First meeting of Joint Consultative Committee
Last Thursday, the first meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee between the Czech Republic and the European Union Committee of the Regions took place in Prague. The EU ambassador to Prague Ramiro Cibrian, the Mayor of Prague Jan Kasl and the Bavarian Minister of Federal and European Affairs Reinhold Bocklet presented the new committee at a press conference on Friday. Pavla Horakova was there.
The leader of the EU delegation in the Czech Republic, Ramiro Cibrian, said he was convinced the Joint Consultative Committee would become one of the important platforms contributing to close cooperation after the Czech Republic joins the Union.
"I am very pleased that this joint committee between the Czech authorities, the Czech representatives of the local and regional authorities and the Committee of the Regions of the EU has been founded and has had its first meeting in Prague. In the European Union in the first place, what is important, is the cooperation and the friendship between the states, but also between the regions, between cities, between normal people."
According to Mr Cibrian the new committee symbolizes the fact that the expected accession of the Czech Republic to the EU is getting ever closer. The Joint Consultative Committee will enable representatives of regional and municipal authorities to cooperate closely with their counterparts from other member countries as well as the representatives of an important European institution. The Bavarian Minister of Federal and European Affairs Reinhold Bocklet, who is also a member of the Committee of the Regions, summarized the role of this European body, which was founded in 1993.
"This Committee of the Regions is an institution in the framework of the other institutions of the Community to underline the interest of the local authorities and regions. We have totally different types of regions in Europe. So we don't have the same basis, we have different bases, but we cooperate in the framework of the institution called the Committee of the Regions. And this is, I think the best way to improve our local and regional policy."
"The Joint Consultative Committee should prepare representatives of Czech regional and local administration to perform. The role of Prague is more practical because we are in the capital of the Czech Republic, not because of trying to take over the Czech part of the committee. There are members of other regions and other communities more or less covering the whole country within the work of the committee."