Interviews - Online

Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek

Mirek TopolánekPrime Minister Mirek Topolánek will answer online questions from the Czech and foreign general public in the European chat on 6 January at 15:30.

The chat will be conducted simultaneously in two linguistic versions – in Czech for the local public and in English for readers abroad. The general public as well as media representatives may ask their questions concerning the Czech EU Presidency several hours in advance. After the chat has been closed, the most interesting questions and answers from both linguistic versions will be published in the ’News and Documents’ section on our homepage

The maximum number of questions has already been reached.

Questions and Answers

MARC CHAMPION, 6. 1. 2009, 10:28
Gas supplies from Russia to the Balkans have now been cut entirely. Is this still an entirely commercial bilateral matter? when does the EU need to get tougher, how and with whom? Do you know yet why the Balkan route via Moldova has been cut?
responded to, 6. 1. 2009, 16:01
In this given moment, and based on our previous experience, neither the Czech Republic nor the European Commission wishes to act as an arbitor of this dispute. We are monitoring the situation and try to talk to all key players on both the commercial and political levels. The situation caused by the gas supplies having been stopped in the Balkans, Turkey, Macedonia and Ukraine is serious but not critical. The EU can at this given moment exert both economic and political pressure however it can assume a potential role of a moderator only if both parties agree to it and if it has all necessary information at hand. Medium-term and long-term solution lies in the diversification of supplies, higher guarantees provided on the level of the EU and the supplier themselves, bigger storage capacities, and alternatively substitutes being introduced in the energy mix, which overall translates in ... this very much complies with our key priority in the area of energy security.
karl, 6. 1. 2009, 13:33
Dear Prime Minister, is the Czech Presidency concerned with the impact that the financial crisis can have on development and humanitarian aid? How are the activities foreseen in the EU consensus on humanitarian aid going to be funded?
responded to, 6. 1. 2009, 15:55
I do not think that the economic crisis on the global scale should have any major impact on the humanitarian aid provided by the EU. If this crisis is, more than anything else, the crisis of trust, the tools to repair the situation do not consist in either increasing or decreasing the humanitarian aid. This does not mean that either the UN or other multilateral bodies might not be faced with a situation demanding rapid and immediate action.
Brusselsblogger, 6. 1. 2009, 13:51
It seems the unconditional US support to Israel is the only problem for a temporary stop of the Gaza war. Why is the EU not talking to the US about the middle east crisis? Talking to Israel only doesn't seem to make much sense.
responded to, 6. 1. 2009, 15:36
To twist the question around I would ask the following: what should be done about stopping the bombs being thrown from Gaza on the Israeli territory killing innocent citizens? There are no answers to such questions and the Czech Republic does not have the ambition to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is going on for more than 60 years. The Quartet is the body which is responsible for dealing with this issue. It is composed of the UN, USA, Russian Federation and the EU. Our ambition is to reach a ceasefire in the respective area, to define the conditions which would be acceptable for both sides in order to conclude the ceasefire and with the help of the players composing the Quartet try to stop any military action as soon as possible. As far as the US standpoint on the right of Israel to defend its citizens, this is something I also believe in. Obviously, as far as the scope or the adequate measure of the response is concerned, that is a different question. Thank you for your questions, I am sorry as I have to attend to another assignement. But I will be back soon to continue this interesting chat.
anita, 6. 1. 2009, 14:50
The compromise founds by the members of the European Council, on December 12, 2008, provides that the Irishmen decide again, in October 2009. In the other hand, it is expected that the accession treaty of Croatia comprises a protocol which would modify the number of Police chiefs. It is right, according to you, to take Croatia as an hostage, by associating the treaty of Croatie with a politicking bargaining? It would not be more logical than the treaty accession of Croatia ratified, for then requiring of the Irishmen to decide once again? Will come of France to symbolize the passage of the French presidency to the Czech presidency? And if so, will come with Lucie (Talmanova) ?
laura, 6. 1. 2009, 14:47
You said, at the time of your wishes to the Czechs, whom you think nona ratification of the treaty of Lisbon would not be mortal. Which would be the plan B which you would present, if your country said " no" about the treaty of Lisbon? The plan B proposed by the mayor of Prague, member of your party?
lucie, 6. 1. 2009, 14:45
