* Polish, Slovak, Czech and Hungarian PMs meet in Warsaw
* Call on EU to give nations more say in decision-making
* Urge EU to end "double standards" in food
(Adds background and details)
By Lidia Kelly and Agnieszka Barteczko
WARSAW, March 2 Poland, the Czech Republic,
Slovakia and Hungary urged the European Union on Thursday to
boost the role of national parliaments under a planned overhaul
of the bloc's decision-making process.
In a joint statement ahead of the EU's summit in Rome on
Europe's future, the prime ministers of the four central and
eastern European Visegrad Group countries also called for EU
unity and equality.
It said a "more significant and definite role" should be
considered for national parliaments to "enhance legitimacy of
the EU decision-making process".
Under one of five scenarios outlined by European Commission
President Jean-Claude Juncker, some states would integrate
faster than others. Some governments, especially in the poorer
east, fear that could entrench divisions to their disadvantage.
Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said changes in the EU
should not lead to "permanent cracks".
"Not 'more or less Europe', but a better Europe - this is
the proposal of the Visegrad Group," she told a news conference
after the prime ministers' meeting.
She called on European Council President Donald Tusk, former
prime minister of Poland and a political foe of its current
ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, to ensure that EU reforms
are agreed before the Rome summit on March 25.
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico said the state of
preparations for the summit was "lamentable".
"It may happen that it will not be a vision of Europe for
the future but a collection of individual, national interests
which cannot help anyone today but can only do harm," he told
the news conference.
The Visegrad leaders failed to come up with a common stance
on whether to support Tusk in his bid for reappointment as the
Council's chief next week. Poland said on Tuesday it would
"There is no common stance as far as the Visegrad Group
countries are concerned," Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka
said at the news conference.
The group agreed to prod Brussels to end "double standards"
in food. Some firms use cheaper ingredients in food brands sold
in Eastern Europe than in the West.
Fico said if the European Commision did not act, Slovakia
might trigger a public petition, which under EU law would force
it to draft legislation.
(Additional reporting by Jan Lopatka in Prague; Writing by
Lidia Kelly; Editing by Andrew Roche)