Our vision: Quality and Effective Foreign and Security Policy of the Czech Republic.
The Challenge We Face:
In today's turbulent world, the Czech Republic cannot feel secure on its own. New challenges after the end of the Cold War, including threats of war in Europe, show that we must be prepared. We need robust defences against crises, threats to the stability of society and hostile actions by undemocratic regimes. The key to achieving this is strong personnel and professional capacity in our institutions, working with civil society and the academic sector. Education plays an important role - we need enough experts and analysts who understand current events.
The Gravity of the Situation:
Among the consequences and risks associated with an unconceptual, uncoordinated and unpredictable foreign policy is the Czech Republic's reduced ability to promote its interests in international organisations. This situation also leads to less resilience to the influence of authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China, and greater susceptibility to disinformation. Other consequences include less preparedness for crises, less security for citizens, more room for populism and a threat to the image of the Czech Republic abroad as an attractive place to live. All this can lead to the country's economic underdevelopment.
- Public perception: many people perceive foreign and security policy as distant and complex. This perception is supported by recent surveys showing that only about half of Czechs follow EU-level politics, and economic and social issues are a higher priority for them than security and international policy issues (STEM 2022 and Eurobarometer Spring 2023).
- Political agenda: Foreign and security policy does not win elections. Politicians often prioritise short-term interests over long-term strategies, which can create a distorted picture of foreign policy.
- Limited media interest: Lack of in-depth media coverage of foreign and security policy can create a lack of public awareness of key issues.
- Education: Universities often do not prepare students for foreign and security policy practice. The lack of specialised graduates with language skills and an understanding of security issues is alarming. In social sciences, there has been a 43% decline in the number of graduates over the last ten years (Students and Graduates of Universities in the Czech Republic - 2001-2022, CSO 2023)
- Public administration and employment in public administration: young and talented people often do not consider a career in security and foreign policy in public administration as an attractive career path. Low wages, lack of development opportunities and lack of leadership can discourage potential talent. Moreover, a survey conducted by NMS Market Research pro Aspen CE shows that 74% of Czechs believe that the best talent is not working in the civil service, while 69% of civil servants share the same opinion.
- The mission of the Security Academies is to strengthen knowledge, competences, and capacities in the areas of foreign and security policy among different target groups.
- We identify and support talent, preparing them for careers in security organisations, government, and the civil sector.
- Our goal is to increase the number of professionals who can focus on security threats and foreign policy, thus helping to strengthen the Czech Republic's position in the Euro-Atlantic area.
- Our key activity, the Security Academy, is a year-long training programme for selected master’s and PhD students and recent graduates interested in security. The Security Academy is a direct follow-up to the project of the same name being prepared by the European Values Security Centre from 2020.
- The Security Academy is gradually complemented by other projects aimed at different target groups with an interest in security - this includes parliamentary assistants or young professionals from the Czech Republic and abroad.
Together we are strengthening our foreign and security policy and preparing the Czech Republic for the challenges of the 21st century. Building a strong and informed community of experts and educational programs can make a major impact.