- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský visits France
On 6 October, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský visited Paris, where he held talks with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Together they discussed a wide range of topical issues concerning bilateral relations and other foreign policy issues.
One of the key topics of the meeting was the expected visit of President Petr Pavel to France and President Emmanuel Macron to Czechia. Emphasis was also placed on the signing of the forthcoming Strategic Partnership Action Plan and the French side expressed interest in the completion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. Ministers Lipavský and Colonna continued to discuss important international issues, including support for Ukraine, EU and NATO enlargement and Czech-French defence cooperation. They both want to build on their countries’ successful presidencies of the Council of the European Union.
The ministers also discussed issues relating to the Western Balkans, the Indo-Pacific, China and Taiwan. Finally, for inspiration, Minister Lipavský listened to the example of the reform of French diplomacy and its Diplomatic Academy. “The meeting was held in a very friendly and open spirit. We talked about migration and the future of Europe as a whole, what to do for the enlargement of the European Union, how to support the enlargement process and what it will mean for the internal transformation of the functioning of Europe,” said Minister Lipavský.
The head of Czech diplomacy also held talks with Xavier Chatel, President Macron’s advisor on strategic affairs. This meeting focused on Russian aggression against Ukraine, relations with the United States and defence cooperation with EU and NATO partners.
Minister Lipavský used his stay in Paris to meet with three prominent compatriots living in France. In particular, with Ivana Cechlová, in charge of the pedagogical management of the Czech School Without Borders, with the director of the Czech-In film festival Markéta Hodoušková and with the vice-mayor of the Sokol Paris Petra Trnková. The Minister praised their work, which strengthens relations between Czechia and France and at the same time connects Czech expatriate communities in France. This year the Czech School without Borders in Paris celebrates twenty years of its existence and is the first of a network of schools providing education to Czech children around the world. Minister Lipavský also discussed with Czech compatriots the postal vote, which is a very topical issue for Czechs living abroad. “Compatriots everywhere in the world carry out extremely important activities and represent Czechia very well abroad. They deserve the postal vote and I fully support its adoption,” the Czech diplomatic chief concluded.