Britain did not demand EU flags at the Prague meeting

Britain did not demand EU flags at the Prague meeting

Several European leaders have concluded that the first meeting of the European Political Community, held in Prague on Thursday (October 6) was a success, even if the European flags were raised at the request of the British and despite the tensions between them had to be removed the Greek and Turkish leaders.

To get to this point, the chateau where the event was held had to get rid of the EU flags at the request of the UK and Brussels-based EU leaders had to show their presence as “ discreet” as possible.

Furthermore, Greece and Turkey failed to stick to the agreed line of communication to show their unity as their leaders quarreled over dinner.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala called the meeting of 43 European leaders a success and shared his optimism about the future of the concept.

«Our common task was to create an informal platform where we can work together, exchange ideas and develop solutions to bring peace and prosperity to Europe. And I think we made ithe said at the final press conference.

However, the concept of the European political community has raised a number of doubts among EU accession candidates, who fear that the community will be seen as an alternative to full membership.

However, Mr Fiala dismissed these concerns. “We do not want to replace existing cooperation formats.»

The idea was originally put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron, and the current Czech EU Presidency has proposed Prague as the host city for the first summit.

Hide EU concept

The meeting was jointly prepared by the Czech Presidency, President of the European Council Charles Michel and Emmanuel Macron. Nevertheless, diplomats from the Czech Presidency emphasized that they “nonothing to do with the EU itself».

In fact, there was no EU flag at Prague Castle, where the meeting took place. EURACTIV Czech Republic has learned that this was one of the demands made by British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who also attended the meeting. However, the EU was represented by Mr Michel, who also chaired the informal dinner session.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also attended the meetings, but played no official role.

«She did not speak during the official program, she only attends the event and takes part in some bilateral meetingsa Czech diplomat told EURACTIV Czech Republic.

According to the Czech Prime Minister, Europe needs a space for the informal exchange of ideas, regardless of whether it belongs to the EU or not. “The very fact that all European leaders spent a day together, in the same place, and that dozens of bilateral meetings took place is already very positive“, he added.

Mr Fiala also announced that the European Political Community would not be institutionalized and that there would be no formal conclusions from the Summit.

MM. Erdoğan and Mitsotakis argue over dinner

Mr. Macron was keen to emphasize throughout the day that the meeting sends a message of unity.

However, Greek media reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a dispute over the recent escalation in the eastern Mediterranean over dinner with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greek media reports that Erdoğan spoke at the dinner to accuse Athens of provocative actions that have increased tensions in the region.

Mr Mitsotakis reportedly replied that Ankara should stop challenging the sovereignty of the Greek islands. Instead, the Greek prime minister said the Turkish president should prioritize dialogue without extreme rhetoric, as responsible leaders do.

In a press conference after dinner, Erdoğan maintained his inflammatory rhetoric.

«I gave a speech during the meeting and a gentleman [Kyriakos Mitsotakis] did not feel comfortable with this speech […] He said we used harsh language when we weren’tMr Erdoğan told reporters.

«Now we have nothing more to say to Greece“, he added.

Mr Erdoğan recently sparked strong reactions in Athens when he called on Greece to stop “militarizers“Turkey’s Greek neighboring islands, otherwise Turkish forces could come”over night».

Asked by a journalist if this means Turkey could attack Greece, Mr Erdoğan replied to the journalist: “You’re right. If a country bothers and attacks us, our answer is “we can come suddenly one night”. So they must know, understand. Since you understood it that way, they understood it that way too».


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