Priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022
On 1 July 2022, for the second time during the EU membership, Czechia will start its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, said the Czech Ambassador to Georgia, Petr Mikyska.
According to him, on 14 December 2021, the General Affairs Council (GAC) endorsed the so called trio program, of three consecutive presidencies: France, Czechia and Sweden. The trio program was developed at a time when the major challenge for the EU was the post-pandemic recovery. It has therefore been focused on protecting citizens and freedoms, developing the European economic model, building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe and promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has brought the necessity of a fundamental reassessment of the EU priorities and significantly influenced the preparation of the Czech Presidency's priorities. The Czech Presidency will address the urgent security issues while carrying on with the originally identified files such as the green and digital transition of the EU economy.
Motto of the Czech Presidency is “Europe as a task – rethink, rebuild, repower”. Legacy of Václav Havel’s reflection about Europe’s role in a global world at a historical moment of a reshuffled world order and a reminder that Europe is a matter of constant work of every citizen. Havel's slogan also calls for responsibility and proactive decisions based on values and conscience.
The political priorities of the CZ PRES are divided into five cross-sectoral flagship areas. They aim at responding to current challenges, as well as at pursuing the EU's long-term objectives:
1 - Managing refugee crisis and post-war recovery of Ukraine: supporting Ukraine's sovereignty by all available means, promoting EU solidarity, efficiency and flexibility in managing the migration related issues, reaching a consensus on the granting of EU candidate status to Ukraine and contributing to its economic recovery and stability.
2 - Energy security: reducing energy dependency on authoritarian regimes such as Russia, diversifying resources throughout the REPowerEU, mitigating the negative social and economic impacts of high energy prices.
3 – Reinforcement of European defence capacities, incl. cybersecurity: promoting security and defence cooperation with NATO, implementing the Strategic Compass, enhancing a better intra-EU cooperation and strengthening the EU's industrial capacities in strategic areas.
4 - Strategic resilience of EU‘s economy: reducing dependence on hostile regimes, strengthening self-sufficiency and deepening of the internal market of democratic states, accelerating digitization and adapting free market rules to these developments.
5 - Resilience of democratic institutions: safeguarding values of democracy and rule of law, media freedom, transparency, open dialogue with citizens (incl. follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe) – both in online and offline spaces.
Sectoral priorities in the area of external relations:
Promoting a united and effective EU in external relations, building consensus among Member States in coordination with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service and the Commission.
Deepening the transatlantic partnership and strengthening relations with other like-minded countries, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Indo-Pacific and the Sahel.
Building consensus on granting the candidate status to Ukraine, supporting the European aspirations of the associated countries of the Eastern Neighborhood, achieving concrete progress in the EU enlargement negotiations and supporting the accession process of Western Balkan candidates.
Continuous humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and facilitation of the comprehensive reconstruction initiative (Rebuild Ukraine); promoting the nexus of humanitarian, development and security activities, resilience building, disaster risk reduction and food security.
A calendar of multiple meetings and events to be held in Brussels, Luxembourg and in Czechia has been released. Around two thousand working groups and ambassadorial meetings are planned in Brussels. Czech ministers will chair fifty meetings with their counterparts from EU countries. More than 320 political events will take place in Czechia.
Among the most important of these are 14 informal ministerial Councils and an informal summit of Heads of States and Governments in Prague (date, format and content of the summit tbc). Informal Councils will reflect the priorities of CZ PRES and will be held in the Prague Congress Centre (the summit will be organized in the Prague Castle) to ensure maximum safety of their participants.
The official communication channels: Presidency website www.eu2022.cz, as well as accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube were launched on 15 June 2022.