Press Advisories

18. 3. 201522:14

Prime minister holds talks with European Council Chairman Donald Tusk and European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker

On Wednesday, 18 March, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka began a series of bilateral talks with EU leaders in Brussels. Today the prime minister met with European Council Chairman Donald Tusk and subsequently with European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker.

The main topics of the discussions with European Council Chairman Donald Tusk was the current agenda of the March European Council Meeting and especially the Czech Republic's position regarding the proposed Energy Union. Prime Minister Sobotka expressed support for the Energy Union project, and he also congratulated Donald Tusk for his success and for promoting the originally Polish proposal. Another item on the agenda of the meeting was assessment of cooperation within the Visegrad Group. The prime minister informed Chairman Tusk about the preparations for the Czech Republic's presidency of the Visegrad Group, which will begin this June. The prime minister also expressed his appreciation for Donald Tusk's clear and balanced approach to preparing European Council meetings and for the well prepared and concise conclusions reached at summits.

The prime minister then met with European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker. The discussion focused on drawing of money from EU funds in connection with the successfully completed negotiations regarding the service act. Prime Minister Sobotka thanked the European Commission chairman for the Commission's intensive assistance during the completion of the draft legislation, which he said would greatly improve the quality of state administration in the Czech Republic. The prime minister also informed Chairman Juncker that the timely start of drawing of EU funds was currently a priority for the Czech Republic, which he said wanted to take an active approach in announcing the first calls for submissions. Chairman Juncker confirmed that the European Commission would do everything in its power to ensure that the Czech Republic can begin drawing the funds as soon as possible. Jean-Claude Juncker voiced interest in the upcoming Czech presidency of the Visegrad Group and its priorities. He expressed his personal support and interest in continuing cooperation with the V4.