On 18 and 19 February, the European Council will discuss the proposals for a new settlement with Britain. Over the past months, European Council President Donald Tusk and British PM David Cameron have been gathering support for the deal. President Tusk presented his proposal on 2 February. It looks that 3 of the 4 topics of the deal are rather uncontroversial. Improved competitiveness of the EU, as well as the confirmed exceptionality of UK´s EU membership (e.g. permanent derogation from several policies) will probably be easy to agree on. Non-discrimination of non-euro countries in the EU is also in the general interest of the whole EU and thus a last-resort mechanism for non-euro countries to protest, in case they would feel discriminated against, will probably win support, as well. However, the main problem remains the last, fourth point – the question of intra-EU mobility and social benefits. There is a compromise proposal for an EU-wide emergency mechanism. If a large number of intra-EU migrants enter an EU state in a short period of time, it could trigger a 4-year “pause” on attributing some social benefits to newcomers. Details, however, still need to be fine-tuned. Negotiators were unable to reach a conclusion and thus this point will probably be debated by the prime ministers themselves.
The Czech Republic, together with the V4 partners, supports a fair deal with the UK according to the Czech government. However, social benefits for intra-EU migrants remain a problematic issue. Intra-EU mobility is a cornerstone of the EU and no discrimination can be approved.
20th February 2019
25th January 2019