On Friday afternoon Prime Minister Babiš is to hold talks with Austrian
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna. The two heads of cabinet are to
discuss Austria’s upcoming EU presidency, the debate on a new EU budget,
migration and bilateral relations.
On Sunday, the Czech prime minister will visit Finland for talks with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila.
Mr. Babiš has stressed the need for the Czech Republic to be more vocal in the EU and more active in defending the country’s interests as well as seeking new allies in the bloc.
Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi was born in Prague in 1932. As a member of the German-speaking minority in Czechoslovakia, she and her family were forced to flee the country at the end of the Second World War. She later settled in Vienna, where she became a journalist and author – ever with an eye on events happening in her old homeland. I joined Barbara at her home in Vienna to discuss her life and work.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia on one side and France and Austria have agreed that new rules need to be sought over the thorny issue of workers from low wage countries in Central Europe being sent to work in high wage economies without the local benefits and conditions. But the Czech Republic sees this issue as part of a broader debate.
The Austrian president, Alexander Van der Bellen, says his country is very keen to see symmetry in trade and financial relations between it and the Czech Republic. Mr. Van der Bellen made the comment after talks in Prague with his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He pointed out that the Czechs export more to Austria than they import from the country and that the situation was the other way around with regard to direct investment. Mr. Van der Bellen also said that transport infrastructure between the two states had got better but there was still room for more improvement.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in Prague for his first official visit to Czech Republic since taking office in January of this year. The former Green Party leader arrived by train which was several minutes late pulling into Prague’s Main Railway Station, inadvertently highlighting one of the key issues on the agenda of the upcoming talks: the need to improve road and rail links between the two neighbor states. I asked Jan Kovář from the Prague Institute of International Relations about the main sticking points in bilateral relations
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in Prague on a two-day state visit. On Monday evening he met with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for talks covering bilateral relations, business and the development of transport infrastructure between the two countries. On Tuesday morning, the Austrian president will be received with military honours at Prague Castle by his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He is also expected to attend a Czech-Austrian business forum in Prague.
Former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg has attacked the current foreign minister of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, for populism. Schwarzenberg singled out Kurz’s comments attacking any EU talks with Turkey. The Czech politician said that it was clear at the moment that Turkish entry into the EU is not on the agenda. Schwarzenberg’s comments were given in an interview with the Austrian paper Die Presse Am Sonntag.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, has congratulated Alexander Van der Bellen on his election as president of Austria. Mr. Van der Bellen defeated the far-right candidate Norbert Hofer in Sunday’s election re-run. Mr. Zeman said the votes the former Greens leader had received were a testament to the hope that the Austrian electorate had in him. Other senior Czech politicians congratulated Mr. Van on Sunday evening der Bellen, soon after his victory became clear.
Senior Czech politicians have congratulated Alexander Van der Bellen on winning the presidential election in neighbouring Austria. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický and opposition TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek were among those who wished Mr. Van der Bellen well following his victory on Sunday over the far-right candidate Norbert Hofer.
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has said he sees no perspective in the near term of Austria joining the Visegrad Four grouping, which comprised the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. In an interview with the Austrian paper Die Presse, he said it was already difficult sometimes to get agreement between the four. He added that the splitting of the EU is a great danger and that it would be difficult to imagine cooperation between France and Germany if Marine Le Pen won the French presidential elections.