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The 2009 Czech EU Presidency: - CORE


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The Czech presidency of the EU has come at an incredibly difficult time for both the EU and the Czech Republic. Yet the economic crisis has significantly shifted the focus of the Presidency in the economic domain.

Political Parties’ Attitudes vis-à-vis the European Union and

The Communists are the only Czech political party that opposes Czech Republic membership in the EU. The party called on its supporters to vote against membership in the June 2003 EU accession referendum.

The Phenomenon of Václav Klaus

The preparation of the priorities of the Czech Presidency began immediately after the general elections in the summer of 2006. The position of the Government Secretary for the Coordination of the Czech Presidency was abolished. The changes in the governance of the Czech EU Presidency affected the role and structure of the Committee for the EU.

The Czech government was already following the line closely before the start of the presidency. Paradoxically, the fall of the government may facilitate ratification in the Czech Republic during the Czech period. Coordination Mechanism of the Czech EU Presidency], in: Karlas, J et al., Jak predsedat Europkeis unii.

1238 on the coordination mechanism for the preparations and execution of the Czech Presidency of the EU], 25 October 2006. 273 on the activities of the Secretary of the Government for the coordination of the Czech Presidency and the Executive Secretariat], 3 January 2007.

The European policy since the 2006 elections

Internal aspects of the Czech EU Presidency

In this situation, the ODS tried to negotiate with the Social Democrats for tolerance towards the government during the EU presidency. The final decision on this was made by the party's general conference, which recommended that Cunek leave the government.

The Presidency priorities and their evolution

The Government approved the sectoral and general priorities in July 2008, and they served as a basis for the preparation of the final work program of the Czech EU presidency.42. The Czech government had already foreseen that two of the original five priorities would not be tackled. The final document, entitled 'Work program of the Czech Presidency: Europe without barriers',44 was presented on 6 January 2009, a few days after the start of the Czech EU presidency.

In the field of external relations, the Eastern Partnership gradually became the focal point, with the Government determined to turn the inaugural summit into a visible footprint of the Czech Presidency.

Administrative preparations and coordination framework

The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic thus took over responsibility for the Czech Presidency from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and became the central coordination unit. It also involved the regions and the permanent representation, and the main responsibility rests with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs. In addition to ensuring the organizational and logistical part of the presidency, the Deputy Prime Minister.

The head of the permanent representation of the Czech Republic in Brussels also participated in the meetings via video conference.

Context of the Czech EU Presidency: External Factors

Normally, the Commission (especially given the current political profile) would strongly support the Czech Presidency in its efforts to fight protectionism and achieve further liberalization in the internal market. However, the European Commission's lack of activity is also evident on other fronts where the Czech Presidency expected to make progress. The third and perhaps most important variable for the Czech Presidency is the legacy of its predecessor, France, and especially its president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Much skepticism towards the Czech presidency has also been articulated by the French press, both at the end of the French period and during the Czech presidency.


Prime Minister Topolánek received a pledge from the leaders of the largest EU member states to refrain from measures that could undermine the European internal market or harm other EU countries. The European Council also emphasized that 'protectionism is not an answer to the current crisis' and accepted the request of the new EU Member States to be dealt with separately.65 European leaders also reiterated their intention to implement all measures (such as car scrapping programs and recovery measures for the banking system) at European level. The summit also appears to have shown the French president that his term as President of the European Council had finally ended in December 2008.

Since the legislative activity of the European Parliament will close in April 2009, it is unrealistic to expect further achievements in this area.

Energy and climate change

The Czech Republic led and concluded the discussions on the second strategic energy review (19 February 2009) and started the debate on the positions on the Energy Action Plan 2010-2014, focusing mainly on the external dimension of energy security. 76 The so-called energy-climate package was foreseen as one of the most important issues that the Czech Republic will deal with during the EU presidency. This is a clear response of the EU, the Presidency and the Commission to the gas crisis," said Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Vondra after the summit, which was generally successful for the Czech Presidency.78

However, the European Environment Council of 2 March 2009 adopted very detailed conclusions setting out the EU's vision for the future agreement on the Copenhagen Climate Summit mandate, and the first version of the position is expected to be on the table at the Czech meeting. Chairmanship.

