May 24. 2024. 5:40

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Czech minister: Debate on EU reform should gain momentum during Spanish presidency

Discussions on EU enlargement and institutional reform of the EU’s decision-making process will be intense when Spain takes over the EU Council presidency, according to Czech Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek.

According to the Czech minister, who chaired General Affairs Council meetings in the second half of 2022 during the Czech EU presidency that made no progress on the EU reform, an increasing number of EU countries stress that EU enlargement is linked to changes in the EU decision-making process.

Bek sees the discussion as “very sensitive” and wants to ensure that the Czech Republic will play an active role.

“We are supporters of EU enlargement, but at the same time, in the debate on institutional change, we need to uphold some long-term priorities, which is the defence of subsidiarity and a certain type of efficiency while preserving legitimate national interests,” Bek said during the press conference on Tuesday.

“The debate will be intense ahead of the European Parliament elections. It may gain momentum during the Spanish Presidency during the second half of the year,” Bek added.

The Czech EU Presidency wanted to launch a debate on EU reform by delivering a questionnaire to the member states. However, as learnt from Czech officials, EU countries have been reluctant to share their ideas and visions in written form.

Meanwhile, there is strong pressure from the European Parliament, which wants to push the EU reform ahead, based on the results of the Conference on the Future of Europe, where most citizens expressed their willingness to change the decision-making process at the EU level.

(Aneta Zachová |