British ministers visit Prague to discuss Czech EU accession

25-01-2001

The Minister for Europe at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Keith Vaz, visited Prague on Wednesday to discuss the Czech Republic's preparations for EU membership, as well as Czech-British cooperation in achieving this goal. Olga Szantova asked Mr Vaz for his evaluation of the Czech Republic's preparations for accession.

During his visit, Keith Vaz met the Czech Republic's chief negotiator for EU accession, Pavel Telicka, and they held talks linked to the implementation of a Czech-British agreement for cooperation in Czech preparations for EU membership, which the two countries' foreign ministers signed last summer. This program includes a plan for British experts to hold courses on various legal and economic matters in the Czech Republic. Nine British experts will spend time at Czech ministries to help prepare for EU accession. The program includes language teaching courses, in which the British Council has been very active. During his visit to Prague, Keith Vaz launched a special English teaching program for Czech public sector employees, called English for Europe. It is a three-year project, aimed at employees working in areas directly linked to accession. I asked Stephen Hobbs of the British Council how many Czech officials they hope to include in the project.