President Cassis in Prague at first meeting of European Political Community
Bern, 06.10.2022 - On 6 October, President Ignazio Cassis represented Switzerland at the first meeting of the European Political Community. The aim of this new gathering is to bring together states from inside and outside the European Union (EU) to foster political dialogue and cooperation in Europe. Switzerland sees this an opportunity to strengthen exchanges among European partners.
“At a time when the entire continent is facing major challenges, this new broader format provides a welcome opportunity for direct and informal exchanges with other European countries," said President Cassis at the summit in Prague: "In hosting the Ukraine Recovery Conference this year, for example, Switzerland has demonstrated that it is helping to promote peace, stability and democracy in Europe.”
President Cassis welcomed the meeting as an opportunity for dialogue and cooperation in Europe. Dialogue, Mr Cassis commented, is particularly important at a time when there are military conflicts between European states. As an active and reliable partner in Europe with a long tradition of solidarity, Switzerland is interested in supporting the future development of the European Political Community.
European platform for dialogue
The idea for a European Political Community bringing together states inside and outside the EU was launched in the spring by French President Emmanuel Macron. The European Council chaired by Charles Michel and the Czech EU presidency took up the proposal and these plans have culminated in this first meeting in Prague. The informal exchanges focused on security and stability in Europe, but also on energy, climate and the economic situation on the continent, especially in light of the war in Ukraine. During the summit, President Cassis co-chaired a roundtable discussion on ‘Energy, Climate and the Economy’ together with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
This first meeting in Prague was attended by the EU and its member states as well as 17 states that are not members of the EU. In future, such meetings will take place once or twice a year, with one EU and one non-EU state alternately hosting the summit. Mr Cassis also took the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with a number of his counterparts on the fringes of the summit. He held lengthier discussions with the President of France and the Prime Ministers of Italy, Spain, Belgium and Portugal.
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