Visegrad Group prime ministers have agreed that there is a need to reform the EU while maintaining its unity, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has said.
The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group, which comprises Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, arrived at the agreement during a meeting in Warsaw on Thursday.
“I must say with satisfaction that today we adopted a joint stance, a declaration about the future of Europe, which we will present together, as the Visegrad Group, at a summit in Rome,” Szydło said.
“In this plan we stress the need to reform the European Union in relation to negative changes in the bloc and its external environment,” she said, adding: “Each model of future cooperation must guarantee the integrity and consistency of the single market, the Schengen area and the Union itself”.
The plan – called “A strong Europe – a Union of Action and Trust" – will be presented during a meeting of EU heads of state or government in the Italian capital on 25 March on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaties. It outlines seven main challenges to the bloc.
Those challenges include maintaining the EU’s unity, growing the single market, the stability of the Euro zone, maintaining the Schengen area, control of external borders, supporting democratic controls and ensuring that the bloc remains a global player.
The meeting came in the run-up to EU summits in Brussels on 9-10 March and a later one in Rome.
The summit in the Italian capital will mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which were the founding agreements establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) -- a forerunner of the European Union, and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC). They were signed on 25 March 1957.