Prague is preparing for the top EU summit. Security will also be provided by snipers — ČT24 — Czech Television
The Czech police deploys over a hundred people in security measures every day. Dozens of police officers will be at Václav Havel Airport. For example, if a presidential or prime ministerial special arrives, snipers will aim at the roofs of the buildings. The area will also be controlled by pyrotechnicians with dogs.
The reception lounges must always be thoroughly checked before the arrival of the delegation. “Subsequently, none of the civilians have access to the place and the place is guarded until the protected person arrives,” explained Martin Kaiser from the Protection Service.
Escort cars are also checked – for example for journalists. Each protected person is accompanied by a Czech bodyguard in a police limousine. “For the Protective Service, this means practically every police officer will be on the job, which is happening throughout the presidency,” Kaiser noted.
Police officers from the Protection Service already know who they will be escorting and on which routes. A prepared and secured car – for example also against wiretapping – must be ready at the exact time for a specific protected person. Another Czech bodyguard is in contact with her immediately after getting off the plane.
Almost fifty foreign delegations will provide security and escorts. “It is necessary to involve the large Prague police, specialized services – such as the aviation, foreigner, pyrotechnic service. And we will receive reinforcements from all regional directorates,” said police president Martin Vondrášek.
It will mostly be traffic policemen who will be part of the convoys and will ensure passage through intersections. “Departures from the airport will be to the place of accommodation. This means either along the Prague Ring Road or down the European Street to Praha 6,” outlined Vondrášek. He added that, apart from the restrictions that require the passage of a convoy with a protected person, no permanent road closures are planned.
Restrictions around Prague Castle
The security measures will probably affect Prague Castle the most. It will be closed to the public from Tuesday 4th to Saturday 8th October. Only foreign delegations and people with special permission will be allowed to enter Hradčanské náměstí.
However, Hradčanské náměstí will not be closed for tourists. “The passage will be restricted in some way to prevent pedestrians from meeting the convoys,” Kaiser said.
Summit of the European Political Community
The summit will focus mainly on the Russian-Ukrainian war and energy security. The Meeting of the European Political Community will take place on Thursday, and an informal meeting of heads of state and prime ministers will take place on Friday.
The biggest onslaught is expected on Thursday after noon, when, in addition to the leaders of the EU countries, representatives of the non-member countries will also head to the Castle – seventeen states have received an invitation. The composition of their delegations is still being adjusted. However, participation has already been confirmed by, for example, the new British Prime Minister Liz Trussová or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The statesmen will arrive at the first castle courtyard, where, according to protocol, they will be welcomed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS). They will meet in the premises of the Prague Castle, including in the Spanish Hall. Foreign journalists will also accompany the delegation. The press centers will be in the Riding Hall and the Ballroom of the castle. The presidential residence in the adjacent gardens is to be used for national press conferences.