The European Union (EU) needs to be reformed and its key principle should be that "the EU does less and more efficiently," Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told the Financial Times.
"No more nonsense rules. Legislation should be smart and better. Over-regulation kills innovation and business," Babis underlined, calling for power to be returned to the national capitals.
At the same time, he recalled that he remains "definitely pro-European" and that he opposed Czech opposition parties' push for a referendum on the country's EU membership.
Touching upon the "multi-speed" union endorsed by Brussels, Babis described it as "really not a good idea" which he said "will just divide Europe."
"The full implementation of the [EU's] four freedoms [of goods, services, capital and labor] is unfinished. There are tendencies in the [opposite direction]," he noted, urging the EU to concentrate on developing its digital economy and completing the single market.
Separately, Babis slammed the EU's plan on resolving the migration crisis, which specifically stipulates creating "disembarkation platforms" elsewhere to receive migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.
"We cannot accept all the migrants from the planet. If you had the centers inside Europe, then who will decide where these people will go? Who will give them asylum?" he pointed out.
Babis insisted that the EU should instead grapple with securing its borders and rendering aid to the countries that refugees were fleeing.
"We have to send a message: now, it's over. We have to make a deal, like [we did] with Turkey, with North African countries, like Libya and Tunisia, and then we have to help these people in their respective countries, like in Syria, Nigeria or others. This should be the way to solve this problem," Babis emphasized.
The interview came a few weeks after members of the European Parliament (MEP) harshly criticized the latest summit of the European Council for its failure to agree on any substantial reforms to tackle the growing immigration crisis in Europe.
The MEPs also called for starting talks on the reform of the Dublin Regulation on the acceptance of refugees and immigrants and their subsequent relocation within the bloc, as many member states have failed to comply with the deal.
The resettlement or relocation of migrants across the bloc is expected to be done on voluntary basis amid the lack of consensus.
The EU has been experiencing a large-scale immigration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of immigrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.