Trends of Czech Foreign Policy

trendy.amo.cz

Trends of Czech Foreign Policy

Trends

of Czech

Foreign Policy

Study of Foreign-Policy Elites


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SUMMARY

► The aim of the project was to obtain empirical evidence of the views held by the Czech

foreign-policy elite in the form of an online survey. 313 respondents were addressed

from the ranks of politicians, senior officials, academics, analysts and journalists. 114 of

them (36 %) filled in the questionnaire in part or in full, and of these 85 (27 %) completed

the entire questionnaire.

► The questions focused on seven topics: the Czech Republic in the international

environment; the importance of international issues for the Czech Republic; the Czech

Republic in international organizations; the European Union; transatlantic relations; bilateral

relations; current affairs.

► According to the respondents, the Czech Republic is a sovereign actor in international

relations which should assertively pursue its national interests, primarily through international

organizations. However, there is scepticism about the extent to which this ideal is actually

met in practice.

► In the short term, the most important themes of Czech foreign policy are energy,

the development of the EU and the state of the global economy. These are accompanied

by other issues, such as migration, international terrorism or Islamic fundamentalism.

► The European Union and NATO are considered the key international organizations

for the Czech Republic; the importance of other institutions (including the United Nations

and the Visegrad Group) is viewed more sceptically. Czech policy-makers clearly support

UN reform, but demand that it respects the values of democracy and human rights.

► Within the EU, the respondents predict a tendency towards a ‘multi-speed Europe’,

where the larger states are expected to become increasingly significant, while supranational

institutions will retain their importance. European integration is currently beset by the problems

of the euro area, the future of which the respondents view in a rather negative light, although

they do not think the situation is entirely hopeless. In the longer-term outlook the most

important issue for them is clearly energy policy.

► The future development of transatlantic relations will be marked by the United States’ retreat

from European politics. Nevertheless, the respondents believe that cooperation in certain

specific areas, especially in the fight against terrorism, disarmament and the promotion

of democracy and human rights, will improve (but this does not particularly apply to joint

operations). Here, too, economic issues are currently regarded as a crucial factor.

► In bilateral relations, Germany is clearly viewed as the most important partner, followed,

further behind, by the USA and Slovakia. Slovakia, Germany and Poland are the most

highly-rated partners; Russia, China and Ukraine stand at the other end of the scale.

► Respondents are evidently pessimistic about current trends, such as the developments

in the Arab world and the prospects for the global economy; only a minority anticipates

a change for the better.

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INTRODUCTION

In the past year, three major strategy documents – the Foreign Policy Concept of the Czech Republic,

the White Paper on Defence and the Security Strategy of the Czech Republic – have been issued.

The professional community, including representatives of the Association for International Affairs, was

also involved in the production of these documents. In discussions on ongoing proposals, we could

not help noticing how much opinions on the basic assumptions regarding the Czech Republic’s place

in the international community could differ: What is the Czech national interest? What significance

does the European Union hold for the Czech Republic? Who are our most important partners?

This direct experience has confirmed the general observation that foreign policy – like any other

area of human activity – is largely determined by the opinions and beliefs of those who are behind

its creation. As no project has yet been implemented that would thoroughly map these opinions

and beliefs, we decided to carry out an extensive questionnaire-based survey, the results of which

are presented in this study.

Our inspiration and guide was the study Trends der deutschen Außenpolitik by the German

Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). At this point, we would therefore like to thank Henning

Riecke in particular for his willingness to advise us on the methodology and actual implementation

of the survey.

The project took place in three stages from March to September 2011. First, the questionnaire

and a database of potential respondents were compiled in consultation with the DGAP. In the second

half of June 2011, the data were collected. The next two months were spent analysing and evaluating

the information gathered, and a website was created at the same time. The entire project was

concluded in September 2011 with a public presentation of the survey results.

The primary aim of the project, in addition to obtaining as-yet-unverified empirical data, was

to encourage debate on Czech foreign policy and contribute to a better understanding of its strategic

priorities and current challenges.

SAMPLE OF RESPONDENTS

For the purpose of sampling the respondents, we relied (with minor changes) on the DGAP’s broad

definition, under which the elite includes not only politicians and officials with direct decision-making

powers (policy-makers), but also a wide range of persons involved in public debate.

