V4 sign joint memorandum on migration, security, Ukraine at EU summit
The prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries have signed a joint memorandum declaring their countries’ positions on migration, European Union security, the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine and the common digital market.
In the memorandum signed on Thursday ahead of the EU leaders summit in Brussels, the premiers of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia acknowledged that EU member states were closer to reaching a consensus on the need to protect the bloc’s external borders from migrant inflows, but said there was more work to be done to coordinate national migration policies.
As regards security, the V4 leaders called on other member states to concentrate their efforts on countering terrorist attacks and cybercrime. They also underlined the importance of passing the EU’s Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive, which would create a joint system for police and justice officials to access the data of all airline passengers travelling to, from and within the EU. The memorandum also emphasises the need for close cooperation between the EU and NATO.
The V4 leaders reiterated their countries’ support for the ratification of the Ukraine-EU association agreement and declared their intention to find a solution to the issues raised by the Netherlands, ensuring a quick ratification of the deal with the support of all member states. The EU must also allow the visa-free entry of Ukrainian citizens into the bloc, they added.
The prime ministers also called on the European Council to push for the creation of a more uniform internal digital market, which they said was crucial for promoting economic growth and employment in all regions of the bloc. A key element of this is the removal of barriers to cross-border digital developments and data flows, they said.