Press Releases

27. 5. 20087:00

May 27, 2008: Joint press conference of A. Vondra, C. Malmström and J.P. Jouyet

Joint press conference of A. Vondra, C. Malmström and J.P. Jouyet at the occasion of conclusion of common preparatory works on the 18- month programme.

Prague, 22 May 2008 – The conclusion of works on the joint 18-month programme of the French, Czech and Swedish EU Presidencies will take place in Prague on 27 May 2008. The Czech Vice-Prime Minister for EU affairs Alexandr Vondra, the Swedish Minister for EU affairs Cecilia Malmström and the French State Secretary in charge of European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet will thus conclude the nine-month process during which France, Czech Republic and Sweden worked towards a joint document which will constitute framework for activities of the Council of the EU between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2009. The representatives of the European Commission and the Council of the EU will also attend the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a press conference in Masaryk lounge in the Lichtenstein Palace at Kampa (U Sovových mlýnù 4). The conference should start at 11:30 a.m., with the recommended arrival of journalists at 11:15 a.m.. The joint lunch with the ministers of foreign affairs of the three countries B. Kouchner, K. Schwarzenberg and C. Bildt, hosted by the Vice-Prime Minister Vondra, will start at 12:00 a.m.. The ministers will discuss among other things the cooperation of their countries during their presidencies. The lunch will be preceded by the joint photo opportunity of all six ministers at 11:55 a.m..

The 18-month programme will have to be discussed and endorsed by the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 16 June 2008. Prior to that, the opening part of the programme will be consulted with the next Presidency trio of Spain, Belgium and Hungary. This has become the standard EU procedure since the first Trio of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia who is currently holding the EU Presidency. The works on the 18-month programme were solemnly launched on 20 September 2007 in Prague. On the 16 October 2007 the Vice-Prime Minister A. Vondra and his counterparts signed a common statement on cooperation in Luxembourg.

The 18-month programme represents the work programme of one of the three EU institutions – the Council of the EU. The 60-page compromise sets out the path along which the Council of the EU will act during eighteen months starting from 1 July 2008. The chief coordinator of its preparations is the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU in Brussels. The programme should ensure the thematic continuity of the three subsequent Presidencies while respecting the political priorities of all three of them.