Press Advisories

13. 5. 2013 23:35

Prime Minister: Czech – Polish relations are excellent

At the invitation of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk Prime Minister Petr Nečas today took part in Czech-Polish inter-governmental consultations in Warsaw.

As part of inter-governmental consultations, representatives from the Czech Republic and Poland discussed the economic relations of the two countries, the issues of transport and energy infrastructure and collaboration within the European Union and the Visegrad group.

The Czech Prime Minister was accompanied on his trip to Poland by Minister of Defence Vlastimil Picek, Minister of Transport Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister of Agriculture Petr Bendl, Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovský, Secretary of State for European Affairs Vojtěch Belling and Deputies from the Finance, Interior, Trade and Industry and Environment Ministries.

On 13th May 2013, Prime Minister Petr Nečas visited Warsaw at the invitation of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

In the words of the Czech Prime Minister the holding of inter-governmental consultations is an indication of the excellent level of relations and of the close partnership between the Czech Republic and Poland. “I see our meeting today as a continuation of the strategic dialogue which we initiated during the visit of the Prime Minister and his Ministers to Prague in July 2011”, said Prime Minister Nečas.

Prime Minister Nečas pointed out the cultural affinity of the two nations, intense contacts between them at all levels and the growing level of economic collaboration. “These natural and spontaneous links are the basis for dynamic growth in relations in other areas. For example, for the Czech Republic Poland is a very significant trading partner – our foreign trade with it is our third largest immediately after Germany and Slovakia”, Petr Nečas stated.

We have joint interests in the energy sector

The energy question was also one of the topics in the discussion between the Prime Ministers in view of the upcoming European Council summit, which will focus on this very issue. According to Prime Minister Nečas both countries are very close on these questions. “It is in the interests of countries like Poland and the Czech Republic to complete the joint energy market. It is essential, for example, to continue diversification not only of sources of gas, but also of delivery routes. The Czech Republic has set out down this path in a systematic fashion, and out of the new member states was one of those that was least affected by the so-called gas crisis at the start of 2009”, the Czech Prime Minister noted.

Czech-Polish collaboration in the area of energy security is also closely related to this subject. The Czech Republic and Poland are linked by a number of joint interests arising for example from the importance to them of oil and gas supplies from the East. “Together with Poland we support the Nabucco and North-South Link projects. We have successfully completed the Czech-Polish gas connector, and want an identical connector with Austria in order to continue the North-South Link and to have terminals for liquified gas operating on the both the Baltic and Adriatic coasts. In this way we will diversify both delivery routes and sourcing”, said Prime Minister Nečas.

The Czech Prime Minister was accompanied on his trip to Poland by Minister of Defence Vlastimil Picek, Minister of Transport Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister of Agriculture Petr Bendl, Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovský.

The Eastern Partnership and collaboration with the Visegrad group

The joint European topics for both countries also include the question of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership. Petr Nečas stressed the Czech Republic’s interest in developing cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and the western Balkans. “It is in the interest of countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland that the Eastern Partnership be a vital political project. Our countries are trying to impart a new impulse to the Eastern Partnership. This Partnership must remain a full part of European neighbour policy”, the Prime Minister stated. He did however note that in the case of, for example, Belarus, mutual collaboration has its limits. “There exist areas of economic relations where there will definitely be no mutual trade. In Belarus it is essential to support the structures of civic society and to encourage independence of the media. I am convinced that we must express our support for human rights in Belarus”, he emphasised. However in his words there is no point in artificially limiting trade relations with Belarus, “this would lead to further economic problems, particularly for ordinary Belarussians”, Petr Nečas added.

According to the Czech Prime Minister, collaboration within the Visegrad grouping is also a significant dimension to Czech-Polish relations. “Our countries have an interest in the European Union improving its competitiveness at a global level. So from this point of view we have a whole series of joint interests. When we succeed in coordinating these within the Visegrad Four, then usually we are also able to promote them very effectively at the European level also”, said Prime Minister Nečas.

On the question of the common market for the Visegrad group and the whole of the European Union the Czech Prime Minister restated the Czech Republic’s long-term position: “We are proponents of the most liberal possible market for goods and services throughout the European Union. We have always been among those who have demanded the maximum liberalisation of the internal market. We wish to complete the single market for services and energy, because therein lies enormous growth potential for our economies”, Petr Nečas stated.

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