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The Czech Presidency of the EU and interregional cooperation

By Joint secretariat

On 1 July 2022, the Czech Republic has taken over the reins of the EU Presidency from France for the upcoming six months. To understand better the challenges ahead, we asked Pavel Lukeš from the Czech Ministry of Regional Development, Interreg Europe's point of contact in the country, a few questions about the Presidency's priorities and links to our programme.

It is the second time the Czech Republic is taking over the EU Council’s Presidency. What are the Presidency‘s priorities for the upcoming six months?

The Czech Presidency 2022 builds on the legacy of Václav Havel reflected in five priorities:

Czech EU Presidency logo 2022
  1. Managing the refugee crisis and the post-war recovery of Ukraine
  2. Energy security
  3. Strengthening Europe’s defense capabilities and cyberspace security
  4. Strategic resilience of the European economy
  5. Resilience of democratic institutions

Can interregional cooperation funded by Interreg Europe contribute to these priorities and if so, how?

The Czech Republic is taking the helm of the EU during unprecedented security, economy and energy crises. In order to tackle those challenges effectively we need to cooperate more closely.

Interreg Europe provides a platform for cooperation, continuous learning and good practice sharing. The programme's design offers opportunities to address almost all the priorities of the Czech EU Presidency.

  • The programme can support new cooperation projects among public authorities looking for ways to integrate 3rd-country nationals in local communities.
  • The programme builds on the results of existing projects in many fields: in the field of cybersecurity (CYBER), community energy (COALESCCE), investments in energy savings (FINERPOL), supporting innovation including AI, industry 4.0, internet of things, and economic transformation and competitiveness (INNO PROVEMENT, INNO INFRA SHARE)
  • The programme is open to sharing good practices and experiences in participatory governance and strengthening the role of citizens and different stakeholders (BIOGOV, CECI).

Sharing the knowledge and finding the right solutions is for the benefit of each EU region.

Looking beyond these priorities, what do you find the most beneficial about the cooperation opportunities Interreg Europe offers?

The European regions face similar challenges but not all have ready-made solutions to effectively tackle them. Interreg Europe, as a pan-European programme, allows partners to share knowledge, experiences, good practices and learn from each other in different fields of regional policy in order to find the best solutions for common challenges.

Solutions are out there. We just need to look for them. Interreg Europe is a tool that can help to find the right solution for regional challenges and help to overcome current crises.

More information about the Czech involvement in Interreg Europe

The Czech Republic is one of the countries enlarging the European Union in 2004. With its population of over 10 million, it is also one of its smaller members. This is reflected in the involvement of Czech partners in the interregional cooperation projects: 34 of the 258 running Interreg Europe projects have 36 Czech partner organisations and projects have a Czech lead partner.

Czech partners improve policies

The cooperation interest of Czech project partners reaches across all four programme topics.

Projects with Czech partners by topics

    Thanks to interregional cooperation and policy learning, 15 policy changes and improvements have already taken place in the Czech Republic. 10 changes are linked to the Structural Funds programmes. The Czech project partners mobilised over MEUR 1.97 of funding for implementation of the changes, all of it from the Structural Funds.

    InnovaSUMP project poster with policy change in the Czech Republic

    For example, the InnovaSUMP project looked for innovative approaches to sustainable urban mobility planning. Thanks to the exchange of experience, the City of Prague tested electric buses and prepared a purchase of a new bus fleet.

    You can find out more about all project results at this page.

    Good practices from the Czech Republic

    There are 32 Czech good practices in our good practice database. See a few recent examples, also in the carousel below:

    • Testbed for Industry 4.0 was developed in Prague for business or research sector to test in production-like environment new solutions for smart factories according to the principles of Industry 4.0
    • A new fire station in the Zlín Region was constructed following the passive standards with low-energy consumption and using renewable resources
    • Lobzy park in Pilsen provides ecohydrologic and climatic benefits to the local inhabitants as it mitigates flood flows and strengthens the protection of the natural and river landscape
    • Rychla Rada project (Quick Advice) in the Moravian Silesian region helped the regional authorities and stakeholders to work together to inform SMEs about all the funding and programmes created by the government during COVID-19 pandemic

    Discover more about the Czech participation in Interreg Europe