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  • Author: Alica Kizeková
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The year 2017 was the final year of the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (established in 2013 and made up of ČSSD [the Social Democrats], ANO 2011 and KDU-ČSL [the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party]). While the political parties in this government had promised to provide stability and they achieved this goal throughout the majority of their term, from March 2017, political conflicts surrounding the leader of ANO 2011 and Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš had a major impact on the government’s stability. Parliamentarians requested an explanation of the financial activities of the leader of ANO 2011 and there were calls for his resignation. PM Sobotka offered to resign to facilitate the demise of the whole cabinet and thus remove Babiš from his post.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Elections, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Jan Kovář, Zdeněk Sychra
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech European policy faced a number of challenges related to the great events of previous years (the migration crisis, Brexit, security policy, Eurozone reform) as well as the ongoing reflection process of the EU. Above all, the Czech approach was a typical example of reactive behaviour, and characteristic of responding to external stimuli coming from EU. There were also partial topics about which proactive assertions were made by the Czech Republic. The polarisation between the individual actors of foreign policy was low, though with some exceptions pertaining to the President of the Republic. In contrast, as regards politicisation, the European agenda was an example of a highly politicised area, which was crucially reflected also in domestic policy. The coherence of the Czech European policy can be referred to as problematic, as the Czech Republic was not able to make a substantial move in its main conceptual priorities, but only in partial areas. Finally, the predominantly critical tone of the Czech discussion on the EU had contributed to the Czech Republic’s very low trust in the Union’s policy, posing a threat to the fulfilment of the key goals of the Czech foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic, European Union
  • Author: Jana Urbanovská
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017 the Czech-German relations were marked by the anniversaries of the Czech-German Declaration (1997) and the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation (1992). Their dynamics in that year were under the considerable influence of the parliamentary elections in both the Czech Republic and Germany. This led to a decline in the development of their bilateral relations at the top political level, both before the elections due to their focusses on their respective domestic political agendas, and after the elections, owing to the demanding post-election negotiations. Nevertheless, their sectoral, practically-oriented co-operation continued intensively at a lower level. It was substantial especially in the areas of defence policy, science and research, and transport infrastructure. In the field of economic co-operation there was the ongoing, exceptionally favourable trend of the growing Czech-German foreign trade. However, the dependency of the Czech economy on the German economy had increased, and the income gap between their respective citizens had not become narrower. In the context of European policy, there was an undesirable rift between the Czech and German standpoints in regard to a number of points on the Union agenda. As regards the issues of the past, there was a continuing trend of normalising the mutual relations and a subsiding of the politicisation of these issues.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Bilateral Relations, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Czech Republic
  • Author: Monika Brusenbauch Meislová, Eliska Tomalova
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Both France and the United Kingdom (the UK) occupy a stable position in the Czech Republic’s foreign relations. Both countries have had asymmetrical and pragmatic relationships with the Czech Republic in the last decade, which were mostly influenced by the multilateral context of European integration. The recent developments on the British political scene and the Brexit process have changed the general atmosphere of the Czech-British relations on the one hand and opened a new space for the changing role of France in the European Union on the other. However, at the end of 2017 it was still unclear how precisely these changes would influence the bilateral relations. Thus a major characteristic of the Czech relations with Great Britain and France in the year 2017 was a strong element of continuity in a changing context, as it was a year of mutual observations and expectations between the three states.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Czech Republic
  • Author: Tomáš Dopita, Daniel Heler, Kristýna Tamchynová
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Similarly to the previous years, in 2017 most of the Czech foreign political actors kept to the strategic notion that they support the efforts of Serbia, other Western Balkan countries and Turkey to integrate with the European Union as a means of ensuring stability, the democratic rule of law and prosperity in Southeastern Europe.2 However, in regard to this matter, the Czech actors themselves were divided between those tending towards a rhetorically offensive foreign policy and those striving to co-operate in the institutional structures of the EU, NATO, and other international organisations. The Czech foreign policy towards the Balkans and Turkey also had to cope with problems stemming from the geopolitical rivalry of the EU (or the West) with Russia, instability in the Middle East, migration, the unfolding of the authoritative turn in Turkey, terrorism, the faltering of the EU integration and enlargement process, and the multiple sore points reminiscent of the Yugoslav wars. The South-East dimension, nonetheless, remained an essential aspect of the Czech foreign policy. Besides, this area has recently attracted rising volumes of Czech investments, and the mutual trade with it has been steadily growing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Balkans, Czech Republic, Mediterranean
  • Author: Karel Svoboda
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech foreign policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries continued in the trends of the preceding years. Nevertheless, both the Czech parliamentary elections and the pre-election campaigns for the 2018 presidential elections seriously limited the interest of Czech politicians in the problems of foreign policy. As in previous years, the Czech Republic conducted its foreign policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries through three basic channels: the EU, bilateral relations and the civil society sector. On the EU level, the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels was the main event of the year regarding the EaP, with the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka taking part in it. In the bilateral relations, Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip visited Prague, while unlike in the previous years, the Prime Minister did not pay a visit to any of the EaP countries (this was the case with both the original Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and his successor Andrej Babiš). Moreover, Miloš Zeman also did not carry out any official visit to the EaP countries during the year. As a result, the main burden of the EaP policies was, as in the previous years, laid on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Jan Hornát
