Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic - Liechtenstein

 

(15/10/2003)

During the whole period of negotiations on the Agreement on the participation in the European Economic Area (EEA), the Czech Republic avoided to link outstanding bilateral issues with one of the contracting parties with conditions of EEA membership. Negotiating an Agreement to which Liechtenstein is a contracting party, it repeatedly expressed its readiness to recognize this state. It was the Liechtenstein side that made last April a unilateral declaration tying the recognition of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic to the need to settle property rights issues. Both the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic responded with their own declarations. At bilateral diplomatic talks held in the meantime, the Czech Republic expressed its preparedness to proceed to formal mutual recognition, but without any conditions, and to withdraw its declaration in the case Liechtenstein does the same. However, shortly before the signing of the Agreement on the participation in the EEA ( October 9), Liechtenstein's declaration was made even stronger, stating that the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein expects all contracting parties to respect the Principality of Liechtenstein as a long-existing sovereign and recognized state, neutral throughout the whole First and Second World Wars period. The Czech and the Slovak sides responded accordingly, pointing out in their declarations that a declaration that is not related to the subject and objective of the EEA Agreement has no legal effects.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the present situation will not affect the successful EEA enlargement and that the existing problems will be resolved.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds in this context that a failure to conclude the Agreement on the participation in the European Economic Area will in no way affect the enlargement of the European Union.

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