In total, 313 persons were approached, of whom 114 (36 %) filled in the questionnaire in part or in full,

and of these 85 (27 %) completed the entire questionnaire.

We approached

► parliamentary deputies and senators from the relevant committees

► diplomats

► senior state administration employees

► political parties

► academics

► representatives of think-tanks and NGOs

► selected journalists


The composition of those approached is shown by the first graph. The second graph shows

the composition of those who actually filled in the questionnaire. It indicates that the sample

is largely representative in terms of the categories used. The only significant deviation

is the under-representation of politicians.

Which of the following options best corresponds to your profession?

Representation of individual professions among those approached

Other : 4.5 %

Non-profit sector worker : 2.6 %

Academic : 7.7 %

Public sector worker : 50.2 %

Politician : 35 %

Politician

Public sector worker

Academic

Non-profit sector worker

Other

Which of the following options best corresponds to your profession?

Representation of individual professions among respondents

Other : 7.4 %

Non-profit sector worker : 1.9 %

Academic : 9.3 %

Public sector worker : 61.1 %

Politician : 20.4 %

Politician

Public sector worker

Academic

Non-profit sector worker

Other

5


THEMES AND QUESTIONNAIRE

The questionnaire was distributed electronically and included a total of 25 questions from the following

seven thematic groups:

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► The Czech Republic in the international environment

► The importance of international issues for the Czech Republic

► The Czech Republic in international organizations

► The European Union

► Transatlantic relations

► Bilateral relations

► Current affairs

Complete questionnaire and the dataset containing all the answers can be downloaded

from trendy.amo.cz.

TYPES AND EVALUATION OF RESPONSES

Respondents could answer questions in the following ways

► An evaluation of the extent to which they agreed with the several answers offered

to the question, using a scale of the type agree/somewhat agree/somewhat disagree/disagree

(the neutral middle value and the ‘I don’t know’ option were intentionally omitted)

► Open answers

► A numerical scale (based on Czech school grading system)

Respondents were also free to skip any of the answers. The survey results are set out in the form

of a guided visualization on the following pages.


1. THE CR IN THE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

According to the respondents, the Czech Republic is a sovereign state which should assertively

pursue its national interests by means of an active foreign policy. The results show that Czech

politicians have failed in this regard. Given the weight of the Czech Republic, international

organizations are vital for the country, but not as an exclusive platform to promote its policies.

The Czech Republic should strengthen its position through regional cooperation with state

and non-state partners.

The Czech Republic is a

sovereign and self-confident

actor in international relations

The Czech Republic mainly

wields its influence through

international organizations

The Czech Republic has only

minimal capacity to influence

international affairs

The Czech Republic’s role in the international environment

To what extent do you agree with the following views on the Czech Republic’s

role in the international environment?

13%

13.7%

22.1%

51.1%

44.2%

NATIONAL INTERESTS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Nine out of ten respondents believe it is necessary to defend Czech national interests assertively

– regardless of how we interpret them. More than half of them agree with this view wholeheartedly.

Although the international organizations are the preferred arena for the Czech Republic’s activities

in the minds of a majority of respondents, it is noteworthy that a third rejects this view. Besides

the predominant support of multilateralism here, there was therefore a strongly evident (albeit

minority) emphasis on the bilateral dimension of Czech foreign policy. Respondents are clearly

convinced that the Czech Republic should not significantly limit its foreign-policy activities.

43.2%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

33.7%

30.5%

32.6%

4.2%

8.4%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

The Czech Republic’s national interests

To what extent do you agree with the following views on the promotion of the Czech Republic’s interests?

The Czech Republic should

assertively defend its national

interests

The Czech Republic should act

preferentially within

international organizations

The Czech Republic should

withdraw and significantly limit

its foreign-policy activities

20.7%

19.4%

52.6%

46.7%

79.6%

37.1%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

29.3%

8.2%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

3.3%

3.3%

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THE CZECH REPUBLIC’S ROLE IN THE REGION

The Czech elites attach great importance to regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe,

especially in terms of strengthening the Czech Republic’s influence in international organizations

and addressing specific thematic issues.

THE INFLUENCE WIELDED BY CZECH POLITICIANS IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

The impact and influence of Czech politicians on the international scene is rated very pessimistically.

