Juncker´s possible nomination for EC head is good choice - Zeman


22.06.2014 19:31

Lany - Czech President Milos Zeman considers the possible nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission head a good choice and he believes that the new EC will bring about changes to the EU, he said in the Talks in Lany interview on Czech Radio today.


Ilustrační foto - Prezident Miloš Zeman. ČTK Doležal Michal

Zeman again critically pointed to the EU´s lacking joint foreign policy.

"I think Jean-Claude Juncker is a good choice," Zeman said.

Juncker, former long-standing Luxembourg prime minister, is the election-winning European People´s Party´s (EPP) candidate for the new EC president. On Saturday, his candidacy was backed by the social democrat heads EU countries´ governments, including the Czech and Slovak PMs, Bohuslav Sobotka and Robert Fico.

Next week, Juncker´s candidacy will be discussed by the EU summit in Brussels.

Zeman, former Czech social democrat PM in 1998-2002 who presents himself as a leftist president, said he considers Juncker a professional whom he respects.

Zeman said he hopes that the new European Commission will bring about a change to the EU policy. He considers Juncker a guarantee for changes to be really made, he added.

He reproached the outgoing EC, headed by Jose Manuel Barroso, for having excessively focused on details, as a result of which it "could not see the forest for the trees."

In connection with the Ukrainian crisis, Zeman said the lack of the EU´s joint foreign policy is a mistake.

"We tend to put the cart before the horse, because, first, we appoint a European foreign minister and only afterwards we laboriously seek the tasks for the minister to fulfil. It should be done the other way round. First, the tasks should be defined and only then a suitable person should be sought to fulfil them," Zeman said.

Similarly, the EU lacks a joint defence policy, he said, adding that he would like the joint economic policy to intensify as well.

Zeman said he believes that a possible way to calm down the tension in Ukraine are negotiations between the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Rashid Akhmetov, the richest Ukrainian who enjoys a big influence in the Eastern Ukrainian Donbas region.

"As far as the armed conflict is concerned, I´d support a long-term ceasefire. Wounds heal slowly. If you try to speed up their healing, you usually achieve the opposite," Zeman said, reacting to the ceasefire the Kiev government declared unilaterally on Friday.

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