13 days ago
Before leaving for the informal summit of 27 EU countries in Sibiu, Romania, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the Czech Republic will do its best to protect the climate, but it cannot happen in a way that destroys its industry.
Protecting the environment is one of the key tasks for the EU in the coming years. Before the summit, eight of the Member States - such as France, the Netherlands, and Belgium - released a joint statement, in which they proposed that 25 percent of the EU budget should go directly to areas affected by this issue. That includes the development and production of emission-free cars, new batteries and "sustainable mobility". They also suggested that the EU should reach neutral status in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at the latest.
According to PM Babiš, the Czech Republic wants to maintain its right to decide on its energy mix, i.e., how it produces its energy. "I do not understand why nuclear power does not belong among renewables as it does not produce emissions," PM Babiš said.
Dealing with climate issues is one of the topics showing different views of the Member States. Therefore, the declaration of the meeting in Sibiu, where the EU wanted to demonstrate its unity, bypassed this issue and mentioned only the need to "secure the future for next generations of Europeans" and prepare the EU to meet the key challenges of the 21st century.
The Czech Prime Minister recalled the long discussion about climate issues at the previous EU summit in Brussel. "We should be rational," said Babiš, adding that it is important that "anarchists like the Greens and the Pirates" do not win seats in the European Parliament in the May EP elections.
According to him, the EU, which produces less than a tenth of the world's greenhouse gases, is not able to persuade its partners and competitors such as China and the United States to respect their environmental commitments.