EU issues prominent in Foreign Minister Stubb’s visit to the Czech Republic
Information on the launching of partnership negotiations between the EU and Russia reached Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and his Czech hosts in Prague in the midst of their talks on 13 May. “It takes two to tango,” Stubb said. Foreign Minister Stubb saw this as a highly important step forward in developing the EU’s relations with Russia.
In addition to EU-Russian relations, talks with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra dealt with the Czech Republic’s preparations for the EU Presidency, implementation of the Reform Treaty, the Baltic Sea strategy and the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Preparations for the Czech Presidency have proceeded well. “The Presidencies of small countries have often been the best,” Stubb said in encouragement to his Czech hosts. At the press conference Stubb noted that the programme of the Czech Presidency looked good. Among the priorities, he drew attention to the Open Europe theme and increasingly effective implementation of the four basic freedoms.
Stubb praised the discussions with Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg as excellent. Relations between Finland and the Czech Republic are on a strong footing.
The Finnish foreign minister spent an effective day in Bohemia. After the official talks, he toured the Prague Castle area and continued in the evening to Paris together with Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg.
The agenda at a dinner offered by Bernand Koucher, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France, was the coming EU Presidency of France.