About the Representation
Role of the Permanent Representation
The Permanent Representation in Brussels serves as the primary liaison between Czech civil administration and EU institutions. The diplomats at the Permanent Representation negotiate at the meetings of 150 working groups. Over 2,000 meetings take place over each six-month period. In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Government and other ministries, the Permanent Representation prepares over 30 formal Councils of Ministers and several European Councils each semester. European Councils, ie. summits of the EU heads of states and governments, determine the Union's strategic development.
The Permanent Representatives Committee to the EU (comprising COREPER II and COREPER I) prepare all Councils of Ministers. The former is concerned with political and financial issues and foreign affairs; the Ambassador to the EU, Martin Povejšil, takes part in the sessions of this committee. The latter committee concerns economic and social issues. Deputy Permanent Representative Jakub Dürr takes part in its meetings. The third key committee is the Political and Security Committee (COPS) where the Czech Republic is represented by Ambassador David Konecký.
Senior Officials of the Permanent Representation
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to COREPER II
Head of the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to COREPER I
Deputy Head of the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the Political and Security Committee (COPS)
Agenda and Heads of Units
The Permanent Representation is divided into units which reflect the agenda negotiated in groups of experts, by the permanent representatives, in the Councils of Ministers and at the European Councils, otherwise known as summits of heads of states and governments of the European Union.
The Antici provides support to the Czech Permanent Representative to the EU and coordinates the work of COREPER II. He prepares i.a. European Council meetings.
The Mertens provides support to the Deputy Permanent Representative and coordinates the work of COREPER I.
The Nicolaidis provides support to the COPS Permanent Representative and coordinates the work of COPS. She prepares i.a. the Foreign Affairs Council meetings.
Legal Affairs and Communication Unit
The Legal Affairs and Communication Unit is concerned with institutional relations and reforms, including relations with the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. Furthermore, the unit provides legal expertise to other units of the Permanent Representation. It is also responsible for communication with the media, administration of the Permanent Representation's website, and the organisation of cultural and social events.
Financial and Trade Policy Unit
The Economic and Financial Unit prepares the meetings of Financial and Economic Councils and co-operates on preparation of meetings of the General Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council. The Unit focuses for example on issues of the EU budget, tax policies, free movement of capital and services on financial markets. The unit also supports the administration of EU Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. Furthermore, it focuses on the EU common trade policy as well as the WTO agenda and EU economic relations with third countries. The Unit also handles the agendas of customs policy, customs union, customs cooperation and the World Customs Organisation.
Justice and Home Affairs Unit
The Justice and Home Affairs Unit prepares the meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs Councils. The responsibilities of the Unit include internal security policy, horizontal issues in justice and home affairs, civil law, judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the European Judicial Network in criminal matters, substantive criminal law, E-justice work group, asylum and migration, protection of external borders, Schengen and visa policy.
Agriculture and Environment Unit
The Agriculture and Environment Unit prepares the meetings of Agriculture and Environment Councils The Unit cooperates with EU institutions involved in agriculture, fisheries, environment and public health. In these areas, it primarily focuses on the agendas of agriculture, rural development, forestry, plant health and veterinary issues, food safety, fisheries and aquaculture, registrations of geographical indications and labelling of agricultural products and foodstuffs, state aid in agriculture and GMOs, including the drafting of legislative acts. Based on the level of integration and the scope of transferred competencies to EU level, the Unit also focuses on comitology and the defence of the interests of the Czech Republic in this decision-making process.
Sectoral Policies Unit A
Sectorial Policies Unit A prepares the meetings of the Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy (TTE) and Competitiveness Councils. The Unit’s work focuses on competitiveness and enterprise, industrial policies, horizontal issues concerning the internal market and the free movement of goods and services, technical harmonisation, better regulation, consumer protection and competition, as well as the transport agenda including the Galileo project, telecommunications and information society, postal services, data protection, energy and nuclear safety.
Sectoral Policies Unit B
Sectorial Policies Unit B prepares the meetings of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Protection, Education, Youth and Culture and Competitiveness Councils. The Unit deals with the EU institutions involved in employment and social affairs, science and research, public health, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, corporate law, intellectual and industrial property, education, youth, sport, culture and audiovisual policy. In addition, the unit monitors changes in common EU strategy, policies and legislation and helps to secure funds for projects in the Czech Republic within the framework of the European Social Fund.
External Relations Unit
The External Relations Unit prepares for the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council and the meetings of Czech delegations with partners from third countries. The Unit deals with EU authorities responsible for external relations, i.e. EU relations with third countries, including in the areas of enlargement, neighbourhood policy, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy Unit (CFSP)
The Common Foreign and Security Policy Unit participates in the preparation of General Affairs and External Relations Councils. The work of the Unit concerns Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU Political and Security Committee and related working groups, as well as monitoring of the ESDP, including financial, legal and institutional frameworks. The Unit represents the Czech Republic, for example, in the Institute for Security Studies, the Satellite Centre, the European Security and Defence College and in committees of particular EU operations.
The Military Unit comprises Czech Army officers under the command of the Military Representative of the Czech Republic to the NATO and EU. They participate in the EU Military Committee and related working groups.