Czech government discussed details of upcoming EU Presidency

Czechia will take over the presidency in 2022

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Jan Horák

The Presidency of the European Union is considered a crucial opportunity for member states to influence the shape of the Union’s agenda. The Czech Republic will take over this role in the second half of 2022, and preparations for its presidency are in full swing. As the Aktualně.cz daily found out, at its Monday meeting, the government of Andrej Babiš discussed the planned security measures.
The document primarily addresses the expected risks, such as the threat of a terrorist attack or disinformation campaigns, as well as the cybersecurity of the state bodies involved in the EU agenda.
The government is also prepared to restrict travel to the Czech Republic, if necessary.
“In the event of a serious threat to public order or internal security, it is possible, as a last resort, to proceed with the temporary reintroduction of internal border protection,” the material prepared by the Ministry of the Interior states.
Border controls would be initiated by the government in the case of a migration wave due to the escalating political situation in high-risk countries as well, for example, due to an increase in tensions between Turkey and Syria, or Russia and Ukraine.
In the case of a possible disinformation campaign, the government wants to focus on sources that would undermine citizens’ confidence in the Czech Republic’s membership in European structures, portray the Union as a harmful alliance, or label Czech or European officials as a threat to Czech interests.
According to the latest plans, 221 events will take place in the Czech Republic during its EU presidency, including summits with the participation of presidents and prime ministers as well as meetings of ministerial deputies and directors of trade unions. Each meeting will be accompanied by corresponding security measures. In this regard, the government identified four meetings as “very sensitive” and another 16 as “sensitive.”
According to Minister for European Affairs Alexander Vondra, who was the key figure in preparing for the Czech presidency in 2009, the summits of prime ministers and presidents were considered the most sensitive events at the time.
“They took place under the strictest security measures. A higher level of protection was also assigned to any negotiations where interior or foreign ministers participated. But, for example, the meetings of the ministers of the environment or culture were not in this category,” said Vondra.
Title image: Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. European Union leaders met for a year-end summit to address everything from the climate and sanctions against Turkey to the budget and virus recovery plans. Brexit was discussed on the sidelines. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP)


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