Less than a fifth of respondents believe that politicians successfully promote national interests. As is

apparent from other responses, the Czech Republic should definitely try harder to fill high positions

in international organizations with Czech citizens. A slightly smaller, but still significantly majority

supports the idea that Czech politicians should show more initiative internationally.

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The Czech Republic should

promote its interests primarily

in regional initiatives and

groupings

The Czech Republic should

cooperate with other states in

the region in order to promote

its interests in IOs

The Czech Republic should

work with state and non-state

partners to promote common

interests within the framework

of theme-based platforms and

organizations

The Czech Republic should

strive to fill senior posts in

international organizations with

Czech politicians

Czech politicians should put

forward their own international

policy initiatives more often

Czech politicians successfully

promote the Czech Republic’s

interests through their proactive

dealings in background

negotiations

The Czech Republic’s role in Central and Eastern Europe

Do you agree with the following views on the Czech Republic’s role in the region?

20%

40.9%

59.6%

51.6%

46.2%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

39.4%

25.3%

12.9%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

The influence of Czech politicians on international events

Do you agree with the following views on the role of Czech politicians?

15.7%

28.4%

68.4%

43.2%

62.9%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

24.2%

24.2%

20.2%

7.4%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

3.2%

1.1%

4.2%


2. THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL ISSUES FOR THE CR

The most important themes of Czech foreign policy for the next five years are energy,

the development of the EU and the state of the global economy. The respondents also view

migration as a relatively serious issue; they attach less importance to international terrorism

and Islamic fundamentalism.

The respondents initially spontaneously reported the three most significant themes of Czech foreign

policy for the next five years. For greater transparency, responses were sorted into about thirty

categories. The following visualization and table shows the themes based on their frequency,

i.e. according to the percentage of how many replies included the given topic among the three

choices. Economic issues clearly dominate here, while traditional security agendas are of relatively

low relevance.

Frequency of occurrence

euro area developments 38%

EU developments 36%

energy 24%

economic crisis 20%

energy security 20%

migration 18%

new superpowers 17%

Arab world 14%

global economy 14%

NATO 11%

terrorism 10%

European integration 10%

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In the second stage, the questionnaire offered eleven topics on which the respondents were asked

to assign their anticipated relevance to the Czech Republic’s foreign-policy agenda. The results

appear to be largely consistent with the spontaneous replies – energy/energy security, on which

there is an almost absolute consensus, predominates. The global-economy topic (control of financial

markets) and, somewhat surprisingly, uncontrolled migration are considered highly relevant.

International terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism are regarded as significant in about half

of the responses.

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The importance of international themes for the Czech Republic

How important will the following themes be for the Czech Republic in the next five years?

Safeguarding of energy supplies

Control of financial markets

Uncontrollable migration

EU enlargement

Promotion of human rights & democracy

Demographic trends

International terrorism

Islamic fundamentalism

Proliferation of WMD

Climate change

Pandemic of infectious diseases

14.9%

12.8%

6.4%

12%

6.4%

29.8%

23.4%

27.2%

20.4%

40.9%

28.7%

37.2%

29.3%

37.2%

76.3%

55.3%

43%

46.8%

38%

47.9%

45.7%

44.6%

51.1%

49.5%

42.6%

Important Somewhat important Somewhat unimportant Unimportant

31.5%

28.7%

35.5%

22.6%

21.3%

29.8%

9.7%

7.4%

10.6%

14.1%

13.8%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

1.1%

1.1%

1.1%

3.3%

1.1%


3. THE CR IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

International organizations are crucial for the Czech Republic, as evidenced in responses

to all five institutions we asked about (the European Union, NATO, the United Nations,

the Visegrad Group, and the World Trade Organization). In the future, the European Union will

grow most in significance, while the importance of the United Nations will dwindle. This may

be related to the fact that the functioning of the United Nations and other global organizations

is evaluated as unsatisfactory, and the Czech Republic should therefore seek their reform.

THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The EU and NATO are clearly the most important organizations for our country; there is almost

one hundred per cent consensus on this. Although the role played by the other three organizations put

forward is not doubted either, here we find a much smaller proportion of truly convinced respondents,

with vast majority inclined to answer ‘somewhat important’. In relative terms, the UN fares worst,

as its importance for the Czech Republic is questioned by more than a third of responses.

