The Czech EU Presidency: Strengthening Energy Security Amidst the Crisis
The Czech Republic took over the presidency of the European Union Council from France during a deep crisis ignited by the aggressive Russian invasion of Ukraine. In fact, as a result of the invasion, the Czech presidency had to deal with a multitude of crises: not only the actual security crisis, that is, Russian forces attacking a country at the EUʼs border, but also an energy crisis manifested by price hikes and supply insufficiency, and an economic crisis caused by both of the above. As energy was among the priorities of the presidency, the article focuses on this area, assessing the presidencyʼs performance in strengthening the blocʼs energy security. The text focuses on electricity and natural gas markets, given the impact of the crisis on these areas and the fact that their functioning is communitarized. Retrospectively, it also takes on the topic of what the presidencyʼs main message and legacy were when it passed the proverbial baton to Sweden at the end of 2022. The research found that the agreements reached under the Czech presidency can increase the Unionʼs energy security, namely the availability and affordability of energy supplies. The presidency also showcased the Czech Republic’s ability to achieve broad agreement even on controversial points.
European Union, Czech Republic, presidency, Council of the EU, energy security, Russia