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The Czech Republic takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU from France

(This article expired 31.07.2023 / 12:25.)

The Czech Republic took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU from its French counterparts on 1 July 2022. In the second half of this year, the Czech diplomacy and all state institutions will be tasked with promoting the political and sectoral priorities approved by the government. At the same time, the Czech Presidency will be tasked with contributing as much as possible to the implementation of the key tasks on the current EU agenda. On the occasion of the handover of the symbolic baton, the Embassy in Sofia prepared a symbolic lighting of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia in the colours of the Czech flag, and on 1 July Ambassador L. Kaucký officially presented the Presidency priorities to his colleagues from the EU and partner countries, as well as to representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other guests.

The Czech Republic's historic second Presidency of the Council of the EU (the first took place in 2009 before the signing of the Lisbon Treaty) began on 1 July 2022, taking over the baton from the previous French Presidency.

On this occasion, the Embassy in Sofia prepared a symbolic lighting of the National Palace of Culture in the city centre in the colours of the Czech flag on the eve of 30 June, and a day later Ambassador L. Kaucký presented the Presidency priorities to the Heads of Mission of the EU Member States and partner countries in Bulgaria. The official guest of the event was Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria V. Petrova, who, together with Ambassador of France F. Robine and the Head of the European Commission Representation in Sofia, T. Kyulanov, evaluated the results of the French Presidency and wished the Czech Republic well in the next six months.

The Czech Government agreed on the priorities of the Czech Presidency and Prime Minister Petr Fiala presented them to the public on 15 June 2022, together with the motto of the Czech Presidency: 'Europe as a task'. This statement was published in an essay of the same name by the first President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, in 1996. The motto of the Czech Presidency is thus a public declaration of Václav Havel's legacy and a reminder that we all need to constantly work towards a modern and functioning Europe. The motto expresses a commitment to strengthening common freedom, responsibility, security and prosperity.

The EU2022.CZ brand is based on the logo of the first Czech Presidency of the EU Council in 2009. It is based on its foundations, but at the same time its design looks to the future and reflects the current development of graphic design. The brand consists of a graphic emblem and a text part. The graphic symbol contains a total of 27 elements representing an equal number of EU Member States. Each element is based on the colours of the flag of a particular Member State, replacing the two-letter abbreviations present in the original 2009 Presidency identity. At the same time, the shape of each element is a stylized form of a compass arrow, which refers to the complementary motif of the original Presidency logo - a map composed of the abbreviations of the EU Member States. The homogeneous emblem composed of several elements reflects the motto of the European Union "United in diversity".

The overall objective of the Czech Presidency is to contribute as much as possible to creating the conditions for the EU's security and prosperity in the context of the European values of freedom, social justice, democracy, the rule of law and environmental responsibility. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has brought about the need for a fundamental reassessment of the EU's priorities and has significantly influenced the preparation of the Czech Presidency's priorities. The Czech Presidency will address pressing security issues, while continuing to pursue the sets originally set out, such as the green and digital transformation of the EU economy.

The political priorities of CZ PRES are divided into five cross-cutting flagship areas. They aim to respond to current challenges while pursuing the EU's long-term objectives:

1. Managing the refugee crisis and post-war reconstruction in Ukraine: supporting Ukraine's sovereignty by all available means, promoting EU solidarity, efficiency and flexibility in dealing with migration-related issues, achieving consensus on granting EU candidate status to Ukraine and contributing to its economic recovery and stability.
2. Energy security: reducing energy dependence on authoritarian regimes such as Russia, diversifying resources across the REPowerEU, mitigating the negative social and economic impact of high energy prices.
3.    Strengthening European defence capabilities, including cyber security: promoting security and defence cooperation with NATO, implementing the Strategic Compass, fostering better intra-EU cooperation and strengthening EU industrial capabilities in strategic areas.
4. Strategic resilience of the EU economy: reducing dependence on hostile regimes, strengthening self-sufficiency and deepening the internal market of democratic states, accelerating digitalisation and adapting free market rules to these developments.
5.    Resilience of democratic institutions: safeguarding the values of democracy and the rule of law, media freedom, transparency, open dialogue with citizens (including follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe) - online and offline.


CZ PRES 2022 priority