Kiska: Presidents of V4 Countries Reject Division of EU Into Two Groups
12. októbra 2018 18:02
Strbske Pleso, October 12 (TASR) - Presidents of Visegrad Four (V4) countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) concurred that the EU is a wonderful project, which needs to be promoted and defended, Slovak President Andrej Kiska said after the two-day summit in Strbske Pleso (Presov region) on Friday.
According to Kiska, however, the V4 presidents also reject any division of EU countries into two groups.
With respect to next year's European Parliament election and the rise of extremism, xenophobia and nationalism, the presidents called upon both domestic and foreign politicians to advocate the EU project. At the summit, they also discussed the future of jobs with respect to the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence, as the V4 countries are among the ones most endangered in terms of job loss.
"In our countries, industry makes up more than 20 percent in employment (structure), whereas in the EU it's 14 percent. We have lots of jobs that might be endangered with the rise of automation. When the moment comes, there's surely a panoply of opportunities and options for us to find different work for people. However, it's necessary to get rid of the monotony that a person graduates from school, lands a job and keeps it until retirement. Times are changing, the era is more dynamic and we need to embrace lifelong education. People must be prepared for the fact that their job description might be completely different in five to ten years," stated Kiska.
Polish President Andrzej Duda claimed that V4 countries shouldn't allow themselves to become some kind of European sweatshop. "We're finding ourselves in a race, where we're only trailing behind the Western Europe, which enjoyed the opportunity of free development that we lacked behind the Iron Curtain. It's our duty to steer our politicians and parliaments into making our countries more attractive and stop the brain drain of young people," said Duda.
Kiska added that successful domestic entrepreneurs must be put on a pedestal and given leeway not only to carry out their production in their country, but also to engage in research and development. "This must be taken into account also in the process of drafting legislation and determining the tax burden," he underlined.
The presidents also discussed the need to pay attention to socially disadvantaged communities in times when the countries are faring well economically and address the ageing of the population in the V4 countries.