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  • 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: Kateřina Ženková Rudincová
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech foreign policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa can be characterised as continuous with aims of deepening the relations with traditional African partners in the fields of economy, defence, security and agriculture, and establishing new partnerships mainly with the Sahel countries. Similarly to the previous year, none of the themes connected to Sub-Saharan Africa were either politicised or polarised. The co-operation between ministries successfully continued with multi-sectoral visits on the continent by the representatives of the Czech Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Defence and Industry and Trade. The Czech Republic was also active on the European level, since it took part in the 5th EU-AU Summit and also worked actively on the negotiation mandate and draft of the post-Cotonou agreement with the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries. The Czech foreign policy towards Africa puts an emphasis on creating real partnerships with African states with the aim to achieve their sustainability and accountability.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Agriculture, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Czech Republic, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 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: Lukáš Tichý
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech Republic focussed mainly on the issue of strengthening energy security, both within the EU and the V4, and bilaterally in its relations with Germany, Austria, Russia, USA and France. In this context, the politicisation of the Czech discourse regarding the external dimension of energy security has been rather limited. Similarly, the polarisation of the Czech external dimension of the energy security discourse has also been limited. Despite this, the Czech government has relatively successfully tried to maintain a unified position in its energy policies, which is why in this case we can talk about a coherence within time, and across different players, as well as through the declared priorities of both the government and the EU. Last, but not least, the Czech Republic was supportive of creating common policies based on its proactive approach and co-operative position. The Czech Republic also adapted to external politics in the area of energy – which was the result of its reactive approach and neutral position.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • 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