Press Advisories

15. 12. 202212:49

Prime Minister Petr Fiala participated in Brussels at the last meeting of the European Council under the Czech presidency in the Council of the EU.

On Thursday, 15 December, Prime Minister Petr Fiala participated in Brussels at the last regular meeting of the European Council this year. It was also the last meeting of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, after which Sweden will take over the Presidency. Together with other European leaders, the Prime Minister discussed energy, economy, security and defence, migration and Russian aggression in Ukraine.

The presidents and Prime Ministers dealt in particular with political, military and humanitarian support to Ukraine, the restoration of critical infrastructure and ways, in which they can help Ukraine to overcome this winter. Another point on Thursday's agenda was addressing the energy crisis caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine.

"I announced this morning that negotiations have been taking place over the past few days, which have indeed been complicated, but which we wanted to conclude today. We were talking about an agreement on the capping of gas prices at the European level and an agreement on a package that includes, among others, macroeconomic assistance to Ukraine. Over the last few days, we have managed to convince our colleagues and negotiate a number of compromises. Today we confirmed them at the European Council. With today's significant shift, energy ministers could agree as early as Monday to cap gas prices and facilitate the construction of energy infrastructure and joint gas purchases that will ensure affordable energy for our citizens in the future,“ said Petr Fiala after the meeting. The Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela will also participate at the Monday meeting of the ministers of energy in  Brussels.

"We also managed to reach an agreement in the difficult negotiations on European money for Hungary, which paved the way for other substantial agreements. The most important of these is a package that includes, among others, long-term financial guarantees for Ukraine. These guarantees, which will enable the country to be reconstructed and will reduce the number of people who will have to leave the country as a result of Russian aggression. This is very good news for the citizens of the Czech Republic. I am pleased that we are taking home such good results from the last European Council under our Presidency,“ stated the Prime Minister after the European Council meeting.

The European Union will support Ukraine with EUR 18 billion (about CZK 437 billion) in the form of a joint loan. Ukraine should receive aid from the European Union on a regular basis from January next year. Initial reservations on the part of Poland were overcome during the negotiations and the aid was eventually approved unanimously.

The presidents and Prime Ministers of the European Union Member States also approved today the granting of candidate country status to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the final press conference, the Prime Minister summed up the six-month Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union: ‘‘I would like to thank all partners, diplomats, Charles (Michel), Ursula (von der Leyen) and others for an excellent cooperation during times, which was not easy for the Czech Republic, European Union, and the entire Europe. I would also like to extend a special thank you to our Czech collaborators - not only ambassadors and diplomats, but also to all the officials, interns, and volunteers who contributed to the Presidency. You have done a great job, and thanks to you I hear nothing but praise for the Czech Presidency around me.”

The Prime Minister concluded by wishing Sweden, which is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the Czech Republic for the next six months, much strength and energy.