Czech EU Presidency to focus on consequences of Russia-Ukraine conflict

(Xinhua) 13:53, July 07, 2022

BRUSSELS, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Managing the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will top the list of priorities of the Czech Republic, which took over the rotating six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on July 1, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told the European Parliament's plenary session here on Wednesday.

Under the slogan "Europe as a task," the Czech Presidency's five priorities are managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine's post-war recovery; energy security; strengthening Europe's defense capabilities and cyberspace security; the strategic resilience of the European economy; and the resilience of democratic institutions.

Regarding the influx of refugees from Ukraine, the principles of "solidarity, efficiency and flexibility" will be applied to ensure the integration of Ukrainian citizens into the European social fabric via education, work and healthcare, he said.

Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the EU wishes to be ready for the reconstruction effort, and will start mobilizing resources.

A direct consequence of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, energy security is also high on the agenda. The EU is weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels while transitioning towards green energies, and is trying to ensure sufficient energy supply for the coming winter.

"The Czech Presidency is ready to work on the implementation of the regulation of gas reserves, i.e. filling storages in the run-up to winter, and the promotion of voluntary joint purchases, so that the EU uses its weight in a way similar to the purchase of vaccines," the Czech Presidency said on its website.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week that EU's gas storages were only 55 percent full, which is exceptional for July. Von der Leyen also announced an emergency plan in case Russia cuts off gas deliveries. This coordinated approach at the EU level will be presented in two weeks' time.

The "Fit for 55" package, which will ensure to transition to green energies, will also be high on the Czech Presidency's agenda. 

(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Liang Jun)


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