European Union (EU)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Visegrad Group (V4)

World Trade Organization (WTO)

United Nations (UN)

The importance of international organizations for the Czech Republic

How important are the following organizations for the Czech Republic?

15.2%

23.9%

18.7%

71.7%

89.1%

46.2%

60.9%

53.3%

Important Somewhat important Somewhat unimportant Unimportant

26.1%

33%

18.5%

20.7%

10.9%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

2.2%

4.3%

3.3%

2.2%

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With regard to medium-term changes expected in the importance of each organization for the Czech

Republic, two clear trends emerged from the survey: the importance of the EU will grow, while

that of the UN is essentially expected to move in the opposite direction. No clearly prevalent trend

can be derived from the responses pertaining to the remaining three organizations.

REFORM OF GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS

There is deep dissatisfaction about the way the global institutions (the UN, World Bank, International

Monetary Fund, G20) are functioning. A two-thirds majority is in favour of strengthening the role

of non-European countries, although only 12 % of respondents are definitely convinced of this need;

one in three disagrees with this view. In contrast, there is resolute support for taking into account

such states’ level of democracy and respect for human rights when reviewing their clout in global

institutions.

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The importance of the following organizations for the Czech Republic in the next 10 years...

European Union (EU)

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Visegrad Group (V4)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

United Nations (UN)

The Czech Republic should

support efforts to increase the

clout of non-European

Reform must reflect not only

the new superpowers, but also

their stance on democracy and

human rights

Global institutions operate

satisfactorily and do not need

to be reformed

3.4%

2.3%

8%

28.7%

41.1%

52.3%

48.3%

40.9%

42.2%

59.8%

39.3%

Will rise Will rise somewhat Will decline somewhat Will decline

45.3%

51.1%

16.7%

9%

9.2%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

Reform of global institutions

How should the Czech Republic approach the reform of global institutions (UN, WB, IMF, G20)?

3.3%

12.1%

55.4%

57.8%

56%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

34.8%

25.3%

38.9%

2.3%

6.6%

9.8%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%


4. THE EUROPEAN UNION

The outlook for the future development of the European Union is generally positive, including

cautious optimism regarding the situation in the euro area. The most likely scenario is

the emergence of a ‘multi-speed Europe’, which will increasingly be dominated by the big

states and supranational institutions. Clearly the most important issue should be energy

policy, while the problems of a democratic deficit and, surprisingly, enlargement are not

a dominant item on the EU agenda.

THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION

The future development of European integration cannot be predicted with any clarity. A significant

majority of respondents rejects (but only 8 % resolutely) the possibility of a weakening of joint

institutions and the renationalization of European politics. The answers to the remaining questions

can be interpreted to mean that the most likely solution to current problems will be a differentiated

approach in the framework of a ‘multi-speed Europe’, in which it can be assumed that the large

EU Member States will enjoy growing importance, combined with the continued significance

of supranational institutions. The Europe of the future, in the eyes of the Czech elite, should therefore

have a hard core dominated by the big states and the European Commission.

Stronger supranational

elements and a shift in powers

to joint institutions

Breakdown into a ‘multi-speed’

Europe

Weaker joint institutions and

stronger nation states

Stronger large Members, which

will increasingly determine the

course, regardless of the

smaller countries

The future of European integration

The direction taken by the European Union in the next 10 years will be characterized by

3.4%

20.2%

23.9%

21.3%

21.6%

49.4%

51.7%

63.6%

67%

Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree

29.2%

21.3%

11.4%

8%

5.6%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

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THE MOST IMPORTANT EU ISSUES

In view of the current situation in the euro area, this theme was logically cited most often

by respondents (more than 59 %) as the most important problem today. This is accompanied by 33 %

of respondents who reported economic development in the EU as a major theme and 34 % who

singled out the integration process as a general problem. Much more surprising is that migration

is second in the chart of issues, which is a strong emphasis, with perhaps unpleasant connotations,

considering the relatively small proportion of immigrants in the Czech Republic.

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Frequency of occurrence

euro area developments 59%

migration 54%

integration process 34%

economic development 33%

competitiveness 19%

energy security 16%

energy 14%

enlargement 14%

global role 11%

social policy 9%

foreign policy 6%

security 5%


However, looking beyond current problems and crises, almost all respondents associate

developments in the European Union primarily with the issue of safeguarding energy security.

