10th International Symposium “Czech Foreign Policy”

The 10th International Symposium Czech Foreign Policy - "Rethinking the Future" taking place on 19 - 20th September 2018. 


Datum: 19.9. - 20.9.
Čas: 09:00
Místo: Czernin Palace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Loretánské nám. 5, Prague 1
Spolupráce: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Repulic
Organizuje: Alica Kizeková

The Institute of International Relations Prague  and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic  held an annual International Symposium Czech Foreign Policy - "Rethinking the Future" on 19-20 September 2018. The aim was to bring together researchers, former and current practitioners, academics, politicians, students, media and the public to exchange views on key topics related to the Czech foreign policy in the era of uncertainty in the international relations in the European and global arenas. The symposium provided an opportunity to highlight some constructive solutions for the short to medium-term in various fields of research while taking in consideration the current domestic and international developments


The program is available here.

The conference reports are available here.

Wednesday 19 September 2018


09:30 – 09:45              Opening Remarks

Alica Kizeková – Program Chair of the International Symposium, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia
David Král – Acting Director, Foreign Policy Analysis and Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

09:45 – 10:30              Keynote Speech

Joseph M. Siracusa, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

10:30 – 11:00                        Coffe Break

11:00 – 12:30              Future of the European Union: What to Expect from Central Europe

In recent years, the European Union has seen the rise of populist political movements in member states, waves of disruptive and dividing migration, the withdrawal of a founding member, and the questioning of what the Union should be in the future, if anything at all. These issues, among others, are showing themselves most in the Central European member states, the newest and in many ways the most vulnerable members in these turbulent times. How an these member states be expected to react and endure the challenges ahead? Will groups such as the V4 gain more influence? What will the Union look like in the coming years, and what will Central Europeís role be in that Union?

Chair:                          Vít Dostál, Association for International Affairs, Czechia


Vít Beneš, Department of International Relations and European Studies, Metropolitan University Prague, Czechia
Milan Nič, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, Germany
Dániel Bartha, Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy (CEID), Hungary
Monika Brusenbauch Meislová, Department of International Relations and European Studies, Masaryk University Brno, Czechia

12:30 – 13:00              The Czech Foreign Policy As Viewed by Practitioner and Expert

Tomáš Petříček, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Ondřej Ditrych, Director, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia


13:00 – 14:00                        Buffet Lunch

14:00 – 15:30              Global Perspectives on Current US Foreign Policy: Taking Stock of the Future

The election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States has brought a notable level of uncertainty into international affairs. President Trump has questioned key tenets of the liberal world order throughout his campaign, disputed some aspects of US alliances. Nonetheless, by connecting the dots of decisions taken, proclamations made, and meetings carried out, we can attempt to identify the strategic outlooks of the current administration's foreign policy agenda. Moreover, as the bilateral zech-American relationship celebrates its centennial, the occasion calls for taking stock of the present and imagining the future of US partnerships. In this sense, how will President Trump's foreign policy affect partners and allies? Is the liberal world order going to be increasingly strained? And how is current US foreign policy perceived across the globe?

Chair:                          Jan Hornát, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia 


Mary Thompson-Jones, National Security Affairs, US Naval War College, USA
R. James Ferguson, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, QLD, Australia
Michito Tsuruoka, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, Japan
Constantino Xavier, Brookins India 


15:30 – 15:45                        Coffee Break

15:45 – 17:15              Playground or Player: What Role for the Czech Republic in the Global
                                    Economic Reordering?

The contemporary global economic order finds itself in the midst of a gradual but epochal structural change. On one hand, the emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and above all China have been striving to rebalance the terms of global political-economic relations. On the other hand, the Western core has been either revaluating its own integration into global economy or undergoing multiple political and economic crises. Far from exaggerating these trends and divisions, it is therefore legitimate to ask what sort of challenges and opportunities this great reordering opens for post-transition, small and also open economies such as the Czech Republic. How shall the Czech Republic reposition itself to the “new” players and what does that means for its integration with the “old” players. How shall it deal, e.g., with the global and regional projects promoted by large emerging powers as well as the growing systemic weight of non-Western transnational corporations?

Chair:                          Michal Parízek, Charles University, Czechia


Andreas Nölke, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Françoise Nicolas, Institute Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), France
Rudolf Fürst, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia
Vladan Hodulák, Masaryk University, Brno, Czechia



15:45 – 17:15              Energy and the External Relations of the Czech Republic (working language: Czech)

Energy security in terms of ensuring stable and uninterrupted energy supplies is a priority objective of the Czech Republic's energy policy and represents long term one of the most frequently discussed and inflected issues of the Czech political discourse. It focuses significantly on energy relations with Russia, which represents the main supplier of oil and gas to the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, the Czech Republic is developing energy relations with other actors at the multilateral and bilateral level.

The Panel was focused on the external energy relations and cooperation of the Czech Republic with the EU, Visegrad Group (V4), Germany, Russia and the USA. The aim of the panel was both to discuss the external dimension of the Czech Republic's energy policy and security.

