EU integration in doubts after Brexit

EU integration in doubts after Brexit

PRAGUE: (APP) Eastern EU states on Monday voiced doubts about proposals by the German and French foreign minister for deeper "political union" in the bloc following Britain's shock decision to leave.

"It doesn't make sense to talk about speedy or headlong integration, which would be a silly reply to what happened in Britain," Czech Foreign Minister Lubormir Zaoralek told AFP Monday in Prague.

"It turned out that the public is lagging behind these (integration) processes -- these are processes that have not been explained to the public or defended before them."

Zaoralek made the comments following talks among eastern EU states including his own country, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia with the German and French foreign ministers.

Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier and France's Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday presented a proposal for closer EU political integration based on three key policy areas -- internal and external security, the migrant and refugee crisis, and on fiscal and economic cooperation.

Zaoralek added that the four eastern members had reservations about the proposed common security policy.

Eastern members have become increasingly jittery on security issues since Moscow used so-called "hybrid warfare", or undeclared covert tactics -- to annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Poland's public TVP described the Franco-German proposal as an "ultimatum" designed to create a European "superstate dominated by large nations."

Ayrault described the Franco-German proposal as a "contribution", adding that there would be "others".

"Even if, of course, we have differences, divergent views, everyone is aware that the common good of Europe must be preserved," he told reporters in Prague.