The theme of the internal market was considered ‘important’ by almost 60 % of respondents,

and ‘somewhat important’ by over 30 %. Other positions in the rankings were taken up by the structural

funds and support for science and research, which surprisingly jumped ahead of the European

Neighbourhood Policy, an area officially emphasized by the Czech Republic. Only slightly more

than half of respondents also placed an emphasis on enlargement, another of the evergreens

of Czech European policy. Also, ‘values’ issues such as support for democratization or the internal

democratic deficit are not regarded as crucial in the European context.

The importance of selected themes for the EU

How important will the following themes be for the EU in the next five years?

Energy policy

Single market

Structural funds and cohesion

Common Agricultural Policy

Support of science and research

CFSP/CSDP

Neighbourhood policy

Liberalization of world trade

Promotion of democracy and human rights

EU enlargement

EU democratic deficit

10.6%

8.1%

7.1%

15.5%

27.1%

32.6%

29.4%

31.4%

24.4%

35.3%

58.8%

46.5%

35.7%

82.4%

58.8%

50%

60%

49.4%

45.3%

53.5%

49.4%

36.5%

44.2%

45.2%

Important Somewhat important Somewhat unimportant Unimportant

18.8%

20.9%

24.4%

29.4%

16.5%

4.7%

12.9%

14%

8.2%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

2.4%

2.3%

3.6%

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THE FUTURE OF THE EURO AREA

The situation in the euro area will remain complicated and unstable in the next five years. However,

only one tenth of the respondents believe that it is likely to disintegrate. In all likelihood, the Czech

Republic will not adopt the euro; this is considered realistic by only one in five respondents. However,

these replies may not reflect the current situation because they were collected before the turbulent

events of July and August; presumably the mood is more pessimistic now.

EU ENLARGEMENT

There is also considerable scepticism about further EU enlargement. The respondents are united

in the fact that Turkey will not have acceded to the EU in ten years (more than half are utterly

convinced of this), and that accession talks with Ukraine will not have been initiated. The prospects

of most countries in the Western Balkans are only slightly better.

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The current crisis will be

overcome

The situation will remain unstable

and marked by conflicts between

Member States

Some Member States will be

forced to leave the euro area

The euro area will disintegrate

The Czech Republic will join the

euro area

Following Croatia’s accession,

the enlargement process will

be closed for some time

Within 10 years the EU will

admit all remaining countries of

the Western Balkans

The EU will admit Turkey within

10 years

The EU will open accession

negotiations with Ukraine

within 10 years

11.8%

12.8%

10.5%

4.7%

4.7%

Future of euro area

How will the euro area develop in the next five years?

17.6%

31.4%

48.2%

56.5%

59.3%

40%

47.7%

34.1%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

35.3%

37.6%

27.9%

5.9%

10.5%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

2.3%

2.4%

16.5%

Enlargement of the European Union

How will the EU enlargement process develop?

32.6%

24.4%

43.5%

50.6%

40.7%

54.7%

54.1%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

23.3%

32.9%

18.6%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

3.5%


SHRNUTÍ 5. TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS

Transatlantic relations in the coming years will probably be characterized by US withdrawal

from European affairs, although in certain areas cooperation should improve. The main

topics of transatlantic cooperation will be the economy and a wide range of security issues

(terrorism, defence policy, NATO operations, etc.). International operations remain the most

important NATO mission, but are likely to be constrained by budget problems. Relations

between NATO and Russia will continue to be complicated, but no drastic deterioration

is anticipated by the respondents.

A more intensive relationship

between Europe and the US

The unravelling of the

partnership following the US

retreat from European affairs

The unravelling of the

partnership following the

emancipation of Europe as an

independent global actor

3.5%

5.8%

Future of transatlantic relations

Transatlantic relations in the next 10 years will be characterized by

11.9%

31.4%

57%

58.3%

61.6%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

37.2%

29.8%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

3.5%

17


SHRNUTÍ

THE MOST IMPORTANT TOPICS OF TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS

According to the respondents, the most important issue in transatlantic relations over the next five

years will be the economy; half of them mentioned this among their three most important points.

Thisis followed mostly by security issues, such as terrorism (37 %), defence policy (21 %) and NATO

(21 %). A tenth of the replies mention the relationship with Russia; 6 % make a reference to China.

