Press Advisories

30. 11. 201623:37

Prime Minister Sobotka and President Hollande have agreed on the need to restore confidence in the EU

The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, met on Wednesday 30 November 2016 with the French President François Hollande. In the Kramář Villa in Prague they held discussions on the future of the European Union and the pressure for reform. They also talked about the further strengthening of bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and France.

As part of the agenda the Prime Minister Sobotka discussed with President Hollande the future of the EU and its reform. The Prime Minister and the French President agreed on the need to restore the confidence of citizens in European institutions. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka stressed the need to restore convergence within EU Member States as well as between them, in particular through the use of the instruments of the internal market, with all its four fundamental freedoms including convergence of wage levels. The equally important task is according to the Czech Prime Minister as well as the French President, to ensure internal and external security of the Union and the combating of terrorism, a prerequisite of which is a common standard of the EU in respect of security issues.

The fundamental importance of the Czech-French relations is also seen by the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in the context of the crucial role that France played in 1918 in the context of the emergence of an independent Czechoslovakia. This event, whose centenary will be commemorated by the Czech Republic in 2018, will also be celebrated in France. Both statesmen have in the meantime agreed in the interests of both countries to continue the dialogue and on the strengthening of the Czech-French relationships.

An important issue was the support for Czech-French economic cooperation. France has long-term been one of the most important trading partners of the Czech Republic. The Prime Minister Sobotka appreciated the closeness of Czech-French relations as well as the fact that the Action Plan 2014-2018 of the Strategic Partnership succeeded in being fulfilled, an agreement which had been signed in December 2014 in Prague with the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. The Action Plan was to develop areas of further cooperation - inter alia bilateral security consultations were restored as well as the activities of a joint working group on energy matters.

Prime Minister Sobotka met twice with the French President, each time in Paris. François Hollande then visited the Czech Republic as President for the first time.