12. 6. 200814:31

Eurocentres have handed out thousands of copies of the information brochure on the Czech Presidency of the EU

The brochure is now also available in English.

Prague, 12 June 2008 – The Office of the Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra has published an English on-line version of the information brochure on the EU Presidency to be held by the Czech Republic in the first half of 2009. The Czech version of the brochure for the general public issued in March 2008 has seen a great success. In less than three months people have picked up more than a third of the 8,300 copies distributed to the Eurocentres. Another 1,500 copies have been downloaded in electronic form from the Government’s website. Both the Czech and English versions are available at the website of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic and are continuously updated.

“The publication of the English version has been a matter of demand, much like the Czech version. Embassy officials and foreign journalists heard about the information brochure on the Czech EU Presidency and kept asking if they could get it in English,” explains Jana Hendrichová, Deputy Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs. “The brochure is also useful for the new EU member states preparing for their first EU Presidencies, who have been increasingly asking us for consultation. Among the countries that have expressed their interest are Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. However, it is the Czech citizens that naturally remain an important target group for us”, ads the Deputy responsible for coordinating the preparatory work for the EU Presidency.

“We are getting ready to launch the main information campaign on the Czech EU Presidency in autumn 2008. In fact, it is not easy in any European country to “sell” Europe, often perceived as too complex and detached from everyday life”, say Alexandr Vondra, Vice Prime Minister for EU Affairs. “However, that is not true – around 70% of all legislation influencing our lives originates nowadays in Brussels. For this reason we take the Czech EU Presidency as an opportunity to bring European topics “home”. It is important that they get the media attention they deserve. For example our German neighbours have been very successful in achieving this”, concludes the Vice Prime Minister.

At present, besides the Internet and media, information on the EU or the Czech EU Presidency can be obtained for example in regional Eurocentres. Also, Eurofon, a free telephone line, is at everyone´s disposal. In the second half of June 2008, the Government’s EU server Euroskop will acquire a brand new design, which will be presented by Vice Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra at a press conference on 18 June 2008. Furthermore, as part of the EU information campaign, a consolidated, clearly arranged version of the Lisbon Treaty was published in March 2008 by the Office of the Government in cooperation with the Parliamentary Institute.

The 13-page information brochure, written in a clear, readable form of questions and answers, provides information to general public on concrete steps taken during the preparation of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as on basic facts concerning the EU Presidency, e.g. the priorities of the Czech EU Presidency, the number and kind of meetings to take place in the Czech Republic, training of officials, security issues, and opportunities for citizens to participate in preparatory work.