Czech Republic and the Potential in the European Green Deal: A Discussion with Ursula von der Leyen
A Meeting of Minds at the Green Deal Summit
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently attended the Green Deal Summit in Prague. Here, she met with the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister, Petr Fiala. The pair discussed a variety of topics, with energy issues and the migration crisis at the forefront of their conversation.
The Czech Republic’s Role in the Clean Economy
During the summit, von der Leyen expressed her belief that the Czech Republic has the necessary prerequisites to become a leader in the clean economy. She pointed out that the European Union is investing in transforming Czech coal regions into hubs for hydrogen production. This could potentially generate thousands of jobs and is a key part of the European Green Deal, the EU’s growth strategy.
The Green Deal: A Great Opportunity with Untapped Potential
Prime Minister Fiala sees the Green Deal as a significant opportunity. However, he believes its potential has not yet been fully realized. While acknowledging that the Green Deal has successfully changed attitudes towards environmental responsibility, he criticized its lack of innovation. Fiala believes this needs to change for the deal to gain wider acceptance.
Opposition from Environmental Activists
The Green Deal Summit was not without opposition. Environmental activists protested outside the conference venue, criticizing the event’s sponsors, such as ČEZ and Commercial Bank. Activists from Greenpeace Czech Republic and Re-set claimed that these companies contradict the goals of the Green Deal due to their involvement in coal mining and gas imports from Russia.
Private Discussions on Energy and Migration
In a private meeting, Fiala and von der Leyen focused on energy issues, particularly nuclear energy, and the goal of becoming energetically independent from Russia. They also discussed migration, with Fiala emphasizing the importance of protecting the external borders of the European Union.
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