Press Advisories

27. 6. 2014 21:15

European Council Backs Juncker, Discusses Ukraine, and Signs Association Agreement

Prime Minister Sobotka attended a meeting of EU 28 and European Council representatives held in Ypres and Brussels on Thursday and Friday 26 and 27 June 2014.

The main topics discussed included the signature of association agreements with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, including deep and comprehensive free trade area treaties (DCFTA). According to an analysis of the impact of the agreement with Ukraine on the Czech Republic published by the Czech Government's Committee for the European Union, the pact will strengthen prosperity, stability, and security in regions along the European Union's borders.

"Today's signing of association agreements with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia underscores the fact that the European Union fully respects the right of the signatories to determine their future, freely and independently. The agreements also improve the prospects of Czech exports to these countries through a multitude of measures that go far beyond the mere elimination of customs barriers," explained Sobotka.

Moreover, the European Council debated the current situation in Ukraine, where the Czech Republic and the European Union as a whole unequivocally supported the peace and stabilization plan of Ukrainian President Poroshenko. Premier Sobotka also mentioned that, if necessary, the Czech Republic would be prepared to take active part in dealing with any emergency following an interruption of gas supplies from Russia. For this reason, it is necessary to accelerate the construction of the necessary infrastructure, particularly the most important projects of common interest and to use EU financing where the circumstances allow.

The Friday meeting culminated by a debate about the nomination of the European Council's candidate for the post of President of the European Commission. The Czech Republic joined other Member States in supporting the candidature of former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker. The European Council has since submitted the proposal to the European Parliament.

"My vote for the candidate for the post of the new President of the European Commission was chiefly motivated by observance of the European electorate's preferences expressed in the recent elections. Jean-Claude Juncker is a true European and an experienced pro-EU politician who has the multitude of skills necessary to cope successfully with the challenges he will face at the helm of the European Commission," said Sobotka.

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