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Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government won a vote of confidence on Thursday evening. The result came as no surprise as his coalition enjoys a majority of 108 mandates in the 200-seat lower house. Preceding the vote, however, was a contentious debate lasting over 22 hours. The sparring highlighted sharp divisions over how to tackle the Covid pandemi…
 
Coal mining in the Czech Republic will end sooner than originally planned. The new five-party coalition government wants to phase out coal from its energy mix by 2033, five years sooner than the 2038 target recommended by the government’s Coal Commission. However, mining activity is expected to significantly increase in the near future in response …
 
The new Czech government, which takes up the rotating EU presidency in July, hopes to use the opportunity to develop deeper ties with countries outside of the Visegrád Four group. That loose alliance of post-communist central European states was formed 30 years ago, well before its members joined the EU or NATO.…
 
With Omicron becoming dominant in the Czech Republic, the government is shortening quarantine periods for those who are Covid-positive. It has also come out with a brand new concept aimed at ensuring critical infrastructure does not collapse: “working quarantine”.
 
The current European Commission sustainable finance taxonomy proposal could bring about complications when it comes to transforming the Czech energy sector, according to ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš. Together with the Association of Industry and Trade, he has called on the Czech state to suggest revisions to the document, especially when it comes to the su…
 
Although Covid numbers in the Czech Republic have been steadily dropping for over a month now, experts warn that the country faces a massive wave of Omicron infections in the coming weeks. In an effort to phase-out the spread of the epidemic, the government has ordered massive testing in companies and institutions of both vaccinated and unvaccinate…
 
President Miloš Zeman used his traditional Christmas address to call on the government sworn into office the week before to take bold steps to tackle three major challenges: the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the looming energy crisis, and a ballooning budget deficit.
 
The new Czech government hasn’t wasted time in laying out its priorities as regards the Covid crisis. A decree on compulsory vaccinations will be amended before it takes effect, while the health minister says he prefers appealing to the public to be careful over state directives.
 
The new Czech cabinet, led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, has made it clear that it plans to effect change in many areas of government. However, one area in which the new administration will stay firmly on course is energy policy. The new prime minister said on Sunday that the proposed EU ban on new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035 …
 
The Czech Republic’s new government was officially sworn in by President Miloš Zeman at Lány Chateau on Friday. Headed by Petr Fiala, the cabinet is made up of 17 ministers from the ruling Together and Pirates and Mayors coalition. It replaces the ANO-Social Democrat government of Andrej Babiš, which led the country for the past four years.…
 
This Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Václav Havel, the dissident playwright and first president of post-Communist Czechoslovakia. In honour of his memory, a series of events will take place in cities and towns around the country, but the late Czech president will also be remembered abroad.…
 
President Miloš Zeman will appoint the new Czech government to office at Lány Chateau on Friday, despite his objections to the nominee for foreign minister. The development has been hailed as a significant victory for Prime Minister Petr Fiala, a university professor who has promised to change the political culture in the Czech Republic.…
 
A heated debate between EU foreign ministers is expected at the European Council meeting this Monday regarding the possible diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in China. Several leading constitutional officials in the Czech Republic have indicated that they are in favour of following the Anglo-Saxon world in diplomatically boycotting the…
 
Battle lines have been drawn in Czech politics. President Miloš Zeman says he will never appoint one of new PM Petr Fiala’s proposed ministers, believed to be foreign affairs nominee Jan Lipavský. Now Mr. Fiala says that if the president fails to name one of his candidates, he will take the matter to the Constitutional Court. I discussed the situat…
 
As Covid numbers continue to rise, the Czech Health Ministry is pushing for mandatory Covid vaccination for selected professions and people over 60, to be introduced as of next March. The announcement has sparked fierce controversy between the incoming and outgoing administration on how to prevent the epidemic from spiraling out of control.…
 
