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.
The European Union, France and the Czech Republic join forces to strengthen social protection system in Georgia. Signature event allowed the signing parties to start the project and show their common engagement in improving access to social protection and the extension of social rights and coverage of the Georgian population.
Tbilisi, 10 November 2021 – Today, a signature event took place at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia to mark the beginning of the EU-project, implemented by Expertise France (Agence Française de Développement Group − AFD Group) and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA), with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (MoIDPHLSP).
Their Excellencies, Mr. Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia and Mr. Diego Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, and Mr. Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation attended the signature event. Ms. Tamila Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia presented her ministry’s perspective, followed by with a short presentation of the project.
“Social protection goes back to the core values of the European Union. In a democracy, it is all of our responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable members of society to make sure that everyone can be part of social life and the democratic process. This is especially relevant in times of COVID-19, where many people need additional support and protection. We are, therefore, proud to launch this new project together with our Team Europe partners and look forward to many positive steps over the coming years”, stated Mr. Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
Mr. Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, stated that “there is a global alliance between the French and Czech Development Agencies and I am very happy that this finds an application here in Georgia. We strongly support the choice of the Georgian people and of successive governments to build a strong, dynamic, European democracy in Georgia and it makes sense to do this with another dynamic successful Eastern European democracy such as the Czech Republic. The implementation of this joint project, to strengthen the delivery of social services and work towards the social code, will be a key aspect of this broader democracy and institution building agenda”,.
“Development of the Social Code is a key reform that will direct Georgia towards establishment of effective social welfare management system, including decentralization of provision of social protection. Czech Development Agency is happy to join the forces with Expertise France and move a long-term successful partnership with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to a new level.”, said Mr. Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia.
“By elaborating the Social Code, we aim at creating broader perspective of social welfare. Our goal is to guarantee that Georgian citizens are protected from social risks from childhood to old age. Therefore, relevant healthcare and social protection systems and mechanisms need to be developed. This will be a big step forward towards European and international Standards“, stated Ms. Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
About the project
The project Strengthening Social Protection in Georgia aims at supporting the Government of Georgia and state organizations in improving social services, evidence-based policy making and extending social protection rights. The project will last 24 months with implementing partners Expertise France and Czech Development Agency.
The project will focus on three components. The first component will improve access and delivery of social services and remittances from Social Service Agency (SSA) and at local level. The second component of the project will support better analysis of information and the creation of communication materials around social rights and promotion of social work. The third component will support the Ministry in the elaboration of the social code in extending social rights in Georgia through a collaborative and inclusive process, following evidence-based policy and legislation proposals.
The project is now officially launched and is in its inception phase. The first action of the project will be to identify key policies and strategies for improving delivery and access to social protection services in Georgia.
“Democracy in Georgia is at stake and all actors including Government must act with full responsibility”- Czech Ambassador to Georgia
“Democracy in Georgia is at stake and all actors including Government must act with full responsibility,” said Czech Ambassador to Georgia Petr Mikyska as he publicly condemned the violent events that took place in Tbilisi yesterday.
“Shocked by scenes of violence, attacks on journalists and NGOs offices in Tbilisi. Perpetrators must be brought to justice immediately, Constitutional rights and freedoms restored. Democracy in Georgia is at stake and all actors including Government must act with full responsibility,” the Ambassador tweeted in the aftermath of yesterday's events, that saw tens of people, many among them journalists, physically assaulted by a violent mob protesting against the Tbilisi Pride march.
How does Czech Republic maintain sufficient green areas in the process of growing urbanization? Urban greenery is an integral part of general urban planning there. Czech experts will share the best practice of green urban planning in Czech Republic with Georgian colleagues.
On June 16, 2021, 13:00-15:00, the Embassy of Czech Republic in Georgia is organizing a presentation and a roundtable discussion Green Cities and Urban Planning: Czech Georgian Intersecting Issues, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. The event will be held in the Parliament of Georgia (8 Rustaveli Ave.)
