This year the Association for International Affairs (AMO) publishes the 15th edition of its Agenda for Czech Foreign Policy. The publication aims to provide an expert and necessarily normative assessment of Czech foreign policy and to make recommendations to its relevant actors for the future.
The covid-19 pandemic has remained the dominant issue globally over the past twelve months. The pandemic demonstrated the importance of international cooperation for the Czech Republic, which had to coordinate restrictions on movement between countries, consider appeals for foreign medical assistance or be able to provide it itself. Above all, though, through the joint action of EU countries, it was possible to obtain sufficient vaccines for Czech citizens and new resources for post-pandemic economic revival through the Recovery Fund. The key foreign policy event of the last few months was the escalation in the bilateral relations with Russia. The circumstances of the pandemic year did not provide room for a long-needed revival of relations with the Czech Republic’s key partners – USA, Germany or Poland, or substantial progress in the traditional themes of the Czech foreign policy, such as support for human rights or the rapprochement of the Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans with the EU.
While some of the chapters of this year’s Agenda remain focused on the Czech Republic’s policy towards wider regions (Central Europe, the Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership countries, Africa, the Middle East), others focus on the Czech Republic’s relations with selected bilateral partners (Germany, USA, UK, China, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus), as well as on topics that we consider important for Czech foreign policy (climate policy, human rights, migration, Czech arms exports, the covid-19 pandemic and, of course, the upcoming Czech presidency of the EU Council).