As France’s term of the rotating Presidency ends on 30 June, it is time for the second member of the trio to carry out the European agenda.
On 1 July begins the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the institution that unites ministers from the Member States, responsible for different policies). As the holder of the rotational EU Presidency, the Czech Republic will determine the priorities and the agenda of the Council, preside over its meetings, ensure compromise between members and represent the Union abroad for the next six months.
Also, one of the major tasks during this six-month-long term is the adoption of the EU budget for 2023.
Under the motto “Europe as a task: Rethink, Rebuild, Repower” and as the primary agenda-setter of the EU, for the next semester, Czechia will focus on the following priorities, that highly revolve around the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis and cyber threats:
Managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery – the Czech Republic regards the political and military support to Ukraine facing the Russian invasion as vital to protecting security in Europe. Hence, the country is in favour of using all EU instruments and programs to support Ukraine, including a further set of sanctions against the aggressor.
As regards Ukrainian refugees, the Czech Republic will cooperate with the Commission to ensure that the most affected Member States will receive the needed support and funds to manage the task. Children’s education, healthcare, and women’s participation in the labour market are amongst the top priorities under this Presidency.
The Presidency is also hopeful that the next six months will bring about the end of the war and the launch of post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. To make it more efficient, Czechia commits to leading the EU cooperation with Ukraine and the process of securing the finances needed for recovery from the free world;
Energy security – the Czech Republic will naturally focus on a Union that is independent of Russian gas, oil, and coal, decarbonization of industry, highlighting the role of nuclear energy. Reducing transport emissions, sustainability, and the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) are on the list when it comes to transport;
Strengthening Europe’s defense capabilities and cyberspace security – through a partnership with NATO, the Czech Republic wants to reinforce European security and defense. Alongside other things, Czechia will pay particular attention to the cybersecurity of EU institutions, bodies and agencies and to the EU space-based secure communication system;
Strategic resilience of the European economy – here, the EU should support technological competitiveness based on its own production capacities and deepen free trade with democratic nations. Accelerating the digitalization and automation of European industry and the further deepening of the internal market are in focus;
The resilience of democratic institutions – among other things, Czechia will get the chance to steer EU’s actions based on the results of the Conference of the Future of Europe. Wrapping up the second half of the European Year of Youth, Czechia aims at improving dialogue with young people and promoting their participation in political/policy processes. Under this priority, the Presidency targets risks related to cryptocurrencies, as well as promoting free media.
The full description of the priorities of the Czech Presidency is available here and the latest news can be found on the official website: EU2022.cz