Chair:                          Lukáš Tichý - Framework of the External Dimension of the Czech Republic´s Energy Policy
                                    and Security, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia


Markéta Votoupalová – Czech Energy Policy in the European Union, University of Economics in Prague, Czechia
Jitka Holubcová – Energy Policy of the Czech Republic and the V4, Net4Gas, Czechia
Zbyněk Dubský – Energy Relations of the Czech Republic and Germany, University of Economics in Prague, Czechia
Nikita Odintsov– Energy Relations of the Czech Republic and Russia, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia
Jan Mazač – Energy Relations of the Czech Republic – USA, Institute of International Relations Prague and Faculty of Social Science, Charles University, Czechia


19:00                                        Symposium Dinner (Special Invitation Only)

Thursday 20 September 2018


9:15 – 10:45                Global Perspectives on Defence Policy Challenges

With the security landscape in Europe dominated by Challenges from the east and the south, defence policy in European countries slipped to regional dimension. However loosing global outlook would be grieve mistake because lessons learned by our partners in Japan and Australia are potentially transferable to our region as well. Despite obvious differences between the security situation in Asia/Pacific and that in Europe, we all face an increasing number of common challenges, including the need to address attempts to change the status quo by force, hybrid warfare (including cyber attacks and disinformation), nuclear sabre-rattling and A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) capabilities by adversaries. The most recent Russian military exercise Vostok 2018 with Chinese participation shows beyond doubt, that threats we all face - albeit on the other side of the globe - still have the common denominator. To make matters more complicated, also the transatlantic relations must be studied more closely than ever as the US president Trump foreign policy poses serious questions for our defence, that are sometimes hard to answer. In this environment the world we live in is not necessarily more insecure – but definitely less predictable.

Chair:                          Lukáš Dyčka, University of Defence in Brno, Czechia


Martin Michelot, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Czechia
Mary Thompson-Jones, National Security Affairs, US Naval War College, USA
Michito Tsuruoka, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, Japan
Rosita Dellios, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, QLD, Australia

10:45 – 11:15                              Coffee Break

11:15 – 13:00             Special Panel: The 50th Anniversary of Prague Spring: Our Freedom Should
                                   Not Be Taken For Granted

Opening Remarks:      Joseph M. Siracusa, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


Marie Černá, Institute of Contemporary History, Prague, Czechia
Daniela Kolenovská, Institute of Contemporary History, Prague, Czechia
Pat Lyons, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechia

13:00 – 14:00                             Buffet Lunch

14:00 – 15:30              Gender Issues in Czech External Relations and International Relations 

It is often forgotten that states’ external relations have their own internal dimension, which concerns mostly the people and institutions that conduct the external relations or study them. Perhaps because of this forgetting, various forms of oppression may go unnoticed, which may bring dire implications for the quality of the external relations as such. This panel will present four ongoing research projects on the internal dimension of Czech external relations, all of them using a gender perspective as their primary analytical tool.

Chair:                          Petra Ali Doláková, Common Foreign and Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign
                                   Affairs of the Czech Republic


Lenka Vochocová - Communicating Gender Equality with Implementers of the Czech Development Cooperation, Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences,Charles University Prague, Czechia
Tomáš Dopita - A Proposal for Gender Statistics in the Czech Development Cooperation, Institute of International Relations, Prague, Czechia
Kateřina Kočí – Tomáš Dopita- Inside Diplomacy: Dealing with Gender-Inequalities in the Foreign Service, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia
Blanka Nyklová - Czech IR: Where Have All the Women Gone?, Gender and Research Department, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czechia

17:00                                              Symposium Closing/Glass of Wine


10:45 – 12:15              Future of Humanity in Space: The Role of the Czech Republic

In 2018, the Czech Republic celebrates 40 years since the first Czechoslovakian human space flight and satellite launch and 10 years of European Space Agency membership. Meanwhile, the imprint of the Czech Republic in space is increasing. Prague’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency is expected to become the home for all EU space activities, Czech industrial base is growing and becoming integrated into supply chains of critical space projects and the new National Space Plan is being crafted for the post-2020 period. What should the future role of the Czech Republic be in the space domain? And how can it contribute to the unlocking if the space benefits to all humanity? These are the questions discussed on the Panel.

Chair:                          Petr Boháček, Association for International Affairs, Czechia


Václav Kobera, ITS, Space Activities and Research Development and Innovations Section, Ministry of Transportation of the Czech Republic
Nikola Schmidt, Institute of Political Studies, Charles University, Czechia
Jakub Brož, Deputy Head of International Industrial Cooperation Unit, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, Czechia
Mahulena Hofmann, SES Chair in Space, SatCom and Media Law, University of Luxembourg

14:00 – 15:20              New Approaches to Foreign Policy Analysis I: New Modalities of Cooperation in the V4 Group

The foreign policies of the Central European states have recently increasingly come under the spotlight. The migration crisis and some of their domestic political decisions have put these states at odds with the EU. While the thesis of the recent illiberal turn in Central Europe represents one of the main frames through which the region is interpreted in the public media both in the region itself and in Western Europe, this workshop aims to investigate the recent change in Central Europe more deeply and go beyond simplistic culturalist explanations. It seeks to grasp the recent political developments theoretically and explore what they can tell us about foreign policy strategies of the states in the region, the actors who form them, and the ideological backgrounds they are based on. The first of two panels will focus primarily on the new roles, which the Visegrad Group as a distinct actor assumed in the recent years. The panellists will thus investigate the V4 responses to the refugee crisis or Brexit negotiations. The second panel will explore the foreign policies of specific states in the region and their wider ideological background. The presentations will be dedicated to the Czech position vis-à-vis the Visegrad cooperation, Czech and Slovak geopolitical imagination or the Czech relationship with Israel.

Chair:                          Tomáš Dopita, Institute of International Relations Prague, Czechia

Discussant:                 Klaus Brummer, Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany


Ladislav Cabada – Useful and/or toxic? Czech Foreign Policy and the Visegrad dilemma of (Central) European cooperation, University of West Bohemia, Czechia
Jakub Záhora – In the Search of (a Certain Idea of) the West: The PostColonial Take on the Czech-Israeli Relationship, Charles University, Czechia
Aliaksei KazharskiClarissa Tabosa – “Two kinds of small? The EU ‘core’ in Slovak and Czech geopolitical imagination”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

17:00                                             Symposium Closing/Glass of Wine