Press Advisories

20. 4. 2015 16:19

Prime Minister Sobotka in intergovernmental consultations: Czech-Polish relations are strategically important

Předseda vlády Bohuslav Sobotka 20. dubna 2015 společně s polskou premiérkou Ewou Kopacz zahájili mezivládní konzultace České a Polské republiky.
On 20 April 2015, Prime Minister Sobotka and his Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz opened intergovernmental consultations between the Czech Republic and Poland.
On Monday 20 April 2015, the Czech Government Office hosted the third round of intergovernmental consultations between the Czech Republic and Poland. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, his Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz, the two countries’ defence, interior, transport and environment ministers, and their deputy industry and agriculture ministers discussed common themes. These consultations have resulted in a joint declaration by the prime ministers, an agreement between the environment ministries, and a memorandum between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Poland.

Topics covered by the intergovernmental consultations

One of the central themes of the intergovernmental consultations was the intensification of cross-border transport infrastructure, in particular the construction of Road R11 in the Hradec Králové Region, the financing of this project with European funds, and the interconnection of this road with the Polish S3 in the border area just beyond Trutnov.

Another important topic was environmental cooperation, with a particular focus on air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region and Poland. The Czech Republic has already channelled a lot of investment into numerous measures contributing to better air quality in this region.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz  also discussed preparations for both countries’ forthcoming presidencies of the Visegrad Group, with the Czech Republic due to preside over the V4 for the 12-month period starting in July 2015, followed in direct succession by Poland in the 2016. The aim of this discussion was to coordinate the central themes of the presidency, as this will pave the way for the more successful championing of common priorities and will ensure their sustainability.

“These intergovernmental consultations show that both countries are keen to nurture mutual relations important in building the Visegrad Group’s future,” said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

The joint talks also touched on areas such as improved Czech-Polish relations in energy security, the interlinking of the two countries’ gas systems, trade and investment, and security and defence cooperation.

Joint Declaration of the Prime Ministers

The intergovernmental consultations have also given rise to a Joint Declaration of the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Poland on the high standard of bilateral relations in all areas, including the highest-level political dialogue, the deepening and expanding parliamentary cooperation, and progress in the shaping and promotion of common interests bilaterally and in Europe at large.

The full text of the joint declaration by the Prime Ministers can be found here: http://www.vlada.cz/assets/media-centrum/aktualne/Spolecne-prohlaseni-predsedu-vlad.pdf

Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Poland on Cooperation in the Field of Water Management relating to Border Waters

This agreement will supersede the current “Convention between the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic and the Government of the Polish People’s Republic on Water Management on Border Waters”, signed on 21 March 1958 and in force since 7 August 1958.

This new agreement has been prompted in particular by political and economic shifts in both countries (such as the fragmentation of the Czechoslovak Republic and both countries’ accession to the European Union), an overhaul of the way border movements are monitored (with both countries having become part of the Schengen area), and climate change.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Economy of Poland

Today’s intergovernmental consultations also saw representatives of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Polish Ministry of Economy sign a memorandum on cooperation in the realm of natural gas, with a view to implementing a Polish-Czech project to interconnect gas systems. The memorandum is a declaration of support for the implementation of the STORK II project, i.e. the construction of a second bidirectional Czech-Polish interconnection which, after 2019, will facilitate the safe and reliable transmission of gas between the two countries. The new interconnection will be part of the Czech and Polish transmission system and will make it possible to increase transmission capacity between the two countries. Bearing in mind the situation in Ukraine, securing a safe and reliable gas supply is a matter of priority.

Prior to today, the most recent intergovernmental consultations with Poland were held in Warsaw in 2013.

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