Europe must be resilient, open and competitive

Six weeks before the start of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, the Confederation of Industry presented business priorities for the coming period. According to the Confederation, the Czech Presidency should focus on, for example, the further development of the internal market, the finalisation of international trade agreements, energy security, the openness of the digital economy or the future of refugees from Ukraine. The Confederation divided its priorities into three thematic pillars with the aim of creating Europe that is resilient and open, sustainable and competitive with a dynamic labour market. The Czech Republic should make the most of the coming months and influence legislative proposals, highlighting and moderating important topics and portraying the Czech Republic as a constructive member of the EU.

„The Czech Republic is assuming the Presidency of the Council of the EU in a situation where Europe has to deal not only with the Covid-19 pandemic effects, but also with the consequences of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. The EU must therefore reassess its strategies and initiatives and respond rationally to the current situation. After a quick resolution of the humanitarian crisis, medium and long-term measures must follow in order to ensure the stability and economic prosperity of Europe,“ points out Radek Špicar, Vice President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.


The Confederation of Industry has categorised its priorities for the coming months into three pillars. One of them is „a resilient and open Europe“. It supports the further development and consolidation of the European Union's internal market. For example, the free movement of people must be maintained even in times of crisis and any exceptions must be temporary and well justified.

„The single market based on the principle of the four freedoms, i.e. the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, is one of the greatest achievements of European integration. We need to open up more markets for goods and services to fully exploit the EU's economic potential and build a solid foundation for Europe's global competitiveness. Freedom of movement of data is also crucial and is now the most threatened, which is why we need to focus on it,“ says Radek Špicar, Vice President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.

CZ PRES' priorities include supporting Ukraine's candidate status and the continued integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union, which has important political, economic and security aspects. „The business community sees great potential in the Western Balkan countries. By supporting their membership in the EU, we will strengthen their orientation towards the Atlantic, i.e. a more economically and politically liberal area,“ says Lukáš Martin, Director of the International Relations Section of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.

Europe must also be competitive and sustainable, which constitutes the second pillar of the priorities of the Confederation for CZ PRES. Ensuring energy security and a gradual progress towards climate neutrality in Europe must consider the impact on the competitiveness of industry. „We support the diversification of natural gas supplies, joint gas purchases, the construction of new LNG terminals and securing transport routes. The Green Deal plan must be realistic in view of the current energy crisis and the war in Ukraine,“ recalls Radek Špicar, Vice President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.

During the Presidency, the Confederation of Industry also wants to focus on the resilience and openness of the digital economy. Europe will achieve this by allying with trustworthy partners. Digital partnerships with the US, Japan, Canada, South Korea or Israel should be developed. The EU-US Trade and Technology Council could serve as a model for such cooperation, which should increase mutual trust and bring about cooperation in the areas of regulation, standardisation and also research and development of new technologies. New rules on access, use and security of data generated in the EU will also need to be finalised within the Union.

The planned and partly ongoing digital and green transformation of our economy will also bring changes to the labour market. These will require the development and promotion of new forms of work and new skills. The third pillar of the Confederation for the Czech Presidency is therefore „A Europe with a dynamic labour market“. „Companies are watching other regulations with concern, such as the European minimum wage, transparency of remuneration or the directive on work-life balance. At the same time, they point to the steadily increasing administrative burden involved. The EU should now focus on how to make a difficult situation easier for companies and address pressing issues such as the employment of refugees,“ says Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.


Thanks to its strong position in Europe, the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic also represents its members at European level. It takes part in the drafting of European legislation and directs the discussion on important European topics. The Confederation of Industry has been a member of BusinessEurope, the Confederation of European Business, since 1993 and is also represented in CEBRE, the Czech Business Representation to the EU.

The Confederation of Industry is a very active member of BusinessEurope and, in addition to its permanent delegate in Brussels, Jana Hartman Radová, who is also the Chair of the Internal Market Committee, is represented in the highest bodies of this organisation. Radek Špicar, Vice President of the SP ČR, has been Vice President of BusinessEurope since January this year, and Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General of the Confederation, is a member of the Executive Board.

„Through close cooperation with the state administration and individual ministries, we want to help the Czech Republic's contribution to solving the current security, energy and humanitarian crisis and to creating conditions for growth, competitiveness and prosperity in Europe during the Presidency. In the next six months we have a unique opportunity to show that we are a constructive member of the EU, so we should make the most of this opportunity,“ said Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.


The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic has formulated its basic priorities for the coming six months on the basis of its programme statement, the government programme statement and the announced priorities of the Czech Republic. Representatives of the largest business and employers' association in the Czech Republic put emphasis on strengthening Europe's resilience while maintaining its openness, ensuring Europe's competitiveness and sustainable development, as well as the further development of a dynamic labour market. 

The full text of the SP CR Priorities for the Czech EU Presidency can be found HERE.

We also have a special website about the Czech EU Presidency, you can find it HERE.

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