President Miloš Zeman appointed Petr Fiala prime minister on Sunday, seven weeks after general elections. Now the head of state says he will spent another fortnight meeting Mr. Fiala’s cabinet nominees – with a clash likely over the candidate for the foreign affairs portfolio. I discussed what happens next, as well as the protracted nature of the p…
 
President Miloš Zeman is back in hospital. Hours after being discharged on Thursday – following six weeks of treatment for an undisclosed illness – he tested positive for Covid-19. The bitter irony is that his infection has further delayed the swearing in of a new prime minister, whose urgent priority is to bring the pandemic under control.…
 
The future of the Czech Army lies in cutting edge technologies and a new way of thinking about the battlefield domain, Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opata said at the Army’s annual meeting of commanders on Tuesday. The chief of staff praised the nascent government’s plans to continue increasing defence spending towards the 2 percent of GDP target…
 
Along with other states in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is currently facing another coronavirus epidemic wave. This Monday sees the activation of new measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, which should be in place for at least two weeks. The government is also set to decide on whether to enact a state of emergency. Meanwhile, ther…
 
The Czech Republic is one of the least vulnerable countries when it comes to Russian and Chinese malign activities in the Central European and Western Balkan regions, according to a newly published Vulnerability Index, produced by the Bratislava-based security think-tank GLOBSEC. To find out more about the vulnerabilities that countries in the regi…
 
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia no longer has parliamentary representation. It is the first time since the fall of Communism that the party failed to gain any seats in the Czech Chamber of Deputies. As the country remembers the Velvet Revolution that started on November 17, 1989, one could ask whether this is likely a permanent demise of…
 
The incoming Czech government headed by Petr Fiala of the Civic Democrats has pledged to be more pro-Western than its immediate predecessor. But will it really follow a Havel-like, human rights agenda? And what will its installation mean for the Visegrad Four? I discussed these issues with Zdeněk Beránek, director of the think tank Europeum.…
 
Representatives of the SPOLU and PirStan election alliances, which successfully challenged Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ ANO party in October’s general elections, on Monday signed a coalition agreement on forming a new government. The new five-party administration, to be headed by Civic Democrat leader Petr Fiala will face the challenging tasks of l…
 
Five parties that together secured a majority in elections last month took a step closer to forming the next Czech government by inking a coalition agreement on Monday morning. But how will so many parties get along in practice? And what can we expect from Petr Fiala as PM? I discussed those questions with political scientist Petr Just.…
 
Key Visegrad Group (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) stakeholders see Germany as an important bilateral partner and want the EU to expand further south and east. They are also more hopeful about prospects for better relations with the United States since the election of Joe Biden, but remain largely wary of China. These are just some of the find…
 
In reaction to the worsening coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said the health authorities were in favour of properly implementing the restrictions in place rather than adding too many new ones. He urged people to get the Covid booster shot and recommended that employers introduce home office wherever possible…
 
This week marked the visit of Taiwan’s largest ever trade mission to the Czech Republic. Aside from awards and speeches that praised the two countries’ close relationship, five memoranda and six cooperation agreements were signed relating to various technology sectors, including electro mobility, AI and, perhaps most importantly, chip manufacturing…
 
As Covid numbers continue to rise steeply in the Czech Republic, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch on Tuesday made an urgent appeal for more people to get vaccinated against the infection. He stressed that the situation in the coming weeks would get worse and that the only real weapon against Covid is mass inoculation.…
 
The Czech Security Council has accepted a new 15 point action plan on how to counter hybrid threats. If approved by the government, it will delineate tasks that ministries and state agencies have to fulfil within the next two years as part of the country’s new hybrid threats strategy.
 
What Afghans miss the most since the country was taken over by the Taliban this summer is freedom. Lack of aid strategy also helped government corruption, says Zakia, an Afghan woman with Czech residency who managed to leave the country after several failed attempts to cross the border.
 
