Czech Republic Report



Although a WGA to external conflicts and crises is not explicitly mentioned in Czech foreign policy documents, it is implemented in practice. Interviewed officials from the MFA have stated that there are WGAs to countries like Ukraine or those in the Western Balkans region, but that there is no specific, detailed ‘umbrella’ strategy under which all initiatives could be placed. Moreover, they also stated that they do not see a need to change this approach, as this de facto WGA works well under standard foreign policy coordination mechanisms. When asked about potentially launching more robust WGA mechanisms, the MFA officials interviewed for this report voiced worries about a possible over-bureaucratisation of policy coordination and did not see added value in it in any case (MFA Interview 2019a, 2019b).
There are special mechanisms for crisis settlement within the Czech crisis-management system. These procedures are well developed and regularly tested during both national and international exercises. However, in reality, crisis-management efforts would only be launched were there to be a larger international conflict with significant implications for the security of the Czech Republic.
Nevertheless, one can identify some cases of WGA implementation in a narrower sense. The first such initiative was the Czech provincial reconstruction team that served in the Logar province of Afghanistan from 2008 to 2013 as part of the NATO-led ISAF mission. This is generally viewed as having been a significant achievement (MFA Interview 2019b). The main factors contributing to its success were political determination and the non-conflictual relations between the actors on the ground, which were the MFA and MoD.
Another WGA-like initiative is the relatively new Czech engagement in the Sahel region. It is not possible to evaluate the initiative at this point, as it only started in 2018 and because the application of a WGA in this case is still a quite new phenomenon. However, it is clear that political interests and the personal priorities of the prime minister were key motivations for launching it.
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