Czech diplomats in Brussels have achieved a number of successes during the first month of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
According to the Presidency, the greatest success was achieved by Czech negotiators at the end of July. They succeeded in negotiating an agreement on gas demand reduction in a record six days from the presentation of the Commission’s proposal. According to the agreement, the fifteen per cent gas savings are only voluntary for now, but they will become mandatory if there is an acute shortage. “The goal of the adopted Council regulation is to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas, which is being used as a weapon to divide the EU-27,” the Presidency says in a statement.
Among others, it notes that under Czech leadership the ambassadors of the Member States approved the seventh sanctions package against Russia that should further weaken Russia economically and thus support Ukraine in its struggle.
In addition, it says that Czech diplomats also succeeded in negotiating a common position by all Member States on the FAST-CARE proposal which aims to further assist EU regions that have received large numbers of refugees from Ukraine or are facing adverse economic impacts due to Russia’s aggression.
The Czech Presidency adds that it will forever be associated with a historic day for the Western Balkans since on 19 July, an intergovernmental conference kicked off accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.
After years of waiting, the two candidate countries can finally start negotiating their respective accession chapters, a major step on their path to the European Community. The integration of the Western Balkans into the EU is one of the priorities of the Czech Presidency, it says.
Source: Cyprus News Agency