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Europe as a task – Presidency of the Czech Republic in the Council of the EU

On 1st July 2022, the Czech Republic assumed its historic second Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Czech Republic last held the Presidency of the Council in the first half of 2009. The priority themes on which the Czech Republic will profile itself are Europe connected by an internal market, modern and prosperous; Europe strong and secure; Europe healthy and sustainable; Europe cohesive and in solidarity; Europe smart and creative.

The motto of the entire six-month Czech presidency is „Europe as a task – rethink, rebuild, repower“. A phrase that refers to Václav Havel's thoughts from 1996, when the first President of Czechoslovakia, and subsequently of the Czech Republic, considered the future of our continent in his speech at the Charlemagne Prize ceremonial, entitled Europe as a Task. He then stressed that the tasks ahead of Europe deserve careful and thorough reflection. Since then Europe has changed, it has new tasks and challenges. The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which has completely overhauled the geopolitical situation on our continent this year, has demonstrated at the same time that Europeans in a crisis triggered by an external threat are able to act very quickly, effectively and in a united way. We therefore perceive the Havel-like slogan „Europe as a Task”, chosen by the Czech Republic as the motto of its Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2022 not only as an opportunity to reflect together, but above all as a call for accountability and determined action based on the values that our conscience requires us to pursue. If we want to live up to the expectations of this historical moment, our triple challenge is to rethink, rebuild and repower Europe.

During its Presidency, the Czech Republic will focus on five closely interlinked priority areas: Managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery, Energy security, Strengthening Europe’s defence capabilities and cyberspace security, Strategic resilience of the European economy, and Resilience of democratic institutions.

The Presidency of the Council of the EU is one of the most important rights and most challenging tasks of the EU membership. The role of the Presidency is not only organisational, but also mediating, political and representational. The rotating presidency is an important instrument of the balance of power between Member States and the EU institutions. It symbolises equality between Member States, regardless of their size, geographical location or date of accession to the EU. The other EU institutions respect the presiding Member State as a partner representing the whole Council. The Czech Republic, as the country holding the Presidency for six months, becomes the centre of the EU and, in many areas of international policy, the main representative of the EU in its relations with third countries.

More information on the Czech Presidency in the Council of the European Union is on the official website www.eu2022.cz.

You can read more on the priorities of the Czech Presidency here.