PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic will represent Poland’s interests at a European Union migration summit in Malta, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Wednesday, after Warsaw’s political schedule clashed with the meeting.
The Czech government office said outgoing Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz would not be able to attend the summit on Wednesday, the same day as the first sitting of Poland’s new parliament.
Polish President Andrzej Duda scheduled that sitting three days after European Council chief Donald Tusk, a fellow Pole, called the Malta summit. Brussels diplomats expressed concern that this signaled an obstructive approach in Warsaw after the euroskeptic PiS party won parliamentary elections last month.
“The Czech Republic will represent Poland’s interests at the extraordinary European Council in Valletta. Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz requested this in a letter to me,” Sobotka said on his Twitter account.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has designated Nov. 12 as the date for parliament to reconvene and for Kopacz to formally hand over power to the Law and Justice party (PiS).
Prague holds the rotating presidency of the Visegrad group comprising the Czech Republic along with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Those four countries have been in the spotlight over their resistance to mandatory national quotas to share out asylum seekers among the EU’s 28 member states.
Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Tom Heneghan