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  • 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: Marek Čejka, Jan Daniel, Michaela Lubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017 the Czech foreign policy toward the Middle East and the Maghreb did not witness significant shifts and followed the wider goals established in the previous years. It continued to be oriented on the stabilisation of the states affected by the wars in Syria, Iraq and Libya, limiting the number of refugee arrivals to Europe, strengthening the business co-operations with promising regional partners and enhancing the co-operation and strategic partnership with Israel. Accordingly, economic diplomacy, security assistance and humanitarian relief remained the dominant modes of engagement with most of the countries in the region. Similarly to the previous years, the Czech policy mostly reactively followed the common EU positions, while being proactive regarding the issues concerning Israel and, to a lesser extent, also Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Libya. The Czech policy for the Middle East did not strongly enter the domestic public debate. The only exceptions were the conflicting positions on the issue of the Czech embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem and the role of the ambassador in Syria.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Migration, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Czech Republic, Maghreb
  • 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: 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