Czech Republic takes over EU presidency

The Czech Republic took over the rotating EU presidency from France on Thursday for a six month term that will involve dealing with the global economic crisis and renewed conflict in the Middle East. The motto of the Czech presidency is “Europe without Barriers”, expressing a wish to advance the free movement of people, goods and services around the EU. On January 6th the government will present its priorities which have been dubbed the three Es – economy, energy and “Europe in the World” which entails a three-pronged approach to the EU’s foreign relations. A delegation of the European Commission is expected to visit Prague on January 7th when an official launch of the Czech presidency will take place. On January 8 Prague will host an informal meeting of EU ministers.