News and Features

New Year – New Presidency

With the New Year, the European Union gets a new presidency, and from January 1st the Czech Republic will chair the union. It is the first chairmanship of the country that joined the union in 2004.

The presidency of the EU changes hands every six months, and the Czech Republic takes over after France – one of the newest member states replaces one of the oldest. The motto of the Czech chairmanship is “Europe without barriers”. The priorities for the country’s presidency are development of transatlantic relations, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic will during its EU Council presidency support deepening of the European neighbourhood policy with orientation to its Eastern dimension.

The vision of the Czech presidency – Europe without barriers – is much in line with our work at the EUMM. We are one team, a European mission. Not 22 different national teams. Our vehicles carry the flag of the Union, not the National flags of the 22 different countries represented in the Mission.
“Europe without barriers” also describes the vision of the Mission itself. Europe is more than the EU. Georgia – a European country – is not a member of the European Union. Georgia is an obvious part of a European context, and when the disaster of war struck Georgia, the EU countries were decisive: what happened in Georgia was a European matter.

The Czech Republic will chair the European Union until June 30th, when Sweden takes of the Presidency.

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