Visegrad Four leaders welcome EU commission roles

(12 Sep 2019) The prime ministers of four Central European countries said Thursday they were content with the role of their countries’ representation in the European Union’s powerful executive arm, the European Commission.
The leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia that form an informal grouping known as the Visegrad Four, or V4, expressed their satisfaction at a news conference following talks in Prague with their counterparts from the western Balkan states.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia each have a vice-president in the new European Commission that was presented earlier this week. Hungary has a commissioner responsible for EU enlargement while Poland has an agriculture portfolio.
The four countries often clashed with the previous Commission members over migration, especially with Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands, who was a key contender for the Commission presidency before Ursula von der Leyen was chosen.
But Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, said he looked forward to better relations with the new EU Commission, particularly on the key issue of migrants.
“I hope the new EU Commission will respect us more than it used to and that it won’t impose on us what our citizens do not want,” he commented.
In the run-up to the nomination of candidates for the top EU job, the V4 had targeted Timmermans and Germany’s Manfred Weber as being too critical of their national governments.
In the end, the four countries developed enough critical mass among EU leaders to make clear that picking either man to lead the Commission would not be worth the trouble it would cause.

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