Prague - The Czech Republic is ready to support European People´s Party (EPP) candidate Jean-Claude Juncker for new European Commission President, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told European Council President Herman Van Rompuy by phone today, Sobotka´s office announced.
Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři po jednání s prezidentem Milošem Zemanem 18. června na Pražském hradě. ČTK Kamaryt Michal
"As the Czech government respects the results of the May election to the European Parliament, it is basically ready to support the candidate of the winning EPP group, Jean-Claude Juncker, provided that Prime Minister Sobotka wants to personally discuss the priorities of the new European Commission with him," the Government Office writes in a press release.
Juncker is former prime minister of Luxembourg.
Sobotka said the Czech Republic would like to reach agreement on the new EC president at the forthcoming meeting of the European Council next week.
Sobotka told Rompuy that the Czech Republic considers stabilisation of the European economy, energy security, and support to economic growth and competitiveness to be the priorities of the next European Commission, the Government Office writes.
The next EC president will be elected by the European Parliament based on the proposal of prime ministers and presidents of EU member states.
Britain is strongly against the nomination of Juncker for new EC head, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for it.
Before the EP election, Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) and other European Socialists (PES) supported Martin Schulz for EC president. Schulz, a German Social Democrat (SPD), headed the European Parliament until Wednesday, June 18.