|Miloš Zeman (Party of Civic Rights, since January 2013)
Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democratic Party, since 2013)
|Size||78,866 km2 (30,450 sq mi)|
|MEPs||21 (Joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
20-21 October 2017
|Presidency of the Council||July – December 2022|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||29 September 2016, by phone|
|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 Sobotka said on Brexit||24 June 2016
Britain leaving “is not the end of the world and above all not the end of the European Union.”
Britain has decided to take “a different road than European integration. This decision is serious and irreversible.”
29 September 2016
“The Czech government finds it unacceptable to see Czechs attacked because of their origin and being treated as second-class citizens,”“Therefore I asked the British prime minister … to let me know what measures her government will adopt to stop these hateful attacks.”
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.”
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.”
|Czech Republic’s priorities||Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced on 2 May his Government would resign to resolve a dispute with Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, founder of the popular anti-establishment ANO movement. On 4 May he postponed the resignation and fired Babiš on 24 May, putting an end to the government crisis that threatened to collapse the ruling coalition only months before the election. Babiš had been accused of using tax-free bonds and EU subsidies for his own company.
The Government’s main priority is to revive economic growth following the country’s longest recession on record.
The PM also wants to play a bigger role in EU politics and aims to create conditions conducive to the adoption of the euro. However, Andrej Babiš and his centrist ANO party, currently leading in the polls running up to October’s election, have 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.
The Czech Government also wants to continue to fight all forms of corruption.
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