Czech center preparing “season of the whole culture” for the EU Presidency

Final preparations are currently underway for the Presidency of the Czech Republic of the Council of the European Union, which will be held from 1 July to the end of the year.

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Jan Lipavský | Photo: Czech Government Office<!–

Prague hosts important summits and other events, but the global Czech Center network will also be very active in the second half of 2022.

The plan for the Czech Center was announced at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, with the main speaker being Minister Jan Lipavsky.

After his speech, the Minister outlined the broader priority of becoming the EU’s second presidency since the Prague government joined the block 18 years ago.

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War in Ukraine | Photo: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0
Ukrainian War | Photo: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0<!–

“The main mission of our presidency is covered by five topics that cover all the efforts of the Czech Republic.

“Of course, we must reflect the current situation in Europe and the major geopolitical issues we are currently solving.

“That is, it is energy security, a war in Ukraine, and resilience in itself.

“Especially in the case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we put a great deal of emphasis on the topic of Ukraine, helping Ukraine win the war and helping Ukraine continue its European ambitions.”

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Tomáš Sacher | Photo: Czech Center Berlin
Tomáš Sacher | Photo: Czech Center Berlin<!–

Returning to the Czech Center, a wide variety of programs for the organization’s presidency are coordinated by Tomáš Sacher.

“We can say that we created a culture-wide season for the Czech Republic’s EU Presidency later this year.

“Based on 10 projects, we focus on the topics of sustainability, creativity and innovation.

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Martin Hilský | Photo: Jiří Nedorost, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
Martin Hilsky | Photo: Jiří Nedorost, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0<!–

“We have a kind of motto. It’s a European vision.

“Therefore, all projects are focused on the future of Europe.

“And I asked the people who participated in them about their vision of Europe.”

The Visions for Europe project includes short videos of people such as Shakespeare’s translator Martin Hilský, explaining what EU accession means to them.

Other special activities include a run in Brussels on July 2nd, with reference to the legendary Czech athlete Emil Zátopek, hosted by the Czech Center in the Belgian capital.

There are more than 20 Czech centers around the world-and they will hold events related to the EU Presidency on an individual but coordinated basis, Sacher says.

“These 10 projects span a network of 26 centers around the world.

“There are projects not only in Europe, but also in Asia and the United States.

“But with these projects, the Czech Center is creating additional events with local embassies and partners in the Czech Republic.

“That is, this is a kind of basic structure for the last six months, and next to it is another program created in that country, a country-specific program.”

Minister Jan Lipavský states that the network of cultural centers will help highlight important locations in the Czech Republic in Europe while the presidency is underway.

“Czech centers are cultural centers. They are not about politics, but about what makes us human, our souls, what we believe.

“Czech Center Program-and there are 26 centers around the world-it’s not political in itself.

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Přemysl Pela | Photo: Czech Center London
Pushemi Silpera | Photo: Czech Center London<!–

“But they will present the Czech Republic as a European country and Europe as a continent in which the Czech Republic plays a leading role later this year.”

Přemysl Pela heads the Czech Center in London. Brexit puts his team in a particular position, but there are still many plans for the July-January period.

“Of course, the European Union can’t give that much accent, so it emphasizes the common values ​​we have.

“It may be European values. It may reflect military conflicts, humanitarian values, especially in Ukraine, but it is also a lot of collaboration between art and culture itself.

“The first six months are an exhibition of two leading Czech artists, David Bohm and Gigi Franta.

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Emil Zátopek | Photo: eSbírky, National Museum in Prague, CC BY 4.0
Emil Zátopek | Photo: eSbírky, Prague National Museum, CC BY 4.0<!–

“The Minister also mentioned sports diplomacy, so we will follow up on Zátopek’s opening in Brussels.

“We will be holding a run in September with the Thames Valley Harriers, one of the UK’s oldest athletics clubs, and we plan to raise money for Zátopek’s Sports Fellowship.” Czech center preparing “season of the whole culture” for the EU Presidency

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