There have been a slew of headlines involving Miloš Zeman’s team since the speaker of the Senate made public a doctors’ statement that the president is unable to perform his duties. These include a pledge from Prime Minister Babiš to remove Mr. Zeman’s head of office. To make some sense of all these news stories, I spoke to political scientist Jiří…
 
Senate chair Miloš Vystrčil on Monday ended weeks of speculation regarding the health of Czech President Miloš Zeman. Citing a report by the president’s chief physician, he said Mr. Zeman was unable to perform his presidential duties and the prognosis for an early recovery was highly uncertain. In the wake of general elections, the news has sparked…
 
The Czech political landscape has been shaken up by the weekend’s general elections. Andrej Babiš’s ANO were pipped to first place by the three-party Together group, who have agreed to form a government with another electoral coalition, the Pirates and Mayors. But can the five parties form a workable coalition? And what happens to ANO now? I discus…
 
For the first time since the foundation of the Czech Republic, neither the Social Democrats nor the Communist Party have passed the 5-percent threshold needed to enter the lower house. Many analysts have long said that both parties have been steadily losing voters, mainly to Andrej Babiš’s ANO. I asked Daniela Vašátková, a political scientist from …
 
Alongside elections taking place this weekend, one of the biggest news stories in the Czech Republic at present is the health state of President Miloš Zeman. However, his officials insist that the 77-year-old is not seriously ill and will appear in public on Friday.
 
The proportion of women in the Czech lower house of parliament is still significantly lower than in many other EU countries. A new initiative called Zakroužkuj ženu or Circle a Woman wants to change that in the upcoming elections by calling on voters to use their preferential votes for the female candidates on the ballot.…
 
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has come under fire following the publication of the global investigation into the Pandora Papers which claims that he moved USD 22 million through offshore companies to buy an estate on the French Riviera, while keeping his ownership secret. Mr Babiš has since lashed back, stating that the accusations are timed to…
 
On a visit to the Czech Republic, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban highlighted the strong ties between Prague and Budapest and the need for the two countries to stand together in order to defend their common interests in the EU. The show of unity between prime ministers Babiš and Orban evoked a storm of controversy on the home scene, dividing …
 
The whole of Europe is watching Germany, where the long era of Chancellor Angela Merkel has ended in near deadlock. Several Czech politicians have congratulated the Social Democrats on their narrow win – and are talking up even closer cooperation between Prague and Berlin.
 
Czechs will go to the polls on Octber 8 -9 to elect a new parliament and pave the way for a new government. Who are the leaders looking to become the new PM? Will it be personalities or issues that will decide the upcoming elections? And, given what we know today, what are the chances of forming a stable government? Those are some of the questions …
 
In a speech at the UN General Assembly, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia and demanded the release of people detained in Belarus. He also called for more international cooperation on a host of issues.
 
The British journalist, author and analyst Edward Lucas has been covering central and eastern European affairs since 1986, including as a senior editor at The Economist magazine. Czech Radio reporter Petr Dudek recently interviewed him about a range of issues affecting the region – not least the spectre of Russian covert operations and efforts to p…
 
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš visited Hungary’s controversial “anti-migrant” fence on Wednesday, keen to see for himself the latest thermal imaging camera system installed along the country’s borders with Serbia and Croatia. Leading the tour was his counterpart Viktor Orbán – who along with Babiš and other central European leaders, vetoed an EU propo…
 
More than 40,000 Czech students cast their ballots in mock elections held at secondary schools across the country this week. The outcome of the vote, held a fortnight ahead of regular elections, showed that the future generation of voters would end the rule of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and place its trust in the opposition coalitions running agai…
 
The Czech Republic has until Wednesday to inform Brussels how the country has addressed conflicts of interest issues regarding the distribution of EU subsidies. According to the news site iRozhlas, the European Commission rejected a request by Czech authorities to extend the deadline by 60 days – until well after the parliamentary elections in mid-…
 
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