14-15 July 2021, Prague, Czech Republic: For her first trip abroad after taking office in the capacity as Minister for European Affairs in January 2021, Melanie Huml deliberately chose the Czech Republic’s capital Prague.
In Prague, Minister Huml held numerous talks with high-ranking representatives of the Czech government and parliament with the aim of further developing and strengthening Bavarian-Czech relations. She met with Czechia’s Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek, with the Coordinator of Bavarian-Czech Parliamentary Cooperation Jan Bartošek as well as the Chairman of the EU Committee Ondřej Benešík, with State Secretary Dr. Jindřich Fryč and Vice-Minister Dr. Pavel Doleček at the Ministry of Education and the Czech State Secretary for European Affairs, Milena Hrdinková.
Specifically, Huml agreed with her Czech partners to intensify mutual youth exchange and language acquisition. The Czech Republic will be one of the focus countries of the “Youth Exchange Bavaria” foundation newly established by the Free State of Bavaria. A start-up project is to be a language animation and encounter programme for kindergartens and primary schools in the border region with the Czech Republic.
As part of an expanded language assistance programme, Bavarian and Czech students are to be given the opportunity to assist in language teaching as native speakers in the neighbouring country. With the Czech Secretary of State for Europe, Hrdinková, it was agreed to continue the exchange on European policy, especially on the latest proposals of the European Commission on the Green Deal.
During their talks, Minister Huml stressed the need to move forward together after the Corona pandemic. “During the Corona restrictions, the close cooperation between Bavaria and the Czech Republic helped us a lot. The intensive exchange in the past months has made us grow even closer together,” said the Minister as per statement linked below.
With the Czech Foreign Minister Kulhánek, she agreed to draw up an overall inventory of cooperation at the meeting of the joint Bavarian-Czech intergovernmental commission to be held in November 2021 in order to advance topics and structures of Bavarian-Czech cooperation in their full breadth and to set new priorities. For example, the existing coordination for crisis situations is to be expanded, the exchange on topics of innovation and competitiveness of the economy is to be intensified, and cooperation in science and infrastructure is to be strengthened.
In this context, municipal and regional concerns are to be increasingly integrated into the work of the Commission in order to take into account the special importance of the common border region for Bavarian-Czech cooperation.
For further information
Representation of the Free State of Bavaria in the Czech Republic: https://www.bayern.de/staatskanzlei/bayern-in-prag/
Photography by Europaministerin Melanie Huml, MdL, in Prag vom 14.07. bis 15.07.2021
Bild: Bayerische Staatskanzlei
Fotograf: Vaclav Bacovsky