's European Union membership, because only then Europe can cope with the far-from-easy challenges which it is facing.

Another theme is that of solving the situation on the markets of farming produce. The V4 countries have expressed concern over the situation in this sphere, especially regarding dairy products and meat. The current situation creates a risk of serious economic and social impacts in various member states. The Visegrad group therefore calls on the Commission to present an effective joint European solution.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Polish Government Beata Szydło, Prime Minister of the Hungarian Government Viktor Orbán and Prime Minister of the Slovak Government Robert Fico also wish much success to the Polish presidency of the Visegrad Group, which will start on July 1, 2016. They also express support to Slovakia which will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1, 2016.

During the summit, the Prime Ministers also signed a letter addressed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in which they call for launching a Regional Programme of Development and Protection for the Ukraine.

In the letter Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico draw attention to the constant increase in the number of internally displaced persons in the Ukraine. In connection with the continuing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, in March of this year this number exceeded 1,700,000. The displaced Ukrainians are in a very vulnerable position, and facing hard life conditions.

The Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group countries therefore appeal to the European Commission and its President to make the protection of such displaced persons a political priority of the European Union, and to assign necessary financial resources to launching a Regional Programme of Development and protection for the Ukraine.

Today's appeal of the Visegrad Group countries proceeds from the project of assistance in coping with the internal displacement of persons in the Ukraine, which the V4 countries and Slovenia launched in November 2015.

Source: Office of the Government of the Czech Republic

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