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Political scientist: The program in foreign policy and the European Union is the intersection of the positions of all parties

Political scientist: The program in foreign policy and the European Union is the intersection of the positions of all parties

Updates: 07.01.2022 17:43
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Prague – Chapters on Foreign Policy and European Affairs in the Government Program a permit According to political scientist Peter Kanyuk of Masaryk University in Brno, they constitute a rational intersection of the positions of all coalition parties. However, when asked by ČTK today, he also said that the repetition of paragraphs on the EU and the presidency in both chapters is amazing. Tomas Brosza, President of the Federation of Trade and Tourism and former Minister of State for European Affairs, said that the European part of the program has been written in a modern and efficient manner.

“In terms of content, both sections are a rational intersection of the positions of all coalition parties, and they contain no surprises,” Kanyuk said. He considers the clauses relating to the European Union and the presidency in both chapters to be illogical. “After 17 years of the Czech Republic’s membership in the EU, European integration should not be a ‘foreign’ agenda that needs to be framed abroad, but a domestic affair – it works across sectors, and the Czechs have the opportunity to influence it primarily,” he said.

According to Pavel Havlicek of the Association for International Affairs, the government confirmed previous priority statements. He expects that the government in cooperation with the V4 will be more realistic and that the line between Prague and Budapest will not be as strong as it was under previous governments. He says that regional allies lack focus on Austria, but we can expect an active development of relations with it.

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“Relationships with an increasingly aggressive Russia, which the government has promised to prepare, will also be important in terms of security and politics, which seems more than logical in the context of the escalation of Vrbtka and the upcoming negotiations on the future of the security architecture in Europe. In general, the issue of Security, defense policy and social resilience play an important role, including in terms of investment, which is a significant shift from the previous period.”

According to Havlíček, the presidency is an interesting opportunity to improve the somewhat weak relationship with France, which held the presidency of Europe before the Czech Republic, in the past. “Another interesting opportunity that the government of Petr Fiala is well aware of is the opportunity to change the somewhat skeptical view of the Czechs on the performance of the European Union, which, thanks to the previous presidency, has been improved by the Czech public,” he said.

According to him, in the current atmosphere within the European Union, the question of further enlargement of the bloc to the Western Balkans, especially Albania and North Macedonia, will be a great challenge. “At the same time, this policy has long played an important role in Czech thinking on the external relations of the European Union,” he said. “The manifesto of the Program interacts in an interesting way with the future regulation of the European Union, when the Council of Ministers emphasizes the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality in response to the alleged ‘democratic deficit’ within the Union,” Havlicic added.

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Jaroslav Bosch (Yes), deputy chair of the House Foreign and European Committee, thinks there’s not much new in the program statement. He believes that it is good for the government to follow the foreign policy of previous governments. “Unfortunately, I lack specific steps that the government wants to take. For example, in reviewing relations with Russia and China, but also in other areas he mentioned in the statement,” he wrote to the CTK.

“I am glad that the European part of the government’s program is written in a modern and efficient way. In my opinion, the main message is ‘We will restore the Czech Republic to its reputation as a reliable and respected partner.'”

It is important that the government wants to conduct high-quality impact analyzes and seek partners across Europe. “I appreciate that the government has promised a more active dialogue on Czech priorities and the future of the European Union as a whole, and our presidency will be an ideal instrument for that,” he added. He is also happy to mention the increase in funds for the transformation of the Czech economy, the greater participation in EU programs in science and research, or the active participation of the Czech Republic in European economic cooperation projects. “For Czech companies, this will be an excellent tool for further modernization and increasing the share of final production,” Broza added.

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