Speaker Kuchciński during V4 summit: Renewal of the European Union requires renewal of its structures

The summit of the Presidents of the Visegrad Group Parliaments has ended in Warsaw. After the parliamentary summits in Krynica and Przemyśl this is the third meeting during the Polish Presidency of the V4.

The discussion focused on the future of the European Union in the face of the crisis, strengthening the role of national parliaments in the EU, the competences of the EU institutions and the exchange of information within the V4 parliaments.

The Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński referred to the recently published White Paper. He indicated that he approached the document with caution.

- Firstly, we believe that the future of the European Union should be decided by sovereign Member States. The European Commission should not play a leading role in this process.

- Second, the situation in the EU is much more complicated than the assessments in White Paper. It is important to remember that the European Union is not the same as Europe. This is an important issue, whose importance has increased after Brexit, also as a result of the influx of migrants from the South and the situation in Eastern Europe.

- Thirdly, I believe that first of all it is necessary to obtain an agreement between the states on the principles and objectives pursued by the European Union and then, after such decisions have been made, to consider the desired shape of the Community institutions," said the Speaker of the Sejm.

Marshal Kuchciński emphasized that he is very skeptical towards any projects based on building a European federation or "multi-speed" Europe. This will lead to a deepening of the crisis in the European Union and the main social, economic and financial problems will not be solved. He argued that the proposed changes must not weaken member states, but should strengthen their potential. - We have consistently proposed a Europe of solidarity instead of more EU" - said Marek Kuchciński.

According to the Speaker of the Sejm, the European Union should be based on such values as: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. Respect for the nation's traditions, culture and language; equality of member states - with regard to the implementation and protection of their interests - should be considered as fundamental values. States in the EU should play a greater role than before, have a real influence on lawmaking and decision-making processes in the EU and effective control over its institutions. To solve the crisis in the EU, Marshal Kuchciński advocated a very precise definition of the role of all EU institutions; clarification of the conditions and criteria for applying the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; strengthening national parliaments in the EU decision-making process.

During the meeting the Presidents discussed the issue of better coordination between the V4 press agencies, the issue of transmitting information concerning the Group via the national parliaments' websites. The idea of a "Visegrad shelf" in libraries was put forward to promote literature on the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and Central Europe more widely.

The Speaker of the Sejm mentioned that the Collegium Carpathiae scientific-educational project is in progress and asked for support for the initiative to protect the fortified landscape; fortifications from Italy, Austria through Croatia, V4 countries to Ukraine and Przemysl by inscribing them on the UNESCO list.

Photo: Pawel Kula

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