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Frequency of occurrence

economy 47%

terrorism 37%

security 23%

defence policy 21%

US policy 21%

NATO operations 19%

relationship with the EU 17%

Arab world 16%

changes in the balance of power 16%

democratization 11%

Russia 10%

NATO developments 10%

energy 9%


SHRNUTÍ

Specific areas of transatlantic cooperation should improve – there is optimism regarding six of the nine

topics offered. The relatively controversial issues of the fight against terrorism, disarmament

and arms control, and the promotion of democracy and human rights are expected to be major

positive trends. The cautiously positive forecast for cooperation in relations with China and Russia

is also interesting. By contrast, expectations about the mission in Afghanistan are very negative.

Fight against terrorism

Disarmament/arms control

Promotion of democracy and the

protection of human rights

Relations with China

Relations with Russia

Promotion of free trade

Relations with Iran

Climate change

Mission in Afghanistan

Development of transatlantic cooperation

How will cooperation work in the following areas in the next five years?

3.6%

3.5%

2.4%

1.2%

12.9%

12.9%

8.3%

25.6%

33.3%

45.8%

58.8%

58.8%

46.4%

78.6%

62.4%

74.1%

69.5%

60.7%

Better Somewhat better Somewhat worse Worse

48.2%

36.5%

38.8%

45.2%

23.5%

12.9%

17.9%

4.8%

4.9%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

1.2%

1.2%

2.4%

3.6%

19


SHRNUTÍ

NATO OPERATIONS OUTSIDE THE TERRITORY OF THE MEMBER STATES

The question of the future of NATO operations outside the territory of the Member States, along

the lines of the mission in Afghanistan, drew a mixed response. According to two thirds of the replies,

these operations will remain NATO’s principal activity. Only a slightly smaller group, however, believes

that they will gradually be reduced to a minimum. Nevertheless, the loss of NATO’s dominant role

to separate actions by the EU and the US is expected by only every fifth respondent.

RELATIONS BETWEEN NATO AND RUSSIA

Relations between NATO and Russia, according to a survey of the prospects for the next five years,

will not change and will continue to be complicated because of the distrust on both sides. Negotiations

on Moscow’s accession to NATO are entirely improbable according to a clear majority; less than 4 %

believe such talks are feasible. On the other hand, an escalation of disagreements is not expected

either. Czech foreign-policy-makers therefore expect a considerable degree of stability in this area.

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Operations will remain NATO’s

principal activity

Operations will be minimized

due to the budget problems of

Member States

NATO will lose its dominant role

to the separate operations of

the US and the EU

NATO and Russia will be

partners collaborating on

solutions to common security

issues

Russia will open negotiations

on accession to NATO

NATO-Russian relations will

remain complicated because of

their ongoing mutual distrust

Conflicts between NATO and

Russia will gradually escalate

Operations outside NATO territory

What sort of future do operations outside NATO territory have in the next 10 years?

10.6%

7.1%

3.5%

17.4%

55.3%

57.6%

65.1%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

30.6%

36.5%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

2.3%

3.6%

NATO-Russian relations

What will NATO-Russian relations be like in the next five years?

11.8%

16.7%

32.1%

48.8%

67.1%

71.4%

64.3%

45.3%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

14%

21.2%

11.9%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

1.2%

1.2%

3.5%


SHRNUTÍ 6. BILATERAL RELATIONS

The Czech Republic’s most important partner is Germany, followed by the United States,

Slovakia and Poland. Relations with these four countries are also rated as the best, with

an average mark of between one and two on the school grading scale (with one as the top

mark and five as the lowest). The worst rated partners are Russia, China and Ukraine.

In the medium term, respondents are very optimistic about bilateral relations with all eleven

states mentioned in the survey.

THE CZECH REPUBLIC’S MOST IMPORTANT PARTNERS

Easily the most important partner according to respondents is Germany, which was included among

the five top countries by all those who responded to the question. There was also a strong consensus

on the United States, Slovakia and Poland; other countries followed after a gap. Israel’s surprising

position among the top ten should be noted.

