Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was in Prague today taking part in a summit of Friends of Cohesion countries where the main topic of discussion was the European budget for the next European Union seven year period.
The Friends of Cohesion countries are 16 European Union member states that mainly receive more from the European budget than they pay in. Cohesion funds are intended to decrease the differences between member states, so that development projects are co-financed in poorer countries or regions.
The proposal for the new European Union financial framework from 2021 to 2027 foresees a decrease in funds for cohesion and agriculture policy, something the friends of cohesion countries are decisively against.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced that the budget was the main topic of today's meeting.
“For us it is important, not only because of traditional policies, agriculture and cohesion policies, that enable even regional development, for Croatia this is particularly important due to our desire to be in step with countries from central and Eastern Europe, but also to see in what way we can adequately finance new challenges and new policies on the agenda,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Plenković discussed the European budget and numerous other topics such as migrations and Brexit with the host of the summit yesterday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
“We definitely need the new European Commission to begin functioning and naturally I informed the Prime Minister that I consider the role of the European Council to be every important. Prime ministers and presidents need to be more engaged and cooperate more with the Commission. The European Union must survive within global competition and internal divisions must not appear,” said Babiš.
Babiš expressed firm support for Croatia to join the Schengen border regime, while both prime ministers underlined the importance of growing economic cooperation between Croatia and the Czech Republic, which amounts to around 900 million Euros annually.
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