Press Advisories

11. 3. 202218:14

Prime Minister Fiala attended the informal EU summit in Versailles

On 10 and 11 March 2022, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala attended an informal meeting of heads of states and prime ministers of the EU hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles. The main topics discussed were the Russian aggression in Ukraine, ensuring European security, the EU's energy self-sufficiency and a new model for European growth and investment.

During the first day of the informal summit, leaders focused on the Russian aggression in Ukraine, political, financial, material and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and deepening EU-Ukraine relations. A joint statement was adopted at the end of the meeting. “We agreed on the text of a joint statement which clearly condemns the Russian aggression and talks about next steps that will need to be taken. It expresses clear support for Ukraine and the brave struggle of the Ukrainians. It also includes – and there has been some discussion about this – opening doors for Ukraine to Europe. With the fact that there is a talk that Ukrainians form one family with us and the door to the European Union is open for them,” Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

Some countries could imagine more friendly formulations towards Ukraine. The Czech Republic is one of those countries; but we have reached a consensus, and I think that is very important from this point of view,” the Prime Minister added.

The EU leaders also discussed the EU's further response to Russia and Belarus and the need to fully implement the sanctions already adopted. The statement further called on Russia to comply fully with its obligations under international humanitarian law and to allow the safe passage of civilians wishing to leave the territory.

The second day of the meeting continued with the topic of European security, strengthening defense cooperation, reducing the EU's energy dependence and a new model of economic growth.

At the end of the informal summit, EU leaders adopted the Versailles declaration, which complementsthe declaration on the Russian aggression against Ukraine and focuses on strengthening European sovereignty in the context of global instability, security threats and strategic competition.

The summit has produced results that send a clear message. The countries of the European Union remain unified in their position. We have adopted the Versailles declaration, which addresses a number of areas. These are mainly things that concern us now and will in the future. First of all, it regards the security, defense of Europe and also energy and energy policy. The transatlantic link and the connection of new European defense efforts to the activities of the North Atlantic Alliance have also been emphasised and I consider this important.  Another thing, which arose from our initiative, is the ability of each state to determine the composition of its energy mix as they need it. We support the main objective which is to ensure Europe's energy self-sufficiency. We are convinced that reducing the dependence on Russian gas is the right way to go,” Prime Minister Fiala concluded.

EU leaders will meet again on 24 and 25 March 2022 for a regular European Council meeting in Brussels.