The Czech Republic Wants to Join the EU Fiscal Pact

Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek acknowledges his country’s readiness for EU integration

07/03/2014 | 12:30 - 14:00 | Berlin Rauchstr. Berlin 10787 | Members only

Speech

Category: Europe, European Union

The top candidates in this May's European elections should be doing more than just running on behalf of their own parties, said Foreign Minister Zaorálek during his talk at the DGAP. They must initiate a far-reaching discussion about the future of the European Union. Zaorálek, who took up his post this January, stressed that the Czech administration is in favor of encouraging mutual trust among all European actors. Speech (in English) available in the link below.

The new Czech government was announced in late January, three months after parliamentary elections signaled a leftward shift in the Czech Republic. It consists of social democrats (CSSD), Christian democrats (KDS), and members of the economically liberal protest party (ANO) headed by Andrej Babis. The new administration is decidedly in favor of EU integration. Zaorálek, a social democrat, noted that the new administration of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) would like the Czech Republic to join the EU Fiscal pact. Stabilizing the EU’s economic and monetary situation is of “highest priority” to the Czech Republic. Moreover, the new administration wants to do everything it can to join the euro zone before its four-year term is out.

The foreign minister also addressed the current developments in Ukraine. The Czech Republic, he said, has a major interest in seeing a peaceful solution to the conflict, not only because it cultivates important economic ties to Ukraine but also because of the very rich cultural past it shares with the country and because of the the sizeable Ukrainian minority that resides in the Czech Republic. Zaorálek assured his listeners of his interest in finding a European solution to the Ukraine crisis and stressed that a strong European external action policy was necessary to achieve this end.

Zaorálek has been part of his country’s political life for many years, first as a co-founder of the civil society movement in November 1989, as a member of Czech parliament since 1996. Matters of foreign policy have long been an area of expertise, and he has headed his party’s foreign policy committee since 1998.

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