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The year 2017 was mainly a transition year for Czech foreign policy towards the United States, as the Czech side was gradually getting acquainted with and monitoring the positions and perspectives of the new administration. President Trump’s often ambivalent rhetoric regarding transatlantic relations and various multilateral frameworks has brought increased uncertainty as to what role Washington intends to play in the world and how it plans to co-operate with its global partners. Due to personnel changes in key offices in the executive branch of the US government, higher-level bilateral security, foreign policy and economic dialogues between the Czech Republic and the US did not take place during the year, albeit with a positive outlook for their resumption in 2018. During 2017, a part of the bilateral agenda consisted of preparations for the commemoration of one hundred years of official ties between the two countries, which will be celebrated throughout 2018. The bilateral trade with the US increased but ended with a deficit for the Czech side. The two countries’ defence and security co-operation can also be rated as strengthened mainly due to the continuing activities of the Czech Republic in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Petr Kratochvil, Karel Svoboda
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Amid the ever-higher tensions between the West and Russia, the Czechs became more active on the political level in 2017, with the highlight being the official visit of President Zeman to Russia. However, several structural factors prevented this flurry of political activity from turning into tangible political or economic results. First, the ongoing sanction regime and Russia’s aggressive stance in the neighbourhood rendered any deeper economic or political co-operation difficult to achieve. Second, the focus on internal issues (the then upcoming presidential elections in both countries) made foreign policy a mere pawn in the domestic political games. Third, while President Zeman confirmed his role as one of the most vocal advocates of President Putin, the continuing polarisation of the public opinion as well as the re-grouping of Czech anti-Kremlin forces limited his influence on the day-to-day Czech policy vis-à-vis Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Martin Hrabálek
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Latin America is a distant region. Its political affairs do not play a really important role in the Czech foreign policy in general. The Czech interest in the region is primarily economic, as a number of countries in the region are already quite developed or on the way to becoming developed. The economic ties with Latin America are growing steadily, as is the volume of trade between the Czech Republic and countries in the region. Generally the Czech Republic pursues a rather neutral foreign policy towards Latin American countries, and the events there are unlikely to become subjects of politicization in the Czech Republic or to polarize the Czech political scene. Otherwise, on the part of the Czech Republic, an economically more proactive policy toward Latin America could be identified in 2017, with a growing perception of Latin America as an attractive region for both trade and investments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Czech Republic
  • Author: Lukáš Dyčka
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech foreign security and defence policy in 2017 was influenced mainly by the Russian threat, terrorism and migration – nevertheless, Brexit and the new US administration under President Trump were also important external drivers for it. These factors resulted in various steps taken within the Czech defence sector. The policy faced changes ranging from renewals of strategic documents, an increased defence budget, the high (yet still problematic) support from the public and rising numbers of Armed Forces personnel to problems with the age structure within both the military and the civilian part of the defence sector. Finally, the foreign security policy will likely be heavily influenced by the results of the parliamentary elections in October 2017 and also by the new government of Andrej Babiš, but this is rather to be expected in 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Migration, Terrorism, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Štěpánka Zemanová, Miloslav Machoň
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the domestic support of the Czech Republic’s external economic relations (EER) maintained its continuity and corresponded with the recent developments in the world economy and the EU’s proactive policies in the internal market. It derived from the recent updates of the Export Strategy of the Czech Republic for 2012–2020 and the Map of Global Export Opportunities 2016/17 and profited from the improved relations between the relevant stakeholders and their ever-extending activities as well as newly introduced export and investment promotion tools. The period was successful in terms of performance as the Czech Republic achieved both an extraordinary increase in exports and a remarkable rate of GDP growth. This was combined with a growing emphasis on sustainable development. On the other hand, several questions relating to the institutional architecture remained. The adaptation of the system to the needs of a 21st century small open economy will be a challenge, and its possible failure one of the main risks in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Veronika Bílková
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech Republic went through the third round of the Universal Periodic Review and, for six months, it assumed the chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the main European human rights organisation. These events might help promote the Czech human rights foreign policy both inside and outside the country. Yet, they were largely overshadowed, first, by the crisis in the government coalition, and, later on, by the parliamentary elections. The elections, resulting in the victory of Andrej Babiš’s ANO and the defeat of virtually all the traditional political parties, heralded potential changes in the Czech human rights foreign policy. Yet, since so far, ANO has been rather ambiguous in its approach to human rights, it is not easy to predict what direction such changes may take.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Politics, Governance, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Jan Werner
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Following the European Year for Development 2015 and the transitional year 2016, 2017 promised to be the year when the Czech development agenda would find a new direction thanks to the introduction of a comprehensive sustainable development framework, new strategic documents, increases in funding and the evolution of the development institutions. Looking back, however, we can safely say it did not happen. While the new framework and strategies have been put in place and the institutions are evolving accordingly, most of the political scene seems to have once again lost interest in the agenda, or even question its utility. Amid growing pragmatism and polarisation, the main question increasingly faced by the Czech development policy is not whether and how it should relate to other dimensions of foreign policy (be it security, migration or business promotion), but rather whether, and to what extent, it will remain one of the country’s pursuits and priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Migration, Business , Institutions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Nanna Hvidt, Hans Mouritzen (eds.)
