Press Advisories

25. 4. 201318:29

Nečas: It is in our interest to complete the internal energy market

Prime Minister Petr Nečas this afternoon met President of the European Council Herman von Rompuy. The programme included current European questions such as economic and monetary union and the renewal of competitiveness.

Prime Minister Nečas expressed his satisfaction that economic questions are predominant at European Council meetings. "The Czech Republic is a country outside the eurozone, but on the other hand we do have a signed commitment within our accession treaty to join the eurozone. The situation within the eurozone is of particular interest to us," he said. He further pointed out that the Czech Republic has economic reasons for close cooperation in resolving the eurozone issue. "Overall, 65 per cent of our exports go to eurozone countries. The stability and prosperity of the eurozone are of vital interest to us," the Prime Minister added.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas welcomes European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in the garden of the Straka Academy, 25th April 2013

Following his discussions with European Council President Rompuy, the Prime Minister further stated that he considers the energy questions on the European Council May agenda to be important. The Czech Republic is a country with a major contribution made by industrial manufacturing and the construction industry. These sectors represent over 40 per cent of our gross domestic product.

According to Prime Minister Nečas, the Czech Republic is in favour of linking energy networks and diversifying energy raw material supplies such as crude oil and gas, as well as diversifying transit routes.

"I emphasised that we consider the energy topic to be of extreme importance. Energy prices have a very strong impact on the competitiveness of our industry. For this reason we desire the completion of the single internal energy market. A common European policy makes us stronger when negotiating with key suppliers," Prime Minister Nečas emphasised.

The Prime Minister also expressed his appreciation for President Rompuy's efforts in achieving a consensus of all member states on the question of the Multiannual Financial Framework. According to the Prime Minister the next step is to obtain agreement in the European Parliament. "I assured the European Council President that it is in our interests to persuade the Czech deputies in the European Parliament to vote for the Multiannual Financial Framework," the Prime Minister added.

Rompuy: Stability of the eurozone is a prerequisite for prosperity

European Council President Rompuy thanked the Czech Prime Minister for the opportunity to discuss questions which are due to be dealt with at the European Council. He emphasised that the economic and social situation in Europe remains the chief priority. "In spite of the positive trends and our joint efforts at fiscal consolidation the economic recession continues. For us youth unemployment is a major concern. Financial stability in the eurozone is a prerequisite for growth and new jobs," said Rompuy.

He also pointed to the March agreement of the European Council on a strategy to resolve the crisis, which has four points: renewal and maintenance of financial stability, maintenance of public financing, the fight against unemployment, particularly among the young, and the implementation of reforms to drive economic growth. "At the European level this means deepening the common market; here I would commend the active support of the Czech government led by Prime Minister Nečas," President Rompuy added.

Another topic of the discussions was the upcoming May meeting of the European Council, which will deal with energy questions. President Rompuy noted that the European Union is facing challenges where it is necessary to allow access to new sources of energy. "We must create a predictable environment which allows investors in a modern European energy infrastructure to search for efficient energy consumption and deal with the problem of high energy prices.“

Not least he referred to the need for a single European energy market. "By 2014 we must complete the common energy market and I welcome the importance which the Czech Republic attributes to this," said Herman Van Rompuy.

On the question of adoption of the Euro by the Czech Republic, the European Council President noted that the Czech Republic does not yet meet all the conditions for joining the eurozone. "The debate on joining the Euro is not a problem for today," Rompuy added.

The European Council President, together with the Prime Minister, spoke at a National Forum on the future of the European Union organised by the Office of the Government. In their speeches they emphasised the importance of the European integration project and expressed their conviction that the second half of this year will see a progressive resurgence of economic growth in European Union countries, including the Czech economy. The Czech Republic had not had to face such dramatic macroeconomic instability as other European economies, President Rompuy said in his speech.