Sobotka is likely to be replaced in an election this weekend by tough-talking billionaire Andrej Babis, who has often criticised Brussels and the bloc’s push for all member states to host some asylum seekers who make it to Europe.
Italy has been going even further in calling on the bloc to take away some of the generous EU handouts the easterners receive to punish them for failing to show enough solidarity on handling migration and undercutting the rule of law.
“We agreed#8230; that any further discussion on the future of the EU must be led in the format of 27 member states. No member state can be excluded from these negotiations. All states must be treated equally.”
Czech EU affairs minister Ales Chmelar said the five had an “excellent debate”. Another diplomat from one of the four states said their delegation was pleased by Juncker’s apparent readiness to listen to their arguments.