Press Advisories

20. 3. 2009 18:16

Czech Presidency leads EU summit to agreement on anti-crisis measures

After the negotiations in Brussels chaired by Czech PM Mirek Topolánek, the heads of state and government of the EU reached an agreement on measures that are to help the EU overcome the impacts of the financial and economic crisis.

“We can achieve that with three specific packages – with a budget of five, 50 and 75 billion euro”, said President of the European Council Mirek Topolánek, explaining that: “five billion has been allocated for specific projects that are to achieve specific goals – to increase the energy security of the EU and promote innovations; 50 billion has been earmarked to increase guarantees to help the countries that face difficulties with their balance of payments, and 75 billion euro represents the proposed voluntary loan to the credit fund of the International Monetary Fund.”

The Czech delegation, consisting of the Czech Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, made sure that the joint statement of the summit include the commitment of the Member States to respect the principles of free market within the framework of the European Economic Recovery Plan, which will see 400 billion euro invested in 2009 and 2010, and to resume compliance with the Growth and Stability Pact as soon as possible.

“We have prepared for the G20 summit in the spirit of solidarity, trust and unity”, said President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso at the joint press conference with reference to the upcoming summit of economic powers, adding that “our coordinated approach to the financial crisis is a contribution to the necessary global solution”.

The Czech Presidency has also pushed through crucial measures in the context of its other priorities – energy and external relations.

“200 million euro from the five-billion package will go to the Nabucco project,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra specified the investments earmarked for securing access to energy resources from the Caspian region for European countries; “this measure can be seen as a response to the recent gas crisis. We cannot rule out the possibility of its recurrence but the EU will be better prepared to deal with it.”

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg appreciated the consensus which enabled the Czech Presidency to acquire mandate for the Eastern Partnership – the EU has set aside 600 million euro for this ambitious project devised to strengthen the relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine. “Our great dream has come true, we have become united and that is an important progress and a great achievement,” stated the leader of the Czech diplomacy.

“I would like to commend the Czech Presidency one more time because without it we would not have reached consensus on the Eastern Partnership programme,” José Manuel Barroso revisited this issue.

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