Budapest - The European funds aimed to reduce differences among regions in Europe fulfil the European integration goals in terms of solidarity and coherence in the EU, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said at a meeting of the Visegrad Four (V4) prime ministers today.
Český premiér Bohuslav Sobotka na mezinárodní konferenci v Budapešti u příležitosti schůzky premiérů zemí visegrádské čtyřky (V4). ČTK/AP Tibor Illyes
The conference, staged by the Hungarian Academy of Science and focusing on the V4 (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), was also attended by outgoing EC President Jose Barroso.
For citizens, the use of the European funds means one of the quite concrete contributions to integration as it helps reduce the differences between the economic advancedness of individual EU member countries, Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
In the EU´s past seven-year budget period, more than 50,000 EU-subsidised projects worth 620 billion crowns were approved in the Czech Republic, Sobotka said.
He said he believes that the Czechs and the EU will soon sign a partnership agreement that would enable the Czech Republic to draw money within the EU´s new budget period.
Invested in the Czech Republic, every single euro from the EU funds has a positive impact far behind the Czech borders. It [boosts] the growth of not only the Czech Republic but the whole European Union, Sobotka said.
Barroso, in his speech, said in the V4 countries, EU money makes up over a half of overall investments.
The EU is slowly recovering from the economic crisis, but it must continue promoting measures in support of economic growth, so that people feel it in their everyday lives and that the quality of their lives improves, Barroso said.
The meeting of Central European countries´ prime ministers was convened by Hungarian PM Viktor Orban at the close of Hungary´s V4 presidency. The rotating presidency goes to Slovakia as from July.
All V4 countries joined the EU simultaneously in 2004.