Motto: „Europe without Barriers“
The Czech Republic took over the rotating EU presidency from France on
January 1st for a six month term that will involve dealing with pressing
issues such as the global economic crisis and renewed conflict in the
For a relatively new member of the 27-member bloc, bearing responsibility
for the functioning of the Council of Europe presents a big challenge. It
entails organizing and chairing around three hundred events on various
levels. The presiding country also represents the Council of Europe at
sessions of the European Parliament, the European Commission and various
institutions outside the European Union.
Important decisions lie ahead as regards the functioning of the 27-member
block: elections will take place in June to the European Parliament, while
the mandate of the European Commission is due to expire. On top of all
this, the fate of the Lisbon treaty hangs in the balance.
The Czech motto for the EU presidency is “Europe without Barriers” and
the country has outlined a number of priorities: supporting competitiveness
and a liberal trade policy, opening a European debate on nuclear safety,
accentuating particular foreign policy and security issues such as the
development of transatlantic relations, the Western Balkans and Eastern
Europe, and helping to mediate a consensus on the future EU budget.
Radio Prague will of course be covering various aspects of the historic
first Czech EU presidency.