Year of Innovation and crisis with Gasprom and Gaza
Hands full for Czech EU presidency
The launching of the European Year of Innovation and Creativity can easily be over shadowed by the current international crisis. However, the initiative is one of many planned in common by the French, the Czech and the Swedish Chairmanship (from 1th July 2009), an 18 months program.
The aim of The European Year is to promote creativity and innovation as the key competence of all individuals and will be launched by an expert conference in Prague 7th January. More info about this initiative can be found at the home page.
According to the Czech PM, Mr.Mirek Topolánek, the Czech presidency has 3 main priorities, “the 3 E’s”: Economy, Energy and External Relations . The presidency will have many opportunities to put these priorities into practical actions already in the very beginning of the period. Working program can be downloaded from here.
CNN reports that Gazprom accuses the Ukrainian company of stealing gas and missing payments. The dispute has affected natural gas supplies to Europe. European Union leaders are meeting Ukrainian officials in Kiev Monday, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is sitting down with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller in Moscow.
At the same time a delegation lead by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg is visiting the Middle East. In the delegation there is also the Swedish and the French Ministers of Foreign Affairs. According to a press release the EU representatives and the King Abdulla II of Jordan agreed on the analysis of the situation and, among other things, on the need of the involvement of the US administration. Reacting to the information of Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the EU humanitarian efforts, King Abdullah expressed a strong interest in cooperating with the EU in order to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Gaza population,combining resources, experience and means of both EU and Jordan.