One of the things Czechs want to focus on during the country’s upcoming EU presidency is deepening Europes relations with Israel. The Czechs are even hoping that a first-ever summit between the EU and Israel could be held at some point during the first six months of 2009. On Monday, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit came to Prague for talks with Czech President Václav Klaus, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and other officials. His mission was to make sure that the voice of the Arab world is also heard, and that the Czech presidency
In today’s One on One, Jan Velinger’s guest is the economist Petr Mach, a former advisor to Czech President Václav Klaus and the head of the conservative think- tank CEP - the Prague-based Centre for Economic and Politics. All eyes have been on the 33-year-old since he announced recently that he and colleagues would be founding a new right-wing political party, one that would take a tougher stance on the European Union, specifically the Lisbon treaty. The idea is also to present conservative-minded voters at home an alternative to the Civic Democratic
One thing that was not cultivated in communist Czechoslovakia was the art of public speaking. Anyone of a certain age will remember the endless monologues of party secretaries, but twenty years on, there is a growing awareness of the importance of public debate. Many young Czechs with an interest in politics have followed with fascination the political sparring that goes on in Britain’s parliament, and with this in mind, the British Chamber of Commerce in Prague recently organized a debate, taking the British parliament as its model. It was the
Some disaffected Civic Democrats as well as some of the party’s conservative voters – disappointed with the current direction of their party under leader Mirek Topolánek – could soon have new options available on the political right. Figures close to the Czech President, Václav Klaus, made clear earlier that they were planning to found a new party tough on EU integration and tough on the Lisbon treaty – now that will be a reality. On Monday, the 33-year-old economist Petr Mach, a former advisor to Mr Klaus and the head of the conservative think-tank
Less than a month before it is due to take up the EU presidency, Prague hosted the first event linked to its new role. The President of the European Parliament, along with the heads of the Parliament’s political groups, came to Prague to discuss the Czech agenda for Europe, with the Lisbon treaty high on the list.
NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday affirmed their support for US plans to install anti-missile defenses in central Europe saying that the deployment of a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in neighbouring Poland would make a "substantial contribution" to protecting Europe from the threat of long-range ballistic missiles. Despite the clear implication that the US missile defense components would be incorporated into European defense structures, the statement has left critics in the Czech Republic unconvinced.
The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is currently in Prague on the first leg of a European tour. After a meeting with the Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, he was reunited with an old friend: former president Václav Havel, on whose invitation he came to the Czech capital. The Dalai Lama is also due to visit Brussels and Poland, where he will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy. This has angered China, which has pulled out of a planned EU-China summit.
Czech Foreign Karel Schwarzenberg has apologised for the publication of a transcript of a meeting last month between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. While some Czech officials have denied the authenticity of the record, the magazine Reflex, which printed the minutes, claims it an interesting insight into how power deals are struck.
A report by the website Aktualne.cz suggests that US president-elect Barack Obama will not visit the Czech Republic in April next year. Previously, it had been suggested that the new president could be persuaded to attend an EU summit in Prague, held as part of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. Though no formal announcement was ever made, some Czech politicians strongly suggested that the US president would attend. According to Aktualne.cz, this option has now been rendered moot, as then President Obama will be attending a G20 summit in London held at the same time.
Wednesday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that the European Union's Lisbon Treaty does not violate the Czech constitution has been welcomed and scorned from the two sides of the Lisbon debate. So what next for Czech ratification and the treaty itself? Radio Prague spoke to Roman Joch, director of the conservative think-tank the Civic Institute.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott