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20. 10. 2017 20:03

The EU has supported Tusk’s plan for EU reform; the negotiations on the EU’s future will be in the hands of the leaders of the member states

The European Council in session in Brussels, 20th October 2017. Source: the European Union
The European Council in session in Brussels, 20th October 2017. Source: the European Union
During the second day of the European Council meeting, the heads of state and prime ministers devoted themselves to the future of the EU and the departure of Great Britain from the EU. The Chairman of the European Council Donald Tusk presented a plan for future steps in EU reform within the framework of the discussions on the future of European integration. European statesmen also stated today that sufficient progress had not yet been made in the Brexit negotiations.

“I supported Chairman Tusk’s proposed plan for further steps in the EU reform process. Europe must make decisions more effectively and quickly,” said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in summary.

The key priority for the Czech Republic is strengthening the unity of the Union so that we can participate in the decision-making about everything which affects us. The decision-making on the future of the EU must take place in the format of all the member states at the European Council. The first fundamental step will be the December summit on the future of the Eurozone. The Czech government has succeeded in previous months in pushing through the key priorities of security and prosperity and the Czech Republic will continue to be active in discussions on the formation of the future form of the EU.

Discussions on Brexit were held at the conclusion of October’s European Council. The European Council confirmed that sufficient progress had not been made in the negotiations on the withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU. “We must mainly reach an agreement on the question of the rights of EU citizens, the standing of Northern Ireland and the financial settlement,” stated Prime Minister Sobotka.

The leaders of the EU27 also resolved the transfer of several EU agencies from Great Britain today. The Czech Republic is a candidate for the resettlement of the European Banking Authority (EBA). It is of importance to the Czech Republic that at least one of the agencies should be located in a new member state in the spirit of geographical balance. For this reason, the Czech Republic has also supported the candidacy of Slovakia for the relocation of the European Medicines Agency. The final decisions will be taken on the basis of a vote in November.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has been in Brussels since Wednesday when he attended a dinner of the Prime Ministers from the Visegrad Group with the Chairman of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Yesterday morning, he had breakfast with the Czech members of the European Parliament and he participated at the first session of the European Council, at which the EU leaders decided to continue their support for African countries and to further strengthen European defence cooperation.

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