Saturday

26th May 2018

Klaus not to chair EU leaders summit

  • Vaclav Klaus - criticised in some parts of the EU, winning awards in others (Photo: wikipedia)

Czech President Vaclav Klaus will not chair a high-profile meeting of EU leaders in June, his office has announced.

Mr Klaus "proposed that Prime Minister Jan Fischer should chair June's EU summit in Brussels on behalf of the Czech presidency," his office said in a statement.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The president has full trust in the prime minister and has no doubt that he will handle this role easily and with success."

The move is likely to be greeted with relief by EU diplomats who feared the president would use the gathering to air his strong opposition to the EU's Lisbon treaty, compounding what many view as a damaging past few months for the bloc under the gaffe-prone Czech presidency.

The summit chair became the hot topic of conversation in Brussels after the Czech government fell in March due to a vote of no confidence.

At the meeting EU leaders are due to sign off a series of treaty guarantees on tax, neutrality and ethical issues as part of a political package for Ireland, whose citizens will vote on the Lisbon document for a second time in the autumn, having rejected it last year.

There had been talk of moving the summit to July when it would be chaired by next EU presidency country Sweden.

Ireland, which had favoured keeping the summit in June for domestic timetable reasons, has been working on fast-tracking its treaty guarantees so that they would be agreed before the summit.

The Klaus-Fischer agreement will instead see the maverick Czech president chair the EU-Russia and EU-China summits.

Austria's highest honour

But even as Mr Klaus has attracted criticism in some parts of the EU, he is winning awards in others.

Austria's Wiener Zeitung reports that the Czech president will receive the country's highest honour, the Great Honorary Star for Achievements for the Republic of Austria.

The gong, agreed by the government on Wednesday, is in recognition of Mr Klaus' efforts to overcome communism, a spokesperson for Austria's president said.

Macron and Orban defend opposing EU visions

Two models - of deeper integration and liberal values, versus a Europe of strong and illiberal nations - will define voters' choices in the EU elections in 2019.

Analysis

Commission wants bigger post-Brexit budget

The Commission wants the next EU budget to prove the bloc has survived Brexit unscathed. However, some net payers disagree. The EU executive plans to put out an overall budget figure of 1.13 to 1.18 percent of EU GNI.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

Opinion

The dangers of resurgent nationalism in Greece

Virulent nationalism in Greece has been stirred up in the context of austerity and renewed negotiations with Macedonia. Recent attempts by the government to address the inequalities suffered by LGBT persons have also been met with a reactionary backlash.

Opinion

Linking EU funds to 'rule of law' is innovative - but vague

Defining what constitutes 'rule of law' violations may be more difficult than the EU Commission proposes, as it tries to link cohesion funds in east Europe to judicial independence. A key question will be who is to 'judge' those judges?

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach