Kiska: Populism decreases trust in the EU

Europe also lacks mutual understanding and a broader discussion on what is bothering the countries.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska (l) and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck (r)Slovak President Andrej Kiska (l) and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck (r) (Source: TASR)

The need to preserve a united European Union was among the main topics discussed at the meeting between Slovak President Andrej Kiska and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck in Berlin on December 12.

“It’s important to seek issues that bring us together and not those that divide us,” said Kiska, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

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He believes that it is of key importance to promote European projects in practice and to bring them to people.

“We spoke about what’s been happening lately, why people’s trust in our common and wonderful European project has been declining a little,” the president continued, as quoted by TASR. “First and foremost, it’s due to the populism of certain politicians, who see their enemy in Brussels.”

Brussels is often painted this way in order for politicians to acquire popularity at home, Kiska added.

The second issue that divides European countries, according to Kiska and Gauck, is a lack of empathy.

“We lack mutual understanding and a broader discussion on what is bothering which country and what’s necessary to address together,” Kiska said, as quoted by TASR. “Every country has a different perspective on the European project, so it’s necessary to keep the lines of communication open.”

The two presidents also broached the migration crisis, and unequivocally call for solidarity.

“President Gauck underlined that Europe also has its, I’d call it, migration limits and maximum capacity that it’s able to deal with,” Kiska went on, adding that it is up to Europe to define its limits.

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Kiska also thanked Gauck, whose term in office expires in March 2017.

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