Matt Atlas

Czech foreign minister unveils priorities for EU presidency

Czech Republic, Jan Lipavsk

Czech foreign minister unveils priorities for EU presidency

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsk detailed his ministry’s priorities for the Czech Republic’s impending EU Presidency. He emphasized the importance of continuing to assist Ukraine, strengthening the EU’s military and security mechanisms, and promoting democratic institutions and the rule of law.

The Czech foreign minister stated that his country is prepared to take on the challenge of leading the EU Council during a volatile moment produced by Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as to respond to the needs posed by the increased security threat. He stated that the country’s primary policy priority would be to assist Ukraine in any manner possible in defending itself against the savage onslaught.

“The Czech Republic will continue to support Ukraine militarily and with material aid and we will continue to strongly back the country’s integrity. Within our presidency role, we will push for Ukraine to receive EU candidate status, address problems linked to the displacement of millions of Ukrainians, and prepare for the country’s post-war reconstruction.”

Minister Lipavsk stated that many of the country’s aims as EU President are tied to enhancing EU security, whether it is energy security, strengthening the country’s defense infrastructure, or cybersecurity at a time when Russia is increasingly fighting a hybrid war against the Western world. He stated that Prague believes that the EU’s eastward enlargement will increase Europe’s stability and security.

“As regards our geographic priorities – in addition to securing candidate status for Ukraine we feel that it is important to continue preparing the ground for the EU’s expansion to the Western Balkans – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made that all the more topical, and also for Moldova and Georgia, which would get it conditionally.”

Office of Czech Government

Although the Czech Republic recognizes the necessity to follow the usual procedure in granting EU membership to new applicants and not take any shortcuts, it believes it is critical to encourage democratic processes in these countries by providing people hope about EU membership chances.

The Indo-Pacific and Sahel areas will be equally significant, according to the Czech foreign minister, with the goal of promoting regional stability, growth, and technical collaboration.

Another major focus of the Czech Presidency will be to promote civil society, democracy, and a free press both inside and beyond the EU.

“The Czech Republic wants to draw on the legacy of Václav Havel in promoting democracy, rule of law, and human rights. This will include support for democratic institutions, civil society, and free media, including, for example, support for independent Russian and Belarusian media.”

Last but not least, the Czech foreign minister emphasized that in order to achieve these aims and counter the Russian threat, Europe must strengthen the transatlantic connection and increase EU-US collaboration in energy security, economic cooperation, and defense.