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11. 4. 2008 10:17

April 11, 2008: Czech Premier Visiting Greece Unveiled Priorities of the Czech EU Presidency

On the first day of his official visit to Greece Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek today met the leading politicians of the host country.

In the morning he was received by Greek President Karolos Papulias. The current political situation in the Balkans was one of the topics under discussion. Premier Mirek Topolánek also met his Greek opposite number Kostas Karamanlis. Both leaders praised the trouble-free Greek-Czech relations. The central theme of their talks focused on European issues, namely the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union’s energy policy, the EU competitiveness, and primarily the forthcoming presidency of the Czech Republic of the Council of the European Union.
In this context, Czech Premier Mirek Topolánek introduced the Greek side to the motto of the Czech Presidency: “Europe Without Barriers“. “Our motto develops another five slogans,“ explained the Premier and went on to list them as follows: “Competitive and Open Europe, Sustainable and Safe Europe, Budget for Europe’s Future, Europe as a Global Partner, Secure and Free Europe.“ He was also quoted as saying that according to established tradition the specific goals will be announced shortly before the start of the Czech Presidency.

The talks were also aimed at reflecting the events in the Western Balkans. Both Premiers supported the idea that after solving the issue of the recognition of the independence of Kosovo considerable attention should be granted to Serbia to help it in on its road to the European Union.

Premier Mirek Topolánek also met Chairman of the Greek Parliament Dimitris Siufas for talks on the forthcoming Czech Presidency of the EU. Dimitris Siufas described it as exceptionally important in view of the time of the Lisbon Treaty coming into effect. For his part, the Czech Premier emphasized the question of strengthening the role of national parliaments in the legislative process in the EU. The Czech Republic has taken a key part in enforcing this particular issue.

Jana Bartošová, press spokesperson of the Government of the Czech Republic

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