EU Enlargement

Priorities of the Czech Presidency

The Czech Presidency will seek to make as much progress as possible in the field of EU enlargement. The Presidency will strive to achieve the greatest possible headway in the accession negotiations with Croatia. The conclusion of the accession negotiations between the EU and Croatia would be a major positive and motivating factor for all Western Balkan countries and would strengthen their commitment to internal reform and progress in the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP).

Another priority interest of the Czech Presidency is to continue talks with Turkey and to bring other Western Balkan countries closer to EU membership. The Western Balkan countries are engaged in comprehensive domestic reforms and are on track for European integration, especially through the implementation of Stabilisation and Association Agreements. The Czech Presidency will encourage these countries in their efforts and will try to follow up on the Thessaloniki Agenda, with an emphasis on concrete action. The Czech Presidency will seek early visa liberalisation with individual Western Balkan countries.

Transatlantic relations – priorities of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic sees as crucial Europe’s transatlantic link with the USA and Canada, and the strategic partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union. An important event of the Czech Presidency in the field of transatlantic relations will be the EU-US summit in Washington, where the new US administration will be representing the US for the first time.

The purpose of the transatlantic partnership today is not only to reinforce stability in Europe (with the exception of the Balkans). European and North American countries are turning their attention to beyond Europe’s borders. Common awareness of threats, dynamically growing trade and the potential to adopt a common approach to the handling of regional and global problems is fundamental to the new form of close partnership between the EU, the USA and Canada at the beginning of the 21st century. Europe is no longer an object of US policy, but a key partner of the USA in addressing regional and global problems.

Economic partnership also plays an indispensable role in Euro-American relations. During its Presidency, the Czech Republic will seek economic convergence and the removal of obstacles to mutual trade. In the context of transatlantic economic dialogue, the Czech Republic will seek the closest possible cooperation between the European Commission and Member States at meetings of the Transatlantic Economic Council.

During its Presidency, the Czech Republic will also focus on strengthening the cooperation between the EU and the USA in third countries and will promote transatlantic cooperation in the support and development of democracy and human rights throughout the world. In addition, it will seek reconfirmation of the common interest in developing a strategic partnership between the two sides of the Atlantic.

Eastern Europe – priorities of the Czech Republic

In line with the current challenges, the strengthening of the cooperation between the EU and its eastern neighbours is one of the main priorities of the Presidency. Given the geopolitical situation and the economic interests of the Czech Republic, the Czech Republic actively supports  democratisation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the relevant countries in the region.

The Czech Republic places an emphasis on the region as a whole. In particular, it will focus on reinforcing the European Neighbourhood Policy in relation to EU’s Eastern neighbours, work actively on developing the Eastern Partnership, reinforce bilateral relations re with countries interested in European integration (especially Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia), and continue the cooperation with Russia. The Czech Republic is also prepared to strengthen relations between the EU and Belarus in case important domestic political changes take place in Belarus.

The Czech Presidency will also monitor energy security, migration, the simplification of visa regimes, and economic and commercial integration in Eastern Europe.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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