Civil Society and Human Rights
- On 5 March 2020, DEMAS, in cooperation with the Hungarian branch of PILnet, European pro bono network, organised two roundtable discussions on the current challenges to civil society (not only) in the Czech Republic. Close to thirty representatives of the nonprofit sector, government, academia and business participated in discussions on promoting civil society through pro bono private sector services and civic engagement of young people and students. You can find two briefing papers summarizing the main points of the two discussions.
- CEVRO Democracy Guide – This practical guide is chronicling the democratic transition experience of different countries to help reformers, who are in charge of democratization processes in their home countries, to deal with issues involving security services during transition.
- NGOs and the Judiciary – Watchdog Activities, Interactions, Collaboration, Communication – The report establishes key recommendations and good practice guidance for civil society organizations that are engaged in monitoring of the judiciary and judicial function. The recommendations have general applicability well outside the context of Central and Eastern Europe and are models for NGO watchdog activities, and for NGO interaction with the judiciary (CEELI Institute).
- Speaking Up: Protecting Whistleblowers in Central and Eastern Europe. This report by CEELI focuses on efforts of individual European Union (EU) member states to implement, via their own national laws, the recent EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of European Union law. The new EU Directive aims to provide world-class whistleblowing protections for those who speak up against wrongdoing. If successfully implemented, the Directive has the potential to have a transformative impact on governance, integrity and anti-corruption efforts in the EU.
- Amnesty International policy on state obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of sex workers – Amnesty International’s policy is the culmination of extensive worldwide consultations, a considered review of substantive evidence and international human rights standards and first-hand research, carried out over more than two years.
- „REFUGEES WELCOME INDEX“ Amnesty – Based on a global survey conducted by GlobeScan Incorporated among more than 27 thousand people from 27 countries, the Refugees Welcome Index rates countries based on people’s willingness to accept refugees in their own country, their cities, neighborhoods and homes.
- Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia: In 2018, Pavel Havlíček conducted year-long research on the state of Czech civil society as part of the EU-Russia CSF project “State of Civil Society” that in 2018 covered also cases of Romania, Ireland, Greece and Russia. The research includes interviews with Czech civil society organisations, examples of best practices or policy recommendations for the Czech and European decision-makers. You can find all reports on the EU-Russia CSF webpage.
Czech Foreign Policy
- Agenda for Czech Foreign Policy 2021. Czech foreign policy has long been one of the main areas of interest of the Association for International Affairs (AMO). This year you can read what is already the thirteenth edition of the Agenda for Czech Foreign Policy (first published in 2007). Authors of the publication assess Czech diplomacy in 2021 and present recommendations for the upcoming year. You can find more publications from the Agenda from Czech Foreign policy on the AMO website.
- Andrej Babiš is not Central Europe’s Game-Changer – Vít Dostál, Association for International Affairs (AMO), and Milan Nič, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), co-authored a new briefing paper analysing the Czech election result.
- The Czech Story: Liberal-Equality and Changes Expected with the Upcoming Technological Revolution– This paper takes a closer look at how the Czech Republic navigated through its transition from central planning to market oriented economy. It examines specific features that have influenced its performance during this transition and what could determine Czechia´s economic growth in the upcoming technological revolution that will bring us to the worlds 4.0 and beyond.
- 10 Years of Eastern Partnership: From Prague to Brussels and How to Proceed? & The Eastern Partnership at the Turn of its Tenth Anniversary: Where Have We Come Since Prague, and Where to Go Next? The Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy celebrated its 10th anniversary during the sixth high-level conference in Brussels in May 2019 and it is now undergoing a process of strategic reflection on its future. Pavel Havlíček’s policy paper assesses the first decade of the Eastern Partnership policy, its successes and failures, and presents recommendations for solution of the main challenges currently facing the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries.
- Eastern Partnership: from the EaP summit to the debate on the new Multi-annual Financial Framework – Věra Řiháčková Pachta analyses U’s project of Eastern Partnership in the light of the next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027: ’We are in the middle of the major battle over the next EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. Eastern neighborhood and Eastern Partnership policy is only one of many issues on the table. At the same time, the decisions taken in the next couple of months by the EU Council, European Parliament and in trialogue with the European Commission on the Commission’s legislative proposal of the new Neighborhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), will largely shape not only the financial modalities of the policy delivery but also send strong political signals to the partner countries on where EU stands at the moment. And the signals might not be exactly what at least some of the Eastern neighbors are hoping. (…)’
- The European Answer to the Eurasian Challenge for Eastern Europe – EUROPEUM´s project manager Nelly Tomčíková wrote one of the contributing articles for an extensive study on the Eurasian challenge and its implications to Eastern Europe. The study was published by the Charter 97 Foundation with the support of the International Visegrad Fund.
- More Effective EU Democracy Support in the Eastern Partnership – The intention of this paper, co-authored by Miriam Lexmann, Věra Řiháčková (EUROPEUM), Márton Ugrósdy and Richard Youngs, is to match political trends within the EaP states to short- and medium-term policy recommendations that the EU should be able to introduce through revisions to its democracy support instruments, mainly within the ENP and ENI reviews.
- ENP Review – Towards effective EU action in the Eastern neighbourhood? A new issue of EUROPEUM EASTERN MONITOR begins with a critical analysis of the recent European Neighbourhood Policy review written by EUROPEUM´s associate research fellow, Věra Řiháčková.
