Press Advisories

3. 5. 201721:18

Prime Minister Sobotka meets Bavarian Prime Minister Seehofer

On Wednesday 3 May 2017, Prime Minister Sobotka met Prime Minister Seehofer of the Free State of Bavaria. At the Straka Academy they spoke primarily of reinforcing transport infrastructure, Czech-Bavarian economic relations and collaboration in science, research and education. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek.

A key priority for Czech-Bavarian relations remains, according to Prime Minister Sobotka, the issue of transport infrastructure, both road and rail. Among other things, he highlighted the Bavarian side’s cooperation in the joint effort to include the Bavarian section of the railway link from Prague to Munich via Furth im Wald in the higher category of "urgent needs" within the Federal Transport Plan.

The Federal Republic of Germany is the Czech Republic’s most important trading partner, with a share of nearly 30 per cent of the total turnover of Czech foreign trade, while within Germany, our biggest trading partner is Bavaria itself. Its share of our total international trade with Germany is 24.2% Prime Minister Sobotka therefore discussed with Bavarian Prime Minister Seehofer further investments and the options for economic cooperation with an emphasis on industry and digitisation.

According to Prime Minister Sobotka significant collaboration is taking place in science and research, where, within the framework of the Czech-German Strategic Dialogue, intensified contacts have been established between Czech institutions and the German Fraunhofer company. A further shift should be achieved with the start of the Czech-Bavarian Higher Education Agency in Regensburg, which was opened at the end of last year.

An example of very successful cooperation in the field of culture was the Joint State Exhibition on Charles IV, whose Bavarian section was launched by both statesmen in October last year in Nuremberg. The German part was preceded by the Czech part of the exhibition, which was very popular with the public. Prime Minister Sobotka said that the success of the exhibition also demonstrates the excellent collaboration of Czech and Bavarian professional institutions and the good interconnection of art and science.

The involvement of the German Länder in the Czech-German Strategic Dialogue is of great importance to the Czech Republic. This year, the Czech Republic and Germany also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Czech-German Declaration and the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Czech-Slovak-German Treaty, on which occasion the Federal Chancellor A. Merkel, Czech Prime Minister B. Sobotka and Slovak Prime Minister R. Fico gathered in Berlin.

With Bavarian Prime Minister Seehofer Prime Minister Sobotka also addressed current European issues, particularly the questions of the future direction of the European Union and the topic of migration. This was their sixth meeting. They last met in Nuremberg in October 2016 on the occasion of the opening of the Bavarian part of the Czech-Bavarian State Exhibition on Charles IV.