Message from Mirek Topolánek (*), Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, from 1 December 2008

(*) The Chamber of Deputies cast a vote of no confidence in the government of Mirek Topolánek on 24 March 2009. On 9 April Jan Fischer was appointed new Prime Minister.

Welcome to the Website of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council

Mirek Topolánek
Mirek Topolánek
The Czech Republic will be presiding over the meetings of EU-27 between January and June 2009. However, the preparations for the Presidency have actually taken two years. The organisation and formulation of our own priorities, meetings with heads of state and prime ministers of all Member States as part of the “tour de capitals”, as well as closer cooperation with the European Commission have all been very important.

The cooperation within the Trio Presidency rounds off the preparations. Together with France, which will hand over the Presidency to the Czech Republic, and Sweden, which will take over the Presidency in the second half of 2009, we have elaborated the 18-Month Trio Presidency Programme. All of this has been necessary in order to make the Presidency a success and achieve real results.

Thanks to these preparations, I can say that the priorities of the Czech Presidency are not only national priorities, but the priorities of the entire European Union. The motto of the Czech Presidency, “Europe without Barriers”, reflects the four basic freedoms: the free movement of goods, capital, workers, and services. We intend to uphold these freedoms to their fullest. The logo of the Czech Presidency, i.e. the website, adds a symbolic fifth freedom: free movement of information and knowledge. The main priorities of the Czech Presidency can be summed up as “the 3 E’s”: Economy, Energy and External Relations.

It is our economic ambition to increase Europe’s competitiveness, to enhance consumer confidence, but also the confidence of small and medium-sized enterprises in the market economy, to deal with the financial crisis in an effective and reasonable way, to carry on liberal reforms of the budget and EU policies, particularly the Common Agriculture Policy, and, last but not least, to promote employment.

The Czech Republic regards the energy policy as a search for balance between the demands of the environment and the preservation of competitiveness and energy security in Europe. The debate on source diversification and new networks is pivotal for us. We believe it crucial for the future and security of the European Union to have a common energy policy and to act as one when negotiating energy supplies.

“External Relations” means the emphasis on Euro-Atlantic relations, which the Czech Republic, together with other EU Member States, considers to be fundamental for our security and economic cooperation. A priority of the same importance for us is the openness and further enlargement of the EU. We want to further the integration of the Western Balkans. The Eastern partnership is another important priority.

The symbolic designation of our priorities as “the 3 E’s” follows up the Swedish Presidency in the first half of 2001, which faced problems similar to those that the Czech Republic is facing. At that time, it was the Nice Treaty, preparations for the introduction of the single currency, as well as the question of how a new Member State, moreover outside the euro area, would tackle its first Presidency.
I can say with full responsibility that the Czech Republic is ready to preside over the Council of the European Union, and alongside promoting our own priorities, which at the same time are European priorities, we are ready to moderate the debate on current issues and continue to implement EU policies. 

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Last update: 16.8.2011 15:57

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