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6. 10. 2022 13:58

Welcoming remarks of Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala at the European Political Community meeting in Prague

Welcoming remarks of Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala at the European Political Community meeting in Prague.
Welcoming remarks of Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala at the European Political Community meeting in Prague.

Excellencies, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Czech Republic and welcome to the Prague Castle!

This castle has a special place in the history of our nation in the heart of Europe. It used to be the residence of the Czech monarchs and since establishing our republic in nineteen-eighteen the residence of presidents of our state.

I am pleased it is hosting this ground-breaking conference today.

Europe has many difficult problems right now, and we meet here to discuss solutions.

The most serious problem is that Europe is suffering from aggressive war.

Russia continues in its unfair aggression against Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is just not open to negotiation.

His only goal is the conquest of the land. Russia’s actions from the last week confirm it yet again.

Holding the referenda in occupied territories was a dirty trick. The international community cannot take it seriously.

Ladies and gentlemen, the presidential flag flying above this castle bears the motto TRUTH PREVAILS – which means TRUTH WINS IN THE END or TRUTH DEFEATS THE LIES.

This motto was giving us hope in hard times, in times of oppression.

In the war in Ukraine, we see a reflection of our own past.

One of the lowest points in our history was August nineteen-sixty-eight, when Moscow sent tanks to my country to destroy our efforts for more freedom, known as the Prague Spring.

This sums up our experience with the policy of Moscow.

Many of you have similar experiences in the history of your countries.

We understand it is tough to face evil, but we also understand that truth does win.

It can take time, but in the end, we all know in our hearts that Ukraine will win – because the truth is on their side.

Meanwhile, Ukraine needs our ongoing support. We Europeans need to commit to the values that unite all of us:

The values of human rights, respect, and the rule of law.

The values promoted by Vaclav Havel, the famous representant of our country and the first president of the independent Czech Republic.

It was him who was thinking of Europe as a “task” in his writings.

An open task requiring our attention, commitment, and integrity.

The idea of the European political community originates from this kind of thinking.

What are we trying to achieve?

We want to have this group as a forum for informal exchange of views – on current events in Europe and beyond.

Its space should be flexible enough to fit all European democratic countries comfortably.

We are certainly not going to establish another European organisation.

We are not going to replace the existing formats of cooperation. We have plenty of them already.

We will not even be adopting any official resolutions today.

The point is simple: to have an honest discussion on the matters of common interests, but also on disputed topics.

There are so many challenges to our prosperity that require our cooperation.

I have already mentioned the need to find peace and security, but it doesn’t end here.

There is also inflation and high energy prices, causing worse living standards in Europe.

There is our dependence on imported resources, threatening our energy security.

There is the need to deal with the transition to sustainable energy and economy, invest in stronger defence and security, deal with illegal migration, and many other complex problems that are draining our energy – and causing disadvantages in global competition.

Today, our common task is to create an informal platform for all democratic countries in Europe, where we can cooperate, share ideas, and develop solutions to return prosperity and peace to our continent.

I want to thank very much to Emmanuel for coming up with this idea, and to Charles for making it happen and developing it further with us.

And I must thank all of you for accepting our invitation.

The whole of Europe is meeting in Prague today to discuss what we can do together to restore peace, boost cooperation, and return prosperity.

So, let’s get to work.

For today, we have carefully selected several challenging topics.

They include the questions of peace, stability, energy security, and economy.

After the plenary session, we will break into roundtables to discuss each topic closely.

There will also be enough time for bilateral meetings.

In the evening, we will meet up again for dinner and put together general outcomes.

Ladies and gentlemen, may this meeting prove to be useful and inspiring.

Thank you for being here today. Welcome to Prague!

Petr Fiala, Prime Minister

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