Pangolin Instead of Panda for Prague? – Turnaround in Czech-Chinese Relations 

The capitals of the Czech Republic and Taiwan, Prague and Taipei, signed a partnership agreement on Monday last week in the city of Moldova

 

The Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Taiwanese counterpart Ko Wen-je signed a partnership agreement on joint economic and cultural cooperation between the two cities last week. The agreement comes just three months after the cancellation of the partnership agreement with Beijing, which failed due to the Prague city government’s opposition to the One-China clause in the previous agreement. China is angry and threatens the Czech capital with retaliatory measures. It also seems that President Miloš Zeman, Beijing’s strongest supporter in the Czech Republic to date, is gradually deviating from his strict pro-China course. Continue reading

“When – If Not Now? Who – If Not Us?” 

30 years ago the Velvet Revolution began with a demonstration in Prague.

 

It started all of a sudden, exactly 30 years ago. Then, it all happened very quickly. The communist regime, which had remained in power by force since 1948, had become hollow and rotten in Czechoslovakia. All that was needed was a strong signal to help democracy win. Continue reading

A Letter From…Czech Republic! 

 

After the results were published, several Czech political parties have proclaimed that they were happy with the results. Whether there was a reason for merriment is a fairly difficult question to answer.

 

In my opinion there was no clear winner. ANO, the party of prime minster Babiš did win most votes, but the 21 % ANO received is rather underwhelming (ANO polls around 30 % nowadays). As a member of ALDE, ANO possibly faces a domestic image problem if Macron’s party LREM takes a leading role in the European party family. Many voters of ANO do not endorse Macron’s agenda for deeper EU integration. Continue reading

TTIP and the Digital Agenda – Working lunch with Dita Charanzová MEP

“Non-tariff barriers on the US market are raising costs for EU exporters by 10-15%. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would remove these extra costs and make European producers more competitive” argued Dita Charanzová, Czech MEP in the ACharanzovalliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group during a working lunch with Czech journalists in Prague. Continue reading

Public Interpellations of Czech MEPs in Prague: Paradoxes of the Czech EU Membership

MEPs-Interpellation“TTIP has been enormously demonized in the Czech Republic. Yet I doubt the critics hardly know what is inside. The treaty is actually quite good for Czech Republic, especially for its entrepreneurs.” With this clear statement, Pavel Telička, Czech MEP in the ALDE Group, opened the third debate of the series “Interpellations of Czech MEPs”. The event took place in Prague, CERGE-EI on February 17th and was organised by the European Values Think-Tank in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Continue reading