Czech Republic Report



In both general and specific cases (e.g. the Sahel initiative), the Czech WGA is operationalised through standard processes of foreign or European policy coordination.
The MFA is responsible for foreign policy coordination. In this case, the respective territorial department plays the role of a key operational enabler, as it collects all relevant information on the crisis region. If an international organisation has asked for Czech engagement, the department is the first actor to voice an opinion on it. It may also informally contact other relevant actors, such as other ministries or NGOs. Then, the Czech position is debated at the MFA’s collegium, where the minister of foreign affairs voices his or her support or opposition to it.
If the issue needs to be discussed with any other ministries, additional coordination is necessary. The EU-related dossiers would need to be discussed in the inter-ministerial working group and the Committee for the European Union on the Working Level, and then adopted or rejected by the Committee for the European Union.
If it is not necessity to follow the European policy coordination procedure, a standard inter-ministerial comment procedure is followed. In this case, the MFA sends a proposal to the comment procedure, receives replies and then deals with any criticisms of the proposed position. In this phase, settling objections can be less formal on the bureaucratic level and involve high-ranking officials, in which case it may become more political in nature.
Unless absolutely necessary, the MFA usually tries to avoid using comprehensive coordination mechanisms. However, it is obliged to do so when the European coordination mechanism is involved. This happens quite often, in fact, as conflict regions are usually discussed at meetings of the European Council and, of course, of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council.
However, the MFA is motivated to put the issues on the governmental level if its initiative related to the conflict or crisis requires additional budgetary resources. In these cases, the Ministry of Finance is usually the main disabler since it is rarely willing to release additional funds, and the prime minister assumes the role of the enabler. This has also been the case when it comes to the Sahel initiative. And since the prime minister has his own political motivations (as discussed above regarding migration and asylum) for the initiative to be launched and for the WGA to be applied, it is likely that extra funding will be provided.
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