The Bavarian-Czech friendship weeks are starting. Czech President Petr Pavel, 19 May 2023 Selb.
Selb (Germany) – The President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, today thanked the Chairman of the Sudeten German Expatriate Association, Bernd Posselt, for the improvement in Czech-German relations. According to Pavel, these are the best in recent times and also provide a basis for further cooperation. In a speech at the opening of the Bavarian-Czech friendship weeks in Selb, Germany, Pavel mentioned, among other things, that there is a need to work together to solve migration problems rather than deal with the idea of closing the borders again.
Photo gallery: Bavarian-Czech friendship weeks
“I welcome the move in the Sudeton German expatriate association and I would like to thank Bernd Posselt, I really appreciate it,” Pavel said today. Posselt was also one of the guests at today's opening of the Bavarian-Czech friendship weeks.
Pavel also touched on the current situation in Europe after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said that in all meetings with representatives of European countries, he tries to convince them that helping the struggling Ukraine is also a fight for maintaining European values. “That's why I urge all partners to maintain support and help not only refugees, but also support Ukraine in the fight. If Ukraine loses, we all lose in a way,” said Pavel. The guests then appreciated his words with a long applause.
Pavel also used today's ceremonial opening of the cross-border festival in Selb to meet with the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder. Among other things, he would also like to support better transport connections between the two regions, which, according to Pavel, would help Bavaria and the Czech economy. The same theme was mentioned in his speech by Söder, who said that while the north-south connection across Bavaria is good, the connection from west to east is still lacking. This could be important for the Czech side as well. For example, on the railway, electrification is on the Czech side as far as Cheb, but it has not yet continued beyond the borders.
Similarly, the road connection to Germany from the Karlovy Vary region is still unfinished. The D6 highway ends near Cheb, and although it is only a few tens of kilometers to the German A9 highway, there is still no interest on the German side to widen the road from Cheb to the A9 highway.
The program of the three-month cross-border festival, the opening of which today Pavel i Söder participated, is full of events, including non-traditional ones. They will be related to sports, they will bring musical performances, an open air festival Dancing friends, an artistic light and video installation, sightseeing tours across borders or perhaps joint sustainability days. The festival will also focus on various aspects of cross-border relations; among others on light, nature, water, Europe, language and history, cuisine and art and design. The common vision is for the entire Bavarian-Czech border region to create a common space for the future.