Archive: European Union | European Union European Union

Czech specialties prove popular in European Parliament canteen

23-03-2009 16:08 | Rosie Johnston

Marks of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency can be found all over Brussels, from David Černý’s controversial sculpture ‘Entropa’ hanging in the council’s Justus Lipsius building, right down to the food on offer in the European Parliament’s canteen. On Thursday, parliament employees were treated to the first in a series of special Czech dishes – I went along to wish them a bon apetit, or should that be dobrou chut’?  More

EU leaders pledge billions for economic revival

20-03-2009 17:03 | Rosie Johnston

Mirek Topolánek, photo: CTK On Friday leaders from around the continent met for the second day of the European Union’s Spring Summit, chaired by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. The Czech EU presidency went into the summit with an ambitious agenda, including the financial crisis, energy security and an Eastern Partnership project that aims to forge closer ties with a number of former Soviet republics.   More

EU leaders gather in Brussels for summit chaired by Czech PM Topolánek

19-03-2009 16:50 | Rosie Johnston

Photo: European Commission Leaders of the European Union are set to begin a two-day meeting in Brussels aimed at agreeing a strategy for tackling the global economic crisis. The meeting’s being chaired by Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek in his capacity as president of the European Council, and the Czech Republic is under a lot of pressure to provide leadership at a time when the EU is suffering from falling production and rising unemployment.  More

Farmers protest about EU agriculture subsidies in Prague

13-03-2009 15:41 | Rosie Johnston

Photo: CTK It wasn’t so much crying as sloganeering over spilt milk in Prague on Thursday, as thousands of farmers gathered to protest about the way the EU distributes farming subsidies. Farmers came from as far away as Lithuania to splatter milk and cereal over the pavements of Prague, angered by the low prices these goods fetched, and the way the European Union financed their production. The Czech agricultural minister responded, however, that there was nothing he could do.   More

EU ministers reach deal on lower VAT rate on certain goods & services

11-03-2009 16:32 | Jan Velinger

Joaquin Almunia, Miroslav Kalousek, Laszlo Kovacs (left to right), photo: CTK After years of wrangling on the issue, EU finance ministers on Tuesday agreed on a deal partly unifying VAT rates, allowing individual countries to reduce value-added sales tax on some goods and services. The move comes against the backdrop of the continuing economic crisis, which has left many businesses struggling. Soon they could be somewhat better situated to weather the downturn.   More

The Prague festival offering passers-by a taste of Europe

06-03-2009 16:45 | Rosie Johnston

Photo: CTK The Committee of the Regions of Europe is meeting in Prague this Friday for what is the largest-scale event of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. To accompany the conference, a festival promoting the food and drink of various European regions is taking place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. ‘Ochutnejte Evropu’ offers passers-by tasters of French wine, Belgian beer and a musical programme as well. Rosie Johnston was at the opening:   More

One third of way through, how is Czech presidency of EU going?

03-03-2009 16:38 | Ian Willoughby

Mirek Topolánek, photo: CTK We are now one third of the way through the Czech Republic’s six-month rotating presidency of the EU. Between the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and the gas supply dispute between Russia and Ukraine, the presidency got off to a dramatic start, while the global financial crisis remains the major issue of the day. But how has Prague actually been handling the presidency so far? That’s a question I put to Petr Drulák of the Institute for International Relations.   More

Czech premier Mirek Topolánek leads call for EU core values

02-03-2009 16:49 | Chris Johnstone

José Manuel Barroso, Mirek Topolánek (right), photo: CTK Three of the European Union’s top leaders made heartfelt calls in Prague today for the world’s biggest economic and trading power not to turn its back on its basic values under pressure from the world financial crisis. Czech Premier, Mirek Topolánek, EU President, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU’s Economic Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, were in the Czech capital for a conference to discuss the success and lessons learnt from the EU’s biggest ever enlargement five years ago.   More

Schwarzenberg’s “terrible traffic” quip fuels speculation of April 4-5 Obama visit

27-02-2009 17:42 | Rob Cameron

Barack Obama, photo: CTK The papers are awash with speculation that Air Force One could be touching down in Prague in a few weeks’ time, as President Barack Obama prepares to visit the Czech Republic. The word on the street is that President Obama will stop off in Prague following the NATO summit in France and Germany at the beginning of April, for an informal meeting with leaders of the European Union.   More

Klaus steps into lion’s den with speech attacking “democratic deficit” in EP

19-02-2009 15:24 | Rob Cameron

Václav Klaus, photo: CTK The Czech president Václav Klaus addressed the European Parliament on Thursday morning, in a keenly-anticipated appearance that disappointed neither the president’s critics, nor his supporters. Eurosceptic MEPs rose to their feet and applauded as Mr Klaus attacked the “democratic deficit” that he said plagued the European Union, while pro-integration parliamentarians booed, whistled, and even walked out.   More

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