Press Releases

23. 3. 2007 10:52

Press Release of prime Minister

Statement on the drafting of the Berlin Declaration

Mirek TopolánekPrime Minister of the Czech Republic
Mirek T o p o l á n e k

Statement on the drafting of the Berlin Declaration
In view of the recurrent misinterpretations of the Czech Government’s position regarding the drafting of the Berlin Declaration, I deem it necessary to make the following statement:
The Czech Government did not send any official complaint to the German presidium. On 19th March, after consultation with President Václav Klaus, I only replied – through Jan Zahradil acting as my intermediary - to the letter of Uwe Corsepius, representative of the German Federal Chancellor, in order to communicate the position of the Czech Government on the Declaration. My reply included three points:

1. I informed the German side that the Czech Republic will be represented by President Václav Klaus at the signing of the Berlin Declaration. At the same time, I expressed my regret at the absence of an open discussion on this document, as well as at the fact that we have not yet received its full text. As a result, the Czech Government will not be able to take any official standpoint. The Czech position cannot be formulated until we receive the complete text, for instance during the discussions of the Council of the European Union in Berlin. I also expressed the hope that the discussions concerning the European Constitution will be conducted in a different way.

2. I expressed my surprise at the fact that according to (so far unofficial) information, the Declaration is to be signed only by German Chancellor Ms. Merkel, President of the European Commission Barros and Speaker of the European Parliament Pöttering – which we would probably take to mean that the German presidency accepts full responsibility for the text of the Declaration, and it is up to the EU member states, including the Czech Republic, how they will interpret it.

3. In connection with point 2, I informed the German presidium that in case the Declaration includes a statement to the effect that by the elections to the European Parliament in 2009, the foundations upon which the EU stands are to be restored, we will not interpret such statement as an explicit or implicit commitment relating to the constitutional process. On behalf of the Czech Republic, I also expressed the wish that the text of the Declaration do not contain any specific date at all.

I deem it necessary to add that the participation of President Václav Klaus in the session of Council of the European Union was decided upon long beforehand, on the basis of our mutual agreement stipulating that in the first half of this year the Prime Minister would attend two summits of executive character and the President the ceremonial summit in Berlin. This division of competences is based on the Constitution, and has been the usual practice of previous governments, too. At the working dinner in the course of the latest meeting of the EU Council in Brussels, I informed the heads of the delegations present that as regards the Czech Republic, the Berlin Declaration would be signed by its President Václav Klaus.

print article   email   facebook   twitter