Czech EU Presidency Cost CZK 2 Billion

About 40% of the entire sum was spent on personnel costs and training, including sending diplomats to the Czech representation in Brussels. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, May 3 (CTK) – The Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union cost a total of CZK 2.03 billion, which was 15% less than the CZK 2.4 billion originally expected, said Czech Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) at a press conference yesterday.

The Czech Republic presided over the Council of the EU from July to December 2022, holding the six-month presidency for the second time. The first time the Czech Republic took this role was in the first half of 2009.

Jurecka said CZK 3.75 billion had been earmarked for the presidency in 2007-2009. He said this would be CZK 5 billion at today’s prices.

The 2022 Czech presidency was not only a political success but was also very effective and economical compared to the states that presided over the Council of the EU immediately before and after. At present, Sweden is holding the rotating presidency of the Council.

The Czech Government Office said that the highest spending during the presidency was drawn by the Interior Ministry (CZK 545 million), the Foreign Ministry (CZK 471 million) and the Government Office as the central coordinator (CZK 468 million).

About 40% of the entire sum was spent on personnel costs and training, including sending diplomats to the Czech representation in Brussels. One third was spent on holding official events in the Czech Republic and abroad, and about one-sixth of the total on security measures. 5% was spent on communication and cultural activities.

The Czech EU presidency was markedly influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising energy prices. These two points were among the five political priorities of the presidency, which also included the strengthening of European defence capacities, cyber security, and resilience of the European economy and democratic institutions.

During the Czech presidency, EU countries agreed to lower energy consumption during peak hours and impose a tax on the windfall profits of power companies and fossil fuel suppliers. After many weeks of negotiations, they agreed on the parameters for emergency caps of gas prices in the case of their significant increase. The EU also unanimously approved three packages of sanctions against Russia and finally approved financial support for Ukraine of 18 billion euros in 2023, after this was initially blocked by Hungary.

The Czech presidency agreed with members of the European Parliament to limit sales of new cars with standard combustion engines by 2035 and on a reform of carbon credit trading. Accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia were unblocked and Bosnia and Herzegovina became a candidate country.

Experts said the Czech EU presidency had been well managed, but the government had not sufficiently presented its results to the Czech citizens.

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