1.Hello Mister the Prime Minister. My question is the following one : Under the French presidency of UE, is Mr Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, which was with the orders of the European Council. Why is not the same, for the European Czech presidency? Mr Klaus is it not that which must represent the Czech Republic in foreign contries, and thus in the European Authorities ? I think that you are qualified and responsible. This is not a criticism of your person or your competences. I put simply the question by curiosity.
Julien Frisch (http://julienfr, 6. 1. 2009, 14:44
Dear Mr Topolánek, what will the Czech EU-Council Presidency do to raise attention of EU citizens for the European Parliament elections in June? And: Do you plan to make the work of the Council more visible and transparent? If yes, how?
Markus, 6. 1. 2009, 14:39
Dear Prime Minister, what is your position regarding the installation of a US anti-missiles system in Czech territory? Will this affect EU relations with Russia and the role the EU is playing in the Geneva talks co-chaired by the EU, the UN and the OSCE?
Szilvia Kalmár, 6. 1. 2009, 14:21
Dear Mr Prime Minister, Question from Hungarian online media After EU presidency, French diplomacy seems to go it’s own ways, duplicating (if the “troika” would not be enough) EU foreign steps. We can see these moves related to the Gaza aggression (Sarkozy making it’s own Middle East trip), but also in the Russia-Ukraine gas debate, as Gazprom deputy CEO, Alexander Medvedev had talks with French government officials in Paris yesterday. What do you think about the parallel diplomatic actions of Mr. Sarkozy and the French diplomacy? Does this undermine the work of the Presidency or does it strengthen EU actions? Thank you for your answer in anticipation!
ARİF BAR, 6. 1. 2009, 14:16
Dear Mr. President, what sort of policy will you follow on enlargement during your Presidency? After a hard period of French Presidency, how Czech Presidency will approach to Turkey's membership to the EU. Although Turkey has started this EU process long before than Croatia, it is still lag behind it in terms of opened chapters to negotiations. Thanks in advance for your sincere answers.
VG, 6. 1. 2009, 14:07
Dear Mr. Topolánek, Do you think that the Czech Republic still has the will to ban the Communist Party? If so, do you think it is possible, given the recent issue with Turkey attempting to ban the leading party for being non-secular? With many thanks and best wishes into your presidency, I wish you much success.
Reem, 6. 1. 2009, 14:04
Europe had a long and respected history of resistance against occupation and this what made Europe what it is today. Can you please distinguish for us between the resistance of the people of Europe and the resistance of the people of Gaza? And also distinguish for us between Israel and Nazi Hitler so we can better understand the reaction of the EU?
Mohammad, 6. 1. 2009, 14:01
Mr Prime Minister, We all know that a human being with illness needs a medicine with specific amounts. Although the medicine is good for a human an over dose kills him/her. Can you define what is a dose and what is an over dose in the treatment of Israel to the resisting people in Gaza? Doctor Mads Gilbert is a member of a Norwegian triage medical team present in the besieged Gaza Strip reported that the Israelis are using depleted uranium weapons in its war on the impoverished territory which is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, is that a necessary dose? And finally what is the role of the EU in living up to its values, which is proud of, of ensuring justice for people all over the world especially civilians (and even soldiers according to the Geneva convention)?
Lambda, Citoyen, 6. 1. 2009, 13:53
Dear Mr. Topolánek, almost all politicians are telling us these days that the irish will have their second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before october 2009. Somewhere here on the web of the czech presidency, in your answer to the fourth question of the press FAQ, you say this referendum might happen during the czech presidency... Is the czech presidency going to last until december 2009, or is the referendum going to be before the end of june 2009? Thank you for an honest answer.
Marie E., 6. 1. 2009, 13:30
Mr. Prime Minister, what is your position regarding the proposal to send an EU bridging force to DRC?
Louise K, 6. 1. 2009, 13:26
Mr. Prime Minister, what is your position on the proposal of creating an EU operational Headquarters in Brussels to improve the EU crisis management coordination capabilities?
Camille D, 6. 1. 2009, 13:25
Mr. Prime Minister, what is going to change with regards the role of NATO in the EU security architecture during the Czech Presidency?
Peter Smith, 6. 1. 2009, 13:24
Mr. Prime Minister, what specific measures is the Czech presidency going to take to implement the Action Plan of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid? What would be the Czech priorities in this regard?
Sebastian Reyes, 6. 1. 2009, 13:23
Mr. Prime Minister, since the Czech Presidency will focus on cooperation with the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, will this have an impact on the EU development cooperation and crisis management initiatives in other regions such as Africa?
Thomas Risely, 6. 1. 2009, 13:22
