Interviews - Online

Post your questions for Alexandr Vondra

Alexandr VondraCzech Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra will answer your questions on Friday, 13 Febuary at 14:00 online in the European chat. You can start posting your questions concerning the Czech Presidency several hours in advance. After the chat is closed, the most interesting questions and answers from both language versions will be published in the ’News and Documents’ section on The chat is conducted simultaneously in two language versions – in Czech  for the local public and in English for readers abroad. Czech and English questions appear only in their respective language versions. To read all the questions answered by Alexandr Vondra, open both chat versions.

Questions and Answers

Svetlana Jovanovska, 13. 2. 2009, 11:01
Dear M. Vondra, I am journalist for the Macedonian daily Dnevnik and would like to ask you the following question. In the last months we witness bilateral disputes jeopardizing EU enlargement towards the Western Balkans, namely the dispute between Greece and Macedonia and Slovenia and Croatia. What EU could do to prevent this kind of behaviour of the member states which put in danger the way EU functions? Could the Lisbonne Treaty bring more clarity in this tendency of the countries to block aspirants? Thank you for your answer
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 16:33
Dear Svetlana, I remember we had a similar problem with Austria when we were negotiating our EU accession. At that time we had to face the problem regarding the Temelín nuclear power plant. It is sad that sometimes the strategic decisions of top importance, like EU enlargement, become victims of particular bilateral disputes. It is a pity. But because those strategic issues are subject to unanimity in the EU, there is no other way than to bring the parties of the dispute to the negotiating table and fix the problem. We are trying to do this with Slovenia and Croatia right now, and the same goes for Greece and FYROM.
Marko Vesovic, Podgorica, 13. 2. 2009, 11:25
Dear Mr Vonda Is it possible that application of Montenegro for candidacy status do not get on the agenda of Council of EU in time of your presidency? If so, please, tell me why? Thank you so much and all the best Marko
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 16:32
Dear Marko, we strongly believe that we will find consensus in the Council to ask the Commission for assessment of Montenegro’s candidacy status. We don’t see any reason to delay this process.
Jon Thyssen, Copenhagen, 13. 2. 2009, 12:36
Dear Mr Vondra, the Czech EU presidency, Czech foreign policy and yourself is often considered as being constantly keen on human rights issue. How do you suppose this effort (being often straight and outspoken) and general EU HR policy (being rather cautious) to be ballanced during the proposed EU-China summit negotiations at spring? Or is the Presidency intending to avoid the topic? Thank you kindly.
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 16:31
Dear Jon, we are convinced that human rights should be on the agenda of the EU-China meetings. And the same should be true for the upcoming Summit. We did it as Czechs; we should do it as Europeans also.
Edvin Peçi, Tirana, 13. 2. 2009, 12:39
Dear Mr. Vondra! I am a journalist for Vision Plus television in Albania. The debate about the lustration law here in Albania has become the cause of the day. Yesterday, the ambassador of the Czech Republic in Tirana, mrs. Marketa Fialkova, gave us her opionion, also in the name of the Czech Government. I wanted to ask you for an opionion of the Presidency of the EU. How far can influence these lustration law to the european integration of Albania? Thank you.
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 16:31
Dear Edvin, the EU expressed its opinion on Albania’s lustration law at the CoE meeting in Brussels yesterday. As I understand your lustration did not enter into force yet and I believe that before it does your government should engage in consultations with the EU, the OECD and the Council of Europe.
Michalis Katopodis, Athens, 13. 2. 2009, 10:07
Mr. President, Do you agree with those claiming that the french auto bailout violates the EU rules of protectionism?
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 16:30
Dear Michalis, It is up to the European Commission to guard the rules of the game on the internal market including state aid and fair competition. We are waiting for the opinion of the European Commission.
Kostas Bitsikokos, Athens, 13. 2. 2009, 10:02
Dear Mr. Vondra. Do you agree in giving the European citizens financial incentives, in order to deregister their old cars and, at the same time, buy new that pollute less?
responded to, 13. 2. 2009, 14:45
Dear Kostas, it can contribute to less polution if the scrapping schemes are designed in a way to support purchasing of the new cars with less emissions. As far as I know, this is the way taken by most of those countries where the car renewal schemes were established.

Discussion has ended.