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  • 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: 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: Rudolf Furst, Alica Kizeková, David Kožíšek
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC, hereinafter referred to as China) have again generated more interest than ties with other Asian nations in the Asia Pacific in 2017. A disagreement on the Czech-China agenda dominated the political and media debate, while more sophisticated discussions about the engagement with China were still missing. In contrast, the bilateral relations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan did not represent a polarising topic in the Czech public discourse and thus remained largely unpoliticised due to the lack of interest and indifference of the public regarding these relations. Otherwise, the Czech policies with other Asian states in selected regions revealed balanced attitudes with both proactive and reactive agendas in negotiating free trade agreements, or further promoting good relations and co-operation in trade, culture, health, environment, science, academia, tourism, human rights and/or defence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, Czech Republic, Asia-Pacific