Czech week in Berlin

Autor: Josef Oplustil

A seminar titled "NATO Summit in Warsaw – challenges and expectations" was held on 5th April to discuss the upcoming NATO Summit which will take place in Warsaw at the beginning of July.

The event took place at the Czech Embassy in Berlin, and was jointly organised by the Polish Defence Attaché and the Chief of Defence Attaché's Office of the Czech Republic. Attendees included several representatives from various NGOs and think tanks from the Allied countries presenting their views vis-a-vis international issues such as how defence and security policies should be tackled, as well as their expectations of the forthcoming NATO Summit.

The aim of the seminar was to give an opportunity to the newer members of the Allied countries to present their stance on issues currently being discussed by the Alliance, and to enable the representatives of the various think tanks and public sectors to share their unfettered views, rather than present a formal governmental standpoint. The event, therefore, offered a unique opportunity to generate fresh views and perspectives on how to address issues from a regional point of view.

On the panel, and taking part in the subsequent discussions, were representatives from Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic. The Czech Republic was represented by Mr. Zbynek Pavlacik from Jagello 2000. Defence attachés from the Allied Countries and representatives from the German Federal Ministry of Defence and Federal Chancellery also took part in the event.

It was apparent from the welcoming address delivered by the Czech Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, H. E. Tomas J. Podivinsky, that the ever-changing security environment in Europe and the subsequent Allied reaction would constitute the central theme of the Summit, as well as maintaining unity among the Allies during these discussions. All of the speakers agreed on the need for a more active role by the Federal Republic of Germany in ensuring the defence and security of Europe.

The question regarding the priorities for the further development of multinational co-operation was answered by the Czech Republic´s representative: "From the Czech perspective, the priorities are as follows: Maintaining the Trans-Atlantic bond; contributing to the capacities of NATO and the EU whilst, at the same time, addressing the current security challenges; expanding and developing cooperation in our region, especially among the V4 and neighbouring countries."

Presenting the Concept of Development of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic

In the same week, at another meeting organized by the Czech Defence Attaché's office, the 1st Deputy Chief of General Staff Major General Jiri Baloun presented to the Allied Defence Attachés ‘The Concept of the Development of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic 2025’ which was adopted by Czech government in December 2015.

During the discussion, the following topics were raised: The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic’s approach to the Framework Nations Concept; how cooperation among the Visegrad countries is perceived; cooperation on matters within cyber defence and the national defence industry. The issues of recruitment and the integration of troops into the higher echelons of commands were also considered.

Author and photos: Embassy of the Czech Republic to Germany, Berlin

Proofread by Nuala Casey, Prague

April 16, 2016