Ms. Maia Bitadze, Chairperson of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee, Parliament of Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Georgia and Mr. Giga Gigashvili, Head of Environmental Protection Unit of Tbilisi City Hall will take part in the discussion. Visiting experts will present Czech normative framework and implementation practices regarding urban planning of Cities Green. Roundtable participants will have a chance to discuss Czech and Georgian current regulatory framework and practice of urban planning and identify intersecting issues for possible future partnerships. Meeting will be conducted in English and Georgian translation will be provided upon necessity.
Press-release Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia
The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Mikheil Sarjveladze hosted the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska to discuss the directions and priorities of the Committee.
"It was an interesting and fruitful meeting. We introduced to the Ambassador the strategy and main directions of our Committee's activities. Special emphasis was placed on the protection of the rights of persons in the occupied territories and, in this regard, the need for important steps in the international arena to force the occupying state and, consequently, the criminal group operating directly in the occupied territories to retreat, for example, in the case of Zaza Gakheladze.
Among other priorities, it is important to ensure the standards set out in the Association Agenda for the protection of human rights, which should be typical of a country with a claim to Europeanness. In this regard, the Ambassador expressed commitment and desire to be involved in this process and participate in planning various joint projects", - M. Sarjveladze commented.
Administration of the Parliament of Georgia
The diplomat expressed the Czech Republic's unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for Georgia's European aspirations.
During the meeting, the Czech Ambassador echoed to Georgia's foreign policy priorities, including the application for EU membership in 2024, noting that full implementation of the Association Agreement in this regard is the right strategy.
The parties underlined the close cooperation between the countries in various fields. For her part, M. Botchorishvili expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Czech Republic to Georgia.
During the meeting, the issue of grasping the DCFTA between Georgia and the European Union was discussed. The sides discussed Georgia's export strategies to the EU and in this regard, and stressed the need for close cooperation between businesses.
M. Botchorishvili and P. Mikyska spoke about the dangers posed by disinformation and hybrid war in Georgia and noted that the support of the EU and partner countries in this direction is very important for the country.
The Chair of the Committee, Nikoloz Samkharadze and the First Deputy, Giorgi Khelashvili held the meeting with the Czech Ambassador, H.E. Petr Mikyska to discuss the Georgia-Czech relations, cooperation priorities and inter-Parliamentary directions.
Georgian MPs informed the Ambassador about the Parliamentary Resolution on Foreign Policy and stressed the foreign priorities jointly developed by the Parliament and Government. As noted, EU integration is one of the top priorities of Georgia and the country is getting gradually ready to apply for EU membership in 2024.
The parties overviewed the domestic political situation in Georgia, democratic reforms, regional security and the pandemic management issues.
The Ambassador expressed intact support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and the foreign policy of the country. As noted, Czech Republic undertakes several important projects in Georgia facilitating the political and economic development of the country.
The parties agreed on cooperation formats and communication ways.
The parties overviewed the political developments in the country and the security situation in the region. The importance of peace and security in the region was emphasized as they pose threats.
“We overviewed the situation in the region and discussed the increased threats and checks and balances imposed by Russia between these two countries especially after the war. We dwelt on the plans concerning the enhanced security of Georgia”, - G. Volski stated.
The meeting was attended by Jana Gašparíková, Deputy Head of Mission of the Czech Republic to Georgia
The Introductory meeting focused on close cooperation between the two countries, including the enhancement of the parliamentary ties in the future.
“We tabled the important projects that the Czech Republic is implementing in different directions in Georgia. Their contribution to the equipment of the Rukhi Hospital is also great. We talked about the opportunities that will help us to make our cooperation even closer, including in the field of agriculture, which in turn will help our manufacturers to explore the European market. The guest expressed a desire to see Georgian agro-industrial products on the Czech market, which is very important for us. This will help Georgian products to enter the European market quickly, so that we do not depend only on the Russian market”, - A. Motserelia remarked after the meeting.
Administration of the Parliament of Georgia