Frequency of occurrence

Germany 100%

USA 86.7%

Slovakia 82.7%

Poland 74.7%

Russia 38.7%

Austria 26.7%

United Kingdom 24.0%

France 17.3%

Israel 8.0%

China 6.7%

21


SHRNUTÍ

THE CZECH REPUBLIC’S RELATIONS WITH SELECTED COUNTRIES

Top-rated state, as expected, is Slovakia, which was given a grade of almost a perfect one, followed

by Germany and Poland. The results offer several optimistic conclusions – the top places are occupied

by the Czech Republic’s neighbours and most important partners under the previous question; five

of the eleven states put forward were rated, at worst, as a ‘two’, while only three received a grade

of worse than three. India’s much better rating than China and last-placed Ukraine is noteworthy.

The generally positive trend in the evaluation of Czech bilateralism is also underlined by the outlook

for relations with these states. Without exception, further improvement is expected in relations

with all these states; the ‘net’ degradation is absolutely minimal. Once again, Central and Eastern

European partners lead the way – Poland, Croatia and Slovakia. Traditionally problematic relations

place Austria at the other end of the table.

22

Poland

Croatia

Slovakia

India

USA

Germany

Russia

Ukraine

China

Turkey

Austria

Czech Republic’s relations with selected states

What developments do you expect in the Czech Republic’s relations with the following states in the next five years?

7.9%

4.9%

5.2%

5.3%

2.7%

6.3%

17.5%

16.7%

12.8%

21.5%

21.3%

Slovakia 1.2

Germany 1.6

Poland 1.6

Croatia 1.8

USA 2

India 2.6

Austria 2.6

Turkey 2.6

Russia 3.1

China 3.4

Ukraine 3.5

65.4%

61%

59.2%

61.3%

52.5%

82.9%

71.8%

61.3%

78.8%

79.5%

72.2%

28.4%

32.5%

35.5%

34.7%

41.3%

Improvement Somewhat of an improvement Somewhat of a deterioration Deterioration

15.4%

16.3%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

3.8%

3.8%

6.3%

9.2%

1.3%

1.2%

1.3%

1.3%


SHRNUTÍ 7. CURRENT ISSUES

THE REVOLUTIONS IN THE ARAB WORLD

Respondents are very sceptical about the Arab revolutions. Six out of seven respondents do not

believe that democracy will be promoted in the region. More than three quarters do not expect recent

events to reinforce the EU’s influence in the region; they believe that Europe’s security situation will

worsen.

Democratic governments will be

installed in this region

The security situation in Europe

will deteriorate

They will be suppressed in most

states in North Africa and the

Middle East

The EU’s influence in this region

will increase

THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

In the aftermath of the revolutions in the Arab world...

Nor is there much optimism regarding the consequences of the financial and economic crisis, with

just under a fifth of responses expecting the crisis to be resolved in the near future. In contrast,

the vast majority anticipate a rise in protectionism and the faster shift of economic centres outside

the Euro-Atlantic area.

Will lead to greater

protectionism

Will speed up the shift in global

economic centres outside the

Euro-Atlantic area

Will be overcome quickly thanks

to renewed economic growth

11.8%

20.2%

24.7%

39.3%

67.1%

57.1%

63.5%

60.7%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

18.8%

22.6%

11.8%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

2.4%

Global economy

The consequences of the financial and economic crisis

15.3%

24.7%

16.5%

61.2%

54.1%

68.2%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

23.5%

21.2%

12.9%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

23


SHRNUTÍ

CLIMATE CHANGE

The topics of climate change as a political issue is not clear. Although the vast majority does not

expect it to lose relevance, no more specific trend is apparent from the answers.

This theme will become more

important on the international

and internal agenda

This theme will fade into the

background due to rising

energy demands

24

This theme will cease to be

relevant

11.8%

7.3%

3.7%

Climate change

How important will climate change be in the next five years?

17.1%

31.8%

46.3%

52.4%

50.6%

45.1%

Probable Somewhat probable Somewhat improbable Improbable

26.8%

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

%

5.9%

1.2%


NOTES

25


HEAD OF PROJECT

Jakub Eberle (jakub.eberle@amo.cz)

RESEARCH SUPERVISOR

Tomáš Karásek (tomas.karasek@amo.cz)

RESEARCH TEAM

Jakub Eberle, Tomáš Karásek, Ondřej Kováč, Maria Staszkiewicz, Ladislav Tůma

ASSOCIATION FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (AMO)

Žitná 27

CZ 110 00 Praha 1

Tel/Fax +420 224 813 460

info@amo.cz

www.amo.cz

26

Trends

of Czech Foreign

Policy


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