From July 1st 2022 until December 31st 2022, The Czech Republic completed their second presidency of the Council of the European Union. It was after 13 years that the country assumed the presidency, the previous one took place in 2009.
As a part of the presidency, the country had set 5 primary goals:
- Managing the refugee crisis and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine
- Energy security
- Strengthening European defence capabilities and cybersecurity
- Strategic resilience of the European economy
- The resilience of democratic institutions.
The presidency ended with great success with some of the achievements from different sectors including:
- Coordinated measures taking place to ensure a sufficient supply of gas for the 2022/2023 winter season
- Coordinated EU external relations by offering support to Ukraine and supporting Ukraine, Moldova, the Western Balkan countries and Georgia in their aspiration to become EU countries
- Introduced the ‘Fit for 55’, which is a package of 13 legislative proposals in the areas of climate, energy and transport which were approved within the 6 months
- Agreed regulations of any products containing soy, beef, coffee, palm oil, wood and rubber are produced without leading to deforestation and forest degrading, with companies having to prove this otherwise these products cannot be traded
- Protection of Ukrainian refugees as a result of the war in Ukraine with dialogue established with Ukrainian authorities
- Launched negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, on the topic of EU accession
- Approving the European budget for 2023
- Supporting Ukraine by sending €18 billion to support the functioning of essential services and infrastructure in the country
- Adopting an EU-wide policy on cancer screening and setting a standard for early cancer detection
- Ensuring access to quality education, including access to digital technologies for education in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
“There is no doubt that the Czech Presidency has been extremely successful, despite a very difficult situation. We can be proud of our country. It has been a challenging six months, but our Presidency has done a tremendous amount of good work. A big thank you goes out to all our colleagues from the ministries, the Permanent Representation in Brussels, and many other people who contributed. Since the beginning, we had to deal primarily with the consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, which has brought about an energy and refugee crisis. We faced all the challenges and stood up to them. At the European level, the key thing is that we ensured a sufficient energy supply, reduced energy consumption, and agreed to cap gas prices. This has demonstrated that Europe is able to tackle big challenges quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, as one. It is a very positive finding,”
– Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka.
With the Czech presidency ending, as of January 2023, the presidency will move to Sweden. We wish them the best of luck!
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