|Miloš Zeman (Party of Civic Rights, since January 2013)
Andrej Babiš (ANO party, since December 2017)
|Size||78,866 km2 (30,450 sq mi)|
|MEPs||21 (Joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||July – December 2022|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||24 October 2018|
|Brexit priorities||Following the murder of a 31-year-old Czech in London, the Czech Government’s priority is to protect its citizens living in the UK. The authorities put the number of its citizens working in Britain at 37,000.
The Czech Government has said it will play in active role in the negotiations to secure a good trade agreement that will not harm exports to the UK or endanger Czech jobs. Prague has been clear however that it fully agrees with the European Commission that a trade deal will only be negotiated after a divorce settlement is concluded.
|What the Mr Babiš said on Brexit||Mr Prouza, the Czech Secretary for European Affairs on 9 February 2017
Responding to Theresa May’s comments on EU immigration, he said “Time and time again, numbers have shown that EU citizens contribute more to Britain’s economy than they take out. Even so, this alternative fact, or let’s call it what it is — a lie, once again re-surfaced in Theresa May’s speech. Let’s move beyond such tactics and build our new relationship on facts and respect, not populism and lies.”
Former PM Bohuslav Sobotka on 30 March 2017
“We would like for future relations between Britain and Europe to exist in such a way as to not threaten our exports to the UK, and for Czech jobs not to be threatened. So that is the spirit in which we intend to negotiate, and the Czech Republic certainly plans to take a very active role in the negotiations.”
“I think that it is crucial for all of Europe to preserve cooperation in defence matters. We must not forget that although the UK is leaving the European Union, it is not leaving Europe.”
Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek on 30 March 2017
“I absolutely disagree with those statements suggesting ‘now we will make life tough for Britain’. Because we need the best economic, political, strategic and defence relationship with the UK. Besides, the EU should not be held together on the basis of threats about what happens if you leave, but rather by the positives, and the things that make membership of the EU feel like a definite.”
20 September 2018
“For Europe, it’s a very bad situation that the U.K. is leaving.”
|Czech Republic’s priorities||The Czech Republic held elections on 20-21 October 2017, which billionaire Andrej Babiš and his anti-establishment ANO party won, taking almost 30% of the votes. The party fell short of a majority, however, and lost a vote of confidence in the Parliament to rule with a minority government. The ANO party then agreed to form a coalition with the Social Democrats (ČSSD), thought still needed the support Communist party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) to get support from Parliament. This led to demonstrations across the country, as people were against the rehabilitation of a communist party.
PM Babiš has been accused of using tax-free bonds and EU subsidies for his own company. He denies the charges, which he has called politically motivated. The Czech police asked the parliament to lift his parliamentary immunity so that he can be prosecuted.
The Government’s main priority is to revive economic growth following the country’s longest recession on record. During the election campaign the ANO party said that the Czech Republic should not adopt the euro.
The Czech Government is currently at odds with the European Commission over the EU’s refugee relocation scheme. The Czechs have announced they will no longer take in any refugees from Italy or Greece due to security concerns. The European Commission is now thinking about imposing sanctions
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