The European Parliament elected its leadership on Wednesday and two Czech MEPs – Dita Charanzová from the Liberals group and Marcel Kolaja from the Greens –were elected vice-president. I asked Libor Rouček, himself a former vice-president of the European Parliament, whether he considers this a significant success for a country the size of the Czech Republic.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the EU compromise on nominations for the bloc’s top jobs as a big success for the Visegrad Four grouping which fiercely opposed the system of Spitzen candidates and particularly the candidacy of Frans Timmermans for EC president. But, while the prime minister is cheering, there have been mixed reactions from Czech MEPs, some of whom have criticized the fact that the deal reached does not reflect the outcome of elections to the European Parliament.
After failing to reach a decision during over 18 hours of talks on Sunday and Monday, EU leaders are reconvening in Brussels to try to agree who should lead the bloc’s institutions for the coming five years. Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans, a frontrunner for European Commission president, faces strong opposition from the Czech Republic and fellow Visegrad Four states.
President Miloš Zeman has asked the Russian ambassador to come to Prague
Castle to explain draft legislation now in the Duma stating that Soviet
troops took part in the 1968 of Czechoslovakia to suppress “an attempted
Earlier this week, the Czech Foreign Ministry also criticized the Russian legislation for misrepresenting the Soviet-led invasion that crushed the Prague Spring reform movement.
A spokesman for President Zeman said on Twitter that the Czech head of state had invited Russian ambassador Alexandr Zmejevský to meet him on 13 June.
The Czech foreign ministry has said the draft Russian legislation "stands in stark contrast to international law” and a 1993 treaty between Prague and Moscow.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is in Paris
Wednesday for a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian,
and the Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Amélie de Montchalin.
Their agenda includes issues of European diplomacy, security and also military operations in Mali involving soldiers from their respective countries.
Mr Petříček is also due to present the priorities of the one-year Czech presidency of the Visegrad Group, which begins in July.
Upon arriving in France this morning, he first went to lay a wreath at a monument to Czechoslovak legionnaires who died fighting with France in the world wars.
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of China’s crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Radio Prague spoke to Filip Jirouš, coordinator the China-watching think tank Sinopsis, about the politics behind some of the more controversial aspects of business dealings between the countries. A harsh critic of China’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative, to which the Czech Republic has signed on, and the main Chinese investment vehicle here, CEFC, he further argues allowing Huawei to roll out the 5G network would be a disaster.
Czech-Burmese relations are getting closer. That was the main message of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate turned State Counsellor of Myanmar, during her visit to Prague this week. Leading Czech dignitaries have hosted the Burmese head of government with both sides stressing the aim to establish closer business ties as top of the agenda.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Industry and Trade Minister Karel
Havlíček could visit Myanmar this fall. Mr Havlíček made the statement
at the Czech-Burmese economic forum, which takes place on the occasion of
Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Prague.
Mrs Suu Kyi, who is Maynmar’s de facto leader, is in the Czech Republic
for a three-day official visit. She is accompanied by her minister
country’s minister of investments and economic relations and minister of
Speaking at the economic forum, Mr Babiš has highlighted the growing economic cooperation between the two countries. He also said that while Czech exports to Asia fell by 23 per cent last year, exports from Myanmar to the Czech Republic increased by 66 per cent.
Measures taken as over 60 percent of Czech Republic hit by extreme drought
Barbora Strýcová, 33, in “best form” ahead of Wimbledon semi-final against Serena Williams
Beer, schnitzel and mushroom picking – unique set of emojis captures Czech soul
Gene Deitch, Part 1: The Oscar-winning US animator who made Tom and Jerry cartoons in communist Prague
Holocaust child survivor’s dream of building memorial to child victims of the Holocaust comes true