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    Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4), Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L-R), Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Poland's Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico pose for a group photo during an extraordinary Visegrad Group summit aimed at resolving the migration crisis in Prague, Czech Republic, September 4, 2015.

    Visegrad Four Call for Reduced EU Commission Powers to Avoid 'Disintegration'

    © REUTERS / David W Cerny
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    The leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - known as the Visegrad group - have called on the European Council to take the leading role in EU decision making, rather than the European Commission.

    Ahead of the crucial EU summit in Rome, March 25 — marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which lay the foundations for the EU as it now is — the Visegrad group laid out their plans for the future of the EU.

    "The European Council must play a key role, setting major political objectives in particular, the European Council shall profoundly discuss issues of European agenda which are of major national interest to Member States," their statement said.

    Clearly, by making the focus of decision making center on the Council — the meetings of the country leaders and their ministers rather than the Commission, indicates the Visegrad groups intention to return powers to member states.

    More Political Commission

    However, this flies in the face of the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's remarks in his state of the union speech, September 2016, in which he said that the Commission should become more "political". 

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gestures during a plenary session of European Economic and Social Committee at the EU Charlemagne building in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016
    © AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
    "The Commission has to take responsibility by being political, and not technocratic. A political Commission is one that listens to the European Parliament, listens to all Member States, and listens to the people," Juncker said.

    The Visegrad group also said that integration within the EU could be done at differing speeds — taking into account the Brexit vote and rising euroskepticism throughout Europe — but warned against the "disintegration" of the EU.

    ​"Regardless of the speed of integration, we all need to pull in one direction, have a common objective, vision and trust in a strong and prosperous Union. However, to ensure  a  necessary  flexibility, we can take advantage of enhanced cooperation, as stipulated in the Treaties.

    "Yet any form of enhanced cooperation should be open to every Member State and should strictly avoid any kind of disintegration of Single Market, Schengen area and the European Union  itself," the statement said.

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    EU bureaucracy, trade agreements, Brexit, EU membership, European Commission, European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia
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