18 April 2007, Prague
Under the chairmanship of Mr. Přemysl Sobotka, the President of the Czech Senate, the Presidents of Parliaments of the Regional Partnership countries met in Prague today. The Regional Partnership comprises Visegrad Group countries, i.e. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, together with Austria and Slovenia.
"We discussed about two important topics. The first one is Science and research and the potential of our countries in this area which is crucial for further development of the European Union. As regards science and research, the EU sometimes tends to promise and proclaim speedy development and support of research but the matter is to really finance the research both by state budgets and by private sector to be able to convert the results of science and research into economic and social values. In this connection, all parliamentarians stressed the necessity of spending 3% of GDP on research and development by 2010," said Přemysl Sobotka.
"Another equally important topic of our meeting was the Common Agricultural Policy. On behalf of the Czech Senate, I have clearly declared the planned reform of Common Agricultural Policy must be implemented equitably without making a difference between the old and the new EU member states. In my intervention, I pointed out one of such differences regarding the sugar regime. The matter is to reach a deep and equitable reform of the whole agricultural sector so that farmers of all member countries have equal opportunities for their business," said the host of today's meeting Přemysl Sobotka.
"As the role of national parliaments within the EU becomes more important, we have to coordinate our activities to be able to show our strength. The role of parliaments consists in harmonizing their steps and looking for common strategies where possible. I think that it is necessary and profitable within the EU decision-making processes," added Přemysl Sobotka.