The Czech Republic took over the EU presidency on Jan. 1 amid much speculation over what Europe can expect from eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus and a nation that still questions whether its interests are best served by EU membership.
Czech President Mirek Topolanek takes over from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was widely praised for bringing authority and drive to the EU. It is a hard act to follow, especially if Sarkozy continues informally to perform its functions.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who took over the EU presidency on January 1, denied Prague's reputation for euroscepticism in a policy speech before the EU Parliament, outlining his country's plans for its six-month mandate.
In December 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the European Parliament for the last time as head of the EU presidency. After guiding Europe through a difficult six months, the baton has now been passed on to the Czech Republic.
This castle is the residence of the president of the Czech Republic. No need to search, there’s no European flag on the front of the building. Vaclav Klaus, the current tenant of these premises and an anti-European, has banished the starred banner.