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Danish Foreign Policy and the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013 were marked by the continuing economic and political diffusion of power on the global stage – a development that generates dynamism and new opportunities in the globalised world, but also challenges the position of Europe. The Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs describes the political and economic developments in the world – which have led to a far-reaching reorganisation of Danish diplomatic representations abroad – and analyses the most important Danish foreign policy priorities of 2013. The article emphasizes trends in the EU, in international security, and regarding the Arctic and the transatlantic dimensions, as well as developments in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and finally global development trends.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This year's volume presents the official outline of Denmark's foreign policy in 2012 by Claus Grube, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Besides that Ravinder Kaur contributes with the first academic inquiry into the causes of the Danish-Indian diplomatic deadlock in the extradition case concerning Niels Holck (the prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case). Mette Skak addresses the role of the emerging BRICS powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Danish foreign policy and offers her policy recommendations. Hans Branner shifts to a diachronic perspective. In his article about Denmark 'between Venus and Mars' he stresses elements of continuity in Danish foreign policy history; activism is not solely a post-Cold War phenomenon. Derek Beach turns to the scene of the current European economic crisis, analysing and interpreting the Fiscal Compact agreed during the Danish EU Presidency.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil, Denmark
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs analyses Danish foreign-policy priorities in 2011. The troublesome situation for the global econ-omy, including an uncertain outlook for the future, was the most impor-tant backdrop for Danish foreign policy in that year. Low growth prospects, combined with high levels of public debt, had wide foreign-policy implica-tions, amongst other things for the agenda of the EU and as a result also for the preparations for the Danish EU Presidency in the first half of 2012. This article therefore takes its point of departure in the state of the global economy, the state of the European economies and the challenges that this presented to the EU. It then goes on to discuss the emerging world powers, the Arab Spring, the world's conflict areas, security policy, Denmark's north-ern neighbours and various global issues, such as development cooperation, green growth and human rights. Finally, some reflections are offered on the core tasks of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a time when there is increased pressure on Denmark's public finances and the world influence of Denmark's traditional partners and allies is waning.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries, Denmark, North Africa
  • Author: Michael Moran
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: I have published most of the items in this booklet before. Denktaş's speech before the United Nations (UN) Security Council in 1964 was included in my edition of Rauf Denktash at the United Nations: Speeches on Cyprus (The Eothen Press, Huntingdon, 1997); and except for a few small changes, my opening essay here differs little from the first chapter of my book Sovereignty Divided: Essays on the International Dimensions of the Cyprus Problem (CYREP, Nicosia, 1998; third enlarged imprint, 1999). These earlier works are now out of print and will probably remain so.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Cyprus
  • Author: Álvaro de Vasconcelos (ed)
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Nothing is perhaps more fundamental to EU foreign policy than the imperative of defining a common agenda with the US. Unfortunately, however, in Europe relations with the United States are marked by ideological divergences or antagonisms which are largely a legacy of the Cold War era. But such a rift is clearly dysfunctional in a polycentric world, which is no longer characterised by a bipolar world order, but by the need to define much larger coalitions, across ideological divides, than just the Euro-American one.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Nihan Akıncılar, Anna Alexieva, Jennifer Brindisi, Evinç Doğan, Amanda E. Rogers, Beatrice Schimmang
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: In this paper, Europeanization of minority rights in Turkey will be explained in detail and in the conclusion part, it will be compared and contrasted with the Europeanization of minority rights in Greece. In this comparison, it is difficult to compare and contrast the mechanisms of Europeanization in Turkey and Greece because these mechanisms are suitable for the member states of the European Union (EU). For the candidate countries, the question of “how it is Europeanized” can be only answered with conditionality. Therefore, instead of trying to adapt Turkey in the case of minority rights to the mechanisms of Europeanization for the member states, in this study, it will be dealt with how the EU matters in affecting the minority rights protection in candidate and member states. Therefore, what this study implies when it is expected to explain Europeanization of mi`nority rights in Turkey is not to handle this case through the Europeanization theories, but how the EU affects the candidate countries through conditionality.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Human Rights, War, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece