23rd Mar 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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.


Selmayr case symptomatic, says EU novel author

The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.


The populists may have won, but Italy won't leave the euro

The situation as Rome tries to form a government is turbulent and unpredictable. However, the most extreme eurosceptic policies floated during the election campaign are unlikely to happen - not least due to the precarious state of the Italian banks.


Why has central Europe turned so eurosceptic?

Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case
  2. Germany and France promise new Russia sanctions
  3. EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'
  4. Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK
  5. EU leaders roll over Brexit talks amid Trump and Russia fears
  6. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  7. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica
  8. Russian diplomats risk EU expulsions over UK attack