How can the E.U. maintain its role as an actor in the Israel Palestine peace process whilst also taking very little stern action against the Israeli state as they embark on an armed conflict that will kill hundreds of innocent people, including children, also bearing in mind that Israel pays very little meaningful attention to internation law because actors that matter in global politics, such as the EU, fail to take action: what action is being taken to reprimand Israel?
J. Caicedo, 6. 1. 2009, 13:21
Mr. Prime Minister, what are going to be the main priorities of the Council working group on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) and when is the first meeting of this working group going to take place?
Adelina Marini, 6. 1. 2009, 13:17
Mr. Prime minister is it now clear who actually stopped the gas for the Balkans and what the EU practically can and will do to solve the problem with the lack of gas in Bulgaria for example?
Peter Josika, Switzerland, 6. 1. 2009, 13:02
Dear Prime Minister Topolanek. In 1945/46 a trgedy occured on Czech territory- the expropriation and expulsion of more than 2.5M native Czech Germans. Most of these people were women, children and old men who had little to do with the preceding War. Why is the Czech Republic sticking to its position to maintain the discriminating Benes Decrees to this day although Sudeten Germans have repeatedly offered a deal whereby no individual Czech would loose his private property? Why are you not putting up bilingual signs in Czech and German in areas were Germans constituted the majority until 1945 in line with European standards on language heritage protection? How can the Czech Republic claim to represent human rights on behalf of the EU if it ignores it's own human tragedy and the continuous displacement of millions of native Bohemians, Moaravians and Silesians? Wouldn't it help the Czechs overcome their Euro-scepticism if they finally dealt with this open issue? I hope you will have the courage to answer this questions.
Peter Smith, 6. 1. 2009, 12:20
Dear Prime Minister, I have one question regarding energy as a priority CZ PRES. It is clear that the liberalisation of energy markets is still not completen in the EU - how do you want to proceed during CZ PRES in this regard?
Zaza, 6. 1. 2009, 12:14
Dear M. Topolanek, you did not mention Human rights as one of your top priorities in the exterior policy and Common security program. However, the fact that today 139 journalists are imprisoned worldwide should deeply concern the EU. For instance, during your mandate, do you plan to ask for the release of the 11 journalists and bloggers that are currently imprisoned in Iran ?
Eldad Beck, "Yedioth Ahro, 6. 1. 2009, 11:09
Mr. Prime Minister, in what ways could the EU contribute to ending the fights between the Hamas and Israel? Should the EU send peace-keeping force to the Gaza-Strip, once the fighting stops? Do you understand Israel´s position at the moment?
luigi offeddu, 6. 1. 2009, 10:58
Mr.Prime Minister, question from the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera: given that the Upm -Union pour le Méditerranée, founded by mr.Sarkozy on last July- has a cooperation structure where Israel and the Arab countries sit together with the Ue Mediterranean countries, would you be ready, as presidente of the EU, to organize a peace and surveillance mission of the same Upm to Gaza, in the event of a ceasefire? Also, a second quick question if I may: the last national poll states that half of the Czech people are still against the Lisbon Treaty, do you agree with them, or how do you plan to overcome this opposition? Thank you very much, best regards. Luigi Offeddu, Corriere della Sera
Karl Mahmood, 6. 1. 2009, 10:35
As a European who is heading up the delegation with the calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Can i ask when will the topic of full scaled sanctions against Israel begin? We know our limitations when discussing Israel as they do what they want. But my question is this, when will all heads of EU states turn to begin decisive action against the Israelis in the form of economic sanctions?
Les Levidow, 6. 1. 2009, 10:22
Prime Minister : When the EU Council decided to upgrade its relations with Israel, this decision gave Israel a green light (even an incentive) to intensify its war crimes against the people of Gaza, following its long blockade of the mass prison that it had created. Questions: Will you accept your share of the responsibility for those war crimes? Why did the EU decision ignore the requirement that Israel respect human rights? As the current EU President, will you publicly advocate withdrawal of the EU decision?
Zach, 6. 1. 2009, 10:12
Mr. Prime Minister - in regards to the economic situation in Europe, is there something that can be learned (and implemented) from the relative strength of the Czech banking system? It seems that not all will be rosy in the next year, but, for now, Czech banks are still able to lend, and the economy will still grow, albeit nominally. How do you intend to address the EU - wide economic crisis, and, specifically, what can the Czechs show Italy and Greece and other spiraling European countries? Thank you.
Raphdy, 6. 1. 2009, 10:12
Dear Sir, thank you for being online. Could tell us what the EU can do in a concrete manner to help finding a solution in the gaz conflict opposing Ukraine and Russia ? Thank you for your answer. Very Best Regards.
Jane Birkby, 6. 1. 2009, 3:51
