Press Advisories

10. 3. 201621:35

Premier Sobotka Met with Bavarian Minister-President to Discuss Modernization of Railways and Development of Cooperation

Premier Bohuslav Sobotka met with Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria Horst Seehofer in Munich on Thursday 10 March 2016. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek. During his official visit to Bavaria, the prime minister is accompanied by a large delegation of business executives.

Czech-Bavarian Cooperation

"Intensive and active cooperation between Bavaria and the Czech Republic is an important part of the partnership between the Czech Republic and Germany, which is enjoying a period of unprecedented development. In recent years, Czech-Bavarian relations have developed into a veritable friendship in the heart of Europe," concurred Czech Premier Bohuslav Sobotka and Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria Horst Seehofer during their meeting in Munich today.

An important act completed during the encounter was the adoption by the Czech Premier and the Bavarian Minister-President of a joint declaration on the current state of relations between Bavaria and the Czech Republic and on key areas of cooperation between the two regions.

Railway Upgrade

An important topic discussed during the meeting was the development of transport infrastructure between the two countries. Improving the quality of the railway line connecting Prague and Munich, including the building of a connection to Nurnberg, is one of the priorities of the Czech government's railway development strategy. Modernizing this railway line on the German side of the border and securing financing from European funds will depend on whether this venture will be included in the updated version of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan.

"We want to make significant progress in modernizing the Prague – Munich railway via Furth im Wald and the Prague – Nurnberg line via Marktredwitz and Schirnding, both of which are currently unable to compete with road transport. The railways need to be upgraded, traveling speed and capacity need to be increased, and the cross-border section needs to be electrified. Work is current under way on the Czech side of the railway to Munich, as the Prague – Pilsen section is undergoing modernization. Around the year 2020, we plan to begin an upgrade of the section between Pilsen and the Czech-German border using subsidies from EU funds. We unambiguously agreed to support the inclusion of the reconstruction of the German section of the railway in Germany's Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan," announced Premier Sobotka at a press conference.

Deepening of Cooperation on Research and Development

Another area discussed by Premier Sobotka and Minister-President Seehofer was the deepening of cooperation on research and development, an issue of fundamental importance in the framework of the Czech-Bavarian strategic dialogue. In 2014, Bavaria and the Czech Republic agreed to establish a joint research and development program. The first eight research projects will be funded under the program in 2016 and 2017. They will be executed by Czech and Bavarian institutions.

"The Czech Republic is working intensively on further deepening its research and development partnership with Bavaria, particularly in the area of applied research. From the Czech viewpoint, the areas where cooperation offers highest potential include the digital economy, the entertainment and creative industry, the automotive industry, aviation, and precision manufacturing," said the Czech Prime Minister.

During his trip to Bavaria, the Premier is accompanied by a large business delegation whose members mainly recruit from firms specializing in applied research, new technologies, and innovations. Discussions about ways of intensifying cooperation and making new investments into these segments are one of the key objectives of Sobotka's visit.

Preparation of Czech-Bavarian Regional Exhibition

Another topic discussed during the visit was the preparation of the Czech-Bavarian Regional Exhibition that will be held during 2016-2017. The event will highlight the life of Charles IV whose 700th birthdate will be celebrated this year.

"The legacy of Charles IV, who made a sizeable contribution to the history of both Czech Lands and today's Bavaria, is an example par excellence of a historical link between Bavaria and the Czech Republic," mentioned Premier Sobotka.

The trip will mark the Czech Prime Minister's second visit to Munich undertaken at the invitation of Bavarian Minister-President Seehofer who has visited the Czech Republic on four occasions, the last time in December 2014 on the occasion of the opening of Bavaria's consulate in Prague.