Speeches

20. 1. 2017 22:45

Prime Minister Sobotka: Our relations with Germany are excellent today

The signing of the Czech-German Declaration on Mutual Relations and their Future Development is viewed as one of the seminal moments in Czech-German relations. The Declaration prompted the closure of certain historical issues and paved the way for the development of cooperation and the building of mutual trust. It also gave rise to the Czech-German Fund for the Future, aimed at promoting projects that will bring the inhabitants of both countries closer together and thus help to intensify interpersonal contact.

Likewise, the Declaration laid the groundwork for a Czech-German Discussion Forum, devised to encourage dialogue between Czechs and Germans, which involves all social groups seeking to strengthen relations between the two countries. As the signing of the Declaration reaches its 20-year milestone, the Czech and German Governments agreed to continue the work of the Czech-German Fund for the Future, with the Czech Republic releasing a financial contribution of CZK 270 million and the Federal Republic of Germany EUR 25 million for this purpose.

The Czech Government has always earnestly sought to foster sound neighbourly relations and sterling cross-border cooperation. These days, we enjoy exceptional relations with Germany as a strategic partner with whom we collaborate within the EU and NATO. We are intensifying our mutual cooperation in various fields on the strength of Czech-German strategic dialogue. This is far from limited to interstate relations – when I think of our relations, I do not mean communication between officials and diplomats. Recently, for example, joint activities have progressed auspiciously in science and research, and Czech and German police units also cooperate highly efficiently. We are nurturing relations in earnest with Bavaria and Saxony as our two neighbouring federal German states.

On both sides of the border, we are working to improve transport links, as this is a priority for citizens and companies alike from the two countries. This is because Germany has long been our most significant trading partner and largest foreign investor, so efficient transport is vital for both economies.

Looking to the future, Germany will be central to the competitiveness of our economy, partly because it is ushering in industrial digitisation. Without a shadow of doubt, Germany, as our neighbour, is one of the Czech Republic’s key foreign partners. I am convinced that today’s relations between the Czech Republic and Germany can serve both as a symbol of European cohesion and as an inspiration for other countries across Europe.

Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

print article   email   facebook   twitter