In his New Year’s address, the Czech president talked about the risks associated with the Lisbon Treaty, governing at a time of financial crisis and his international media image. He said the government admits that it’s in an exceptionally difficult situation, and that it should know when to ask the opposition for help. “Ten years ago, we were also able to come to an agreement,” said Klaus (referring to the grand coalition that governed the country from 1998 to 2002 – Translator’s note) How do you see the year ahead? We are presiding over the EU at a time of global financial crisis. You just mentioned two things right now that each carry a completely different weight and significance. TheContinue Reading

“We take fence as a medium, we’re not going to restrict but support folk creativity,” KDU-ČSL says. (COURTESY) The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) are planning a revolutionary thing in their otherwise always safe election campaigns. They decided to rally their voters and supporters in preparation for the European Parliament elections. This could help them close the gap on the richer parties. KDU-ČSL is planning to post billboards and posters on the fences of its supporters. Today they can be already sure of almost 4,000 fences. Most of them are located in southern Moravia, in the Zlín region and around Hradec Králové. The party has not yet appealed to its voters, only to its party members. “We see the fence as aContinue Reading

What changes will the Lisbon Treaty bring to the EU? (ČTK) The Lisbon Treaty will bring about a number of changes mainly concerning the power distribution of individual EU institutions. Only a couple of the changes, however, will register with an ordinary citizen. HN brings you their list. What will be the most obvious change after the Lisbon Treaty? The EU will be represented by one person that of the European Council president in the world. Currently, it is the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the member states rotating in this position every six months. Many foreign partners are confused by this. Already the US Foreign Secretary Henry Kissinger asked for a single phone number for Europe. Potential candidates forContinue Reading

If the Tuesday lower house debate had not been broadcasted live on television, the Lisbon Treaty would have been ratified that day. Politicians said the live broadcast was the only reason they failed to reach an agreement on the treaty on Tuesday. The Czech Republic remains the only EU country that has not yet ratified the treaty. [The lower house finally approved the treaty Wednesday, but the Senate will not be voting on the issue until April.] “We saw some good acting, some bad acting, but all of the actors were aiming to address their voters. I’m absolutely sure we would have been done a while ago if it wasn’t for the live television broadcast,” Regional Development Minister Cyril SvobodaContinue Reading