Europe in the World

Eastern Partnership and Relations with Russia

All strategic documents of the Czech Government envisage the Eastern Partnership remaining part of the ENP, focusing on the six eastern neighbors (e.g. Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and developing the multilateral dimension of the Partnership. . For example, the approach leading to the gradual integration of the eastern neighbors into the European economy, through deep and comprehensive free trade agreements, is consistent with the Czech idea of ​​a liberal and economically open Europe. Another important element of communication is the facilitation of contacts between the eastern neighbors and the EU.

The argument of the Council Secretariat, the French Presidency and the Commission was that the talks were not suspended (in which case unanimity would be required for their resumption) but only postponed (in which case a qualified majority was sufficient).

The Western Balkans and EU enlargement

Slovenia is using its influence in the negotiation process to resolve the uncertain issue of the common border. However, it is expected that accession negotiations will not progress further during the remainder of the Czech EU presidency, even if Slovenia95 immediately unblocks the negotiations. Although the Czech EU presidency also wanted to mediate a resolution on the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece, nothing has happened so far.

The Czech EU Presidency is trying to facilitate a solution to the dispute between Turkey and Cyprus and is negotiating with both governments, but so far without significant results.

Transatlantic Relations

Although further progress in accession negotiations with Turkey has not been among the top priorities of the Czech EU Presidency, it has planned to open at least two new negotiating chapters, related to taxes and employment. This statement, made shortly before the EU-US summit in Prague, received wide coverage in the international media, including CNN.103 There were some arguments with the Council Secretariat and some of the member states about whether the summit will be held in Prague or Brussels.

EU countries to accept some of the prisoners of Guantanamo and increase the European commitment in Afghanistan.

The Gaza Crisis

The ambitions of the Czech Presidency in relation to the resolution of the crisis were therefore quite limited, which was expressly acknowledged by Schwarzenberg himself in an interview with the Czech daily Hospodarske noviny.108 Similarly, the head of the Czech Permanent Representation to the UN , Martin Palouˇs admits : 'No one expects us to act as big, robust players. EU leverage, particularly over Israel, was further reduced with the outcome of the Israeli parliamentary elections, which brought the Likud coalition and the far-right Israel Our Home party to power. In any case, the original Czech plans for upgrading relations with Israel and organizing the first EU-Israel summit are very much off the table three months before the Czech EU presidency.

This is mainly due to the negative reactions on the part of EU member states towards Gaza.

The Gas Crisis

The Council also agreed on the need to address the broader long-term consequences of the current crisis, such as transparency of supplies and the adoption of a crisis mechanism based on internationally recognized principles that could prevent such situations, especially in winter.116 . It was also Rˇíman who put forward the idea of ​​a joint EU-Ukraine-Russia summit, which he apparently did without consulting the Prime Minister or the General Secretariat of the Council. The joint plan of the Czech Presidency and the European Commission was presented by Prime Minister Topolánek in Ukraine on January 9 and to Vladimir Putin on January 10, 2009 in Moscow.

On the same day, however, the validity of the agreement was disputed by Russian President Medvedev, who claimed that the Ukrainian delegation had added new clauses to the agreement that were not part of the original text.

The Czech Presidency: Crisis Management or

To fakticky připravilo předsednictvo o nezbytný politický kapitál na zbytek jeho funkčního období. 40 k Národnímu programu vzdělávání zaměstnanců ve správních úřadech k zajištění předsednictví České republiky v Radě Evropské unie [usnesení České republiky č. 1238 o národním koordinačním mechanismu pro přípravu a realizaci předsednictví České republiky v Radě Evropské unie [usnesení České republiky č.

1061 k návrhu na změnu funkce vedoucího zastupitelského úřadu v hodnosti mimořádného a zplnomocněného velvyslance České republiky [usnesení vlády České republiky č. 1061 k návrhu na změnu vedoucího Stálého zastoupení ČR při EU], 12. září 2007. Přizpůsobení kohezní politiky EU potřebám nových členských zemí Redakce: Jonas Eriksson, Bengt O.



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