Press Advisories

21. 6. 2019 16:59

EU leaders were discussing climate policy and important European positions

EU leaders were discussing climate policy and important European positions, 21 June 2019.
EU leaders were discussing climate policy and important European positions, 21 June 2019.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš attended the European Council in Brussels on 20 and 21 June 2019. The main issues included key positions in the Union’s structures or the European Union’s 2050 climate policy. Other topics included the admission of new Member States, the Eastern Partnership and Brexit.

The EU leaders discussed four key posts in European structures. Specifically, they discussed the Presidents of the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. The heads of state and government have not yet agreed on specific names. Andrej Babiš said that long debates can be expected and once again called the spitzenkandidat system unacceptable. The question remains whether the positions are to be filled individually or together. The discussion will continue at an extraordinary meeting on Sunday, 30 June 2019.

There were different opinions. For us it is important that it is someone who understands our region, understands our position and does not just criticize our position or approach, for example to the climate. We will meet again and it is important for the European Union to agree before the parliament meets”, said Andrej Babiš.

Another topic of the discussion was the European Union’s climate policy. Union leaders have previously set the target of having zero emissions by 2050. According to the Prime Minister, it is absolutely essential for individual states to decide on their own energy mix.

Climate policy was the key issue. The debate was long and rigorous. I spoke there, using several times concrete numbers as an argument. How Europe cuts emissions, how the rest of the world does not do enough, that we shut down power plants with 43% efficiency in Europe and there are significantly worse high-emission power plants around the world. I think some don’t even realize what it means to have zero emissions. I see the threat to our industry, and that is why we must approach it cautiously so as not to jeopardize our economy, our employment,” said Andrej Babiš of the negotiations among the Member States.

The statesmen also adopted foreign policy conclusions. According to the Prime Minister, the text supporting the Eastern Partnership, where the Czech Republic has strong interests, is a great achievement. Among other things, the leaders agreed on the conclusions of the MH17 flight tragedy and approved an extension of the sanctions against Russia. In their conclusions, politicians also mentioned the peaceful transfer of power to Moldova, cooperation with Africa, or illegal Turkish mining activity in Cypriot territorial waters. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also spoke on the issue of extending the European Union to include Northern Macedonia and Albania and highlighted the need to open accession talks. Brexit was also briefly discussed. The European Union is waiting for the new UK Prime Minister. Orderly Brexit remains a priority for the EU.

As part of the Euro Summit, the Prime Minister took part in the negotiations on the euro area. However, he is critical of the shared budget. Prime Minister Babiš believes it is important that non-euro area states do not contribute to the budget and do not have liability for it.

The Council meeting was traditionally preceded by the meeting of V4 leaders. On that occasion, the Czech Prime Minister took over the presidency of the Visegrad Group from the hands of the Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. The motto of the Czech Presidency will be “V4 Reasonable Europe”. During the Presidency, which will officially start on 1 July, the Czech Republic will promote a rational, pragmatic and constructive approach to the current challenges of both the V4 countries and Europe. For more information see the press release.

During his visit to Brussels, Andrej Babiš met the European chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. They talked about filling key posts in European structures or expanding the European Union’s membership.

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