Czechs have not made full use of EU membership - PM Sobotka


30.04.2014 13:00

Prague - Czechs have not been able to make full use of their EU membership, whether in money drawing or pushing through their interests, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said at a business forum on the tenth anniversary of the country´s EU admission today.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka (vpravo) se setkal 30. dubna v Hrzánském paláci v Praze s prezidentem Evropské unie Hermanem Van Rompuyem. ČTK Kamaryt Michal

Sobotka said this must change and added that his coalition government is trying to return the Czech Republic to the European integration mainstream.

The centre-left government was appointed on January 29.

Sobotka said the Czech Republic continues to sink in international competitiveness charts.

"Our problem is the quality of institutions, law enforceability, the anti-corruption struggle, the quality of business environment," Sobotka said.

He said the government will draft a strategy aimed to reverse the competitiveness trend. The document is to define the weak points and determine places where the government can help.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy pointed out the need for the EU to be self-sufficient in energy.

He said unless the EU starts doing something, its dependence on energy imports will rose up to 80 percent by 2035.

Van Rompuy said the European energy market must change and that the European Council has asked the European Commission to prepare a new draft of energy self-sufficiency.

He said the EU must have more ways to transport energy, its countries must be better intertwined and various energy sources, including the renewable ones, must be fully tapped.

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