Good Afternoon Prime Minister Topolanek, I wish to ask you as an ordinary person, whether you will be able to influence the lack of public input on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, given that many nation states have been denied referendums on this most important and far reaching of documents? Also how sustainable, fair, and manageable do you see the enlarged Union, given the many different languages, lifestyles and temperaments of the various members, and their appallingly contemptuous view of the people who they supposedly govern without much consent or support from the demos?
baab, 6. 1. 2009, 2:54
hello Sir, I was very confused to hear that you justify the agression of innocent civilians as defensiv action by zionist colonialist army, you surely forgot the prague srping and how the soviets invaded your country as the zionsit forgot what hitler has done to them to be able today to say such things and for the israelis to do such things wake up please people each day are murdered because of your support ! History will never forgive and forgot your words! They are already in memories of palestinians.
nadim ali, 6. 1. 2009, 1:30
Dear President Can the EU act to stop the savage attack by Israel on the defenceless Palestinian population in Gaza? Thank you for giving this matter your consideration.
George West, 5. 1. 2009, 23:48
British MPs were asked by Edward Heath to vote IN PRINCIPLE for entry into the Common Market He then signed the Treaty of Rome before the terms were revealed to our Parliament. This, coupled with the fact that British people were not consulted about entry although Edward Heath said he would not take us in "without the wholehearted consent of the British public" does this not make the EU undemocratic and without a demos?
Alasdair Smith, 5. 1. 2009, 22:51
Israel in its barbarity towards the Palestinians has shown itself to be willing to act contrary to the norms of civilised society. Has the time now come for the EU to recind trade agreements with Israel permanently?
Anne Palmer, 5. 1. 2009, 22:36
I thank you Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek for the opportunity to ask you a question. Should Lisbon be implemented, without the democratic people having had a say in their new future after Lisbon, where even more EU laws will have to be applied through a full compliment of National Governments and Parliaments, how long do you think Sir, the people of each of the 27 separate Countries will continue to vote and contribute to their present Governments that only instigate about 20 % of their National Laws and the people realising that many of those EU Laws destroys eventually, each Nation State? Will the people of 27 Countries that have been deliberately ignored-including Ireland that has to vote again- be brought closer to the EU by being ignored yet be required or expected to vote in June for MEP's that have put the EU before their own people? Especially in these very 'Credit Credit' crunch times?
Annie Angelopoulou, 5. 1. 2009, 21:20
Have you intercommunicated with the other EU Prime Ministers in order to express your views on the Israeli aggression against Palestinians? If yes, how do you explain the different views of UK Prime Minister and France President?
Fady, 5. 1. 2009, 20:09
I am socked from your views on the Israeli aggression on the palestianian people, Why this view.?Palestine has been occupied by the Jewish state since 1948 more than 5 million palestianian have been thrown out of their land and you dont want people to express resistence. Why Why your unfair opinion.
anita, 5. 1. 2009, 19:30
Hello mister Topolanek !!!! Could you say to us how you " feel" your European mission? Believe to be a solution with the Israelis and the Palestinians about Gaza?
Denis Cooper, 5. 1. 2009, 19:04
It has been suggested by a British MEP [1] that even if each Member State was still allowed to nominate one of its nationals to serve on the European Commission from November 2014* there would eventually have to be a hierarchy of Commissioners, with the clear implication that the Irish citizen on the Commission could never expect to be a senior member: "A Commission of more than 30 members will not work unless a hierarchy is established within the college. Guess whose Commissioner will never be a senior member?" Does the Czech Presidency agree with this suggestion? Or would it consider unacceptable that a person nominated by Ireland, or indeed by any other small Member State, would automatically be assigned an inferior position on the Commission, while a person nominated by the UK, or another of the larger Member States, would automatically be elevated to a senior position? References: [1] * Contrary to the letter of the provisions of Article 4 of Protocol 10 attached to the present treaties [2], and also contrary to the obvious intention of Article 17(5) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon [3]. [2] Pdf page 229 here: [3] Pdf page 13 here:
Tariq Ziyad, 5. 1. 2009, 18:06
Dear Sir Currently, The Israeli government is carrying out a horrendous operation of murder and brutality upon the helpless and defenseless people of Gaza who are desperately in need of emergency aid and a cease to this ruthless attack being carried out on them. We humbly urge you to condemn their actions in the strongest terms and exert political and democratic pressure on Israel to cease from these actions immediately and allow the much needed aid to the people of Gaza

Discussion has ended.