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4. 9. 2017 22:19

The Czech and Slovak governments meet at the Lednice Chateau, where they discuss anniversary celebrations in 2018

The fifth joint meeting of the Czech and Slovak governments was held at Lednice Chateau on 4 September 2017.
The fifth joint meeting of the Czech and Slovak governments was held at Lednice Chateau on 4 September 2017.

At Lednice Chateau, the fifth joint meeting of the Czech and Slovak Governments took place on Monday, 4 September 2017. Ministers under the leadership of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico discussed joint anniversaries for the year 2018 on co-operation in the field of road and railway infrastructure, topical European issues and security. 

In 2018, the Czech and Slovak Republics will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia, the 50th anniversary of the so-called Prague Spring and the 25th anniversary of the creation of the modern statehood of both republics. Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, also spoke with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico about the preparation of joint celebrations and commemorations of these anniversaries. At the same time, Prime Minister Sobotka considers these anniversaries as an opportunity to consolidate mutual relations and to show other countries that states can split up in peace.

The Czech and Slovak Governments also discussed European issues, particularly in the light of the future of the EU and the participation of both countries in the integration core. Today’s meeting also dealt with the European problem of dual food quality, the removal of which the Czech Republic and Slovakia intensively work both bilaterally and within the Visegrad Group.

Next year, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic will chair two of the three most important UN bodies, CR will chair the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and SR will chair the United Nations General Assembly, which will be another opportunity to promote common goals and values.

The individual members of the Czech Government, together with their Slovak counterparts, also talked to sectoral themes. An important point of discussion was the development of railway infrastructure in the form of fast railways in the Central European region, which is also one of the priorities of the Slavkov format. The motorway D49 Hulín - Horní Lideč - the state border, which will be connected by the Slovak highway R6 to Púchov, will be one of the important road links. This will connect the Czech and Slovak D1 highways.

In the field of defence cooperation, members of the government discussed primarily the protection of airspace. The crucial step was the signing of the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on cooperation in mutual protection of airspace at the beginning of this year. After the completion of the ratification process in the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the treaty could enter into force by the end of 2017. Other topics of the Prime Minister's talks were the fight with hybrid threats or the V4 training mission in the Baltics.

Bilateral issues discussed also included a cross-border co-operation programme, which has already supported 76 projects for almost 40 million euros, as well as labour market issues and labour shortages.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico adopted a joint declaration, in which they declared their interest in further deepening the mutual relations between the Czech and Slovak Republics in all areas of common interest and identifying new areas of cooperation, including in the European agenda, defence and security, transport or in the area of ​​the interior.

On the occasion of the joint session, the Memorandum on Cooperation between the National Museum in Prague and the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava was also signed in connection with the preparation of the joint anniversary events in 2018, which are currently jointly preparing the Czech-Slovak / Slovak-Czech Exhibition 2018 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, as well as the joint declaration of the Directors General of the Czech Radio and Radio and Television of the SR. The Ministers of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic signed a memorandum on the Slovak-Czech Consultation Committee for Puppetry as an element of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The two countries alternate in their joint sessions, the last time the meeting took place in Bratislava on 26 September 2016. The Czech Republic also holds intergovernmental consultations with the Polish and Israeli governments.

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