- Trends of Visegrad Foreign Policy 2021 – In 2021, Association for International Affairs (AMO) carried out a survey among key actors of Visegrad countries’ foreign policies. Politicians, civil servants, journalists, researchers and business representatives answered questions concerning their perception of current foreign policy issues and their expectations about them for the future. The conclusions of the survey have brought us a unique insight into how different policymakers reflect upon various foreign policy phenomena.
- Illiberalism in the V4: pressure points and bright spots: The Visegrád group will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism in 2019, but the political landscape has changed dramatically since the democratic transition in the region. According to the Nations in Transit report, Hungary is no longer considered a “Consolidated Democracy,” and Poland got closer to being denied this title as well after having suffered the largest fall in the history of the survey. In the past 8 years, the region has been characterized by political instability and a low level of predictability among political actors, and these similarities have serious implications for the state of democracy and the future of European integration. This study focuses on the Visegrád countries and the similar patterns in them that play a role in the new illiberal trend in Central Europe.
- New Security Challenges from a Visegrad 4 Perspective: Martin Michelot and Martin Macq wrote an introductory chapter for the new IFAT’s publication on the security challenges for the V4 countries.
- Warsaw Security Forum 2019: V4 Dialogue on Eastern Partnership: Projekt „Varšavské bezpečnostní fórum 2019: dialog V4 o východním partnerství“ se uskutečnil v období od května 2019 do ledna 2020 v rámci každoroční stěžejní akce Nadace Casimira Pulaského: Varšavské bezpečnostní fórum (2. – 3. října 2019).
- France and the V4 in a multi-speed Europe: rough times ahead? Martin Michelot (EUROPEUM), in his latest policy paper, explores the relationship of France and the Visegrad group from a perspective of Macron’s strategies, a possible multi-speed scenario and a political Franco-German axis, outlining the long-term prospect of cooperation.
- Rethinking V4’s Eurozone Dilemmas after the UK Referendum What are the current views of the members of the V4 group on the Eurozone-related topics? Where are the problems and how to solve them? Five authors from the V4 members sum up their countries’ opinions in this policy paper. They explain specifics about their country’s position and suggest future development. (AMO)
- Will Brexit hurt investments in CEE countries? What is the so-called Anglophone discourse on the FDIs flow which can be spotted in the debate on the British EU membership? What is the difference between FDIs and trade exchange? And how could British departure from the EU influence the existing structure of the investment chain? The role of British companies in the transfer of FDIs in the CEE region is examined by Kryštof Kruliš (AMO) in his policy paper.
- Understanding New Polish Intermarium: Trap or Triumph for the Visegrad Group? Vít Dostál (AMO) in his policy paper studies ideological foundations of the new Polish policy towards Central Europe and examines the content of concrete sectoral initiatives which will be prioritized. Will PL V4 PRES bring anything revolutionary in its program?
- Poland and the Czech Republic: Advocates of the EU Enlargement? A joint publication by EUROPEUM and demosEUROPA in Warsaw, dealing with the perspectives of future EU enlargement and Poland as the Czech Republic as possible proponents of the continuing expansion of the EU.
- Czechs and the EU Brand: How do Czechs feel about the EU and what could change their mind? – This study is mainly based on a series of 12 brief surveys by Behavio research agency and on longitudinal research by STEM Institute for Empirical Research. The expert’s inputs were provided by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy.
- Myths and realities of an East-West divide in EU policymaking: A case study of V4’s approach to the 2019 Spitzenkandidaten selection process Zuzana Podracká published a policy paper as a part of Think Visegrad platform, in which she focused on the V4’s approach to the 2019 Spitzenkandidaten selection process.
- Application of EU Instruments in Civil and Criminal Justice. The publications are an outcome of cooperation of the CEELI Institute and the Association of Croatian Judges, and is designed for use by criminal judges from EU member countries, focusing on applying of EU instruments in criminal justice, and providing access to the full extent of rights guaranteed by EU law.
- Assessing EU development cooperation: from infancy to maturity? – New issue of BRUSSELS MONITOR series by Eva Křížková (EUROPEUM) focuses on EU development cooperation policy transformation.
- EU Better Regulation Agenda: Contested Policy in Central European Perspective – Zuzana Picková’s (EUROPEUM) policy paper examines the current state of play of the European Commission’s Better Regulation Agenda (BRA) and highlights its key elements, adding the perspective on the BRA of the Visegrád Group countries (V4) and suggesting several policy recommendations.
- The European Union in the Fog – The final publication of the ‘Building Bridges between National Perspectives on the European Union’ project (EUROPEUM) gathers articles from all across the Member States, with each chapter following the same structure of answering five main questions.
- Embedding NATO into the European Union Global Strategy: the missing link? – New issue of EUROPEUM BRUSSELS MONITOR series by Martin Michelot deals with EU-NATO cooperation in the context of the European Union Global Strategy.
- Populism in Central Europe. Anti EU-rhetoric versus own national interests? National populism and its reception in Central Europe. The Austrian Society for European Politics, the Center for European Neighborhood Studies at the Central European University Budapest, the EUROPEUM Prague, the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana and the GLOBSEC Policy Institute Bratislava, jointly launched a project co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union with the goal to examine why political and societal actors resort to “anti-European” rhetoric.
- Index of Czech Interests in the EU: The discussed European aid will be beneficial for the Czech economy – Within the project called Czech Interests in the EU, experts and researchers examine whether and how the interests of the Czech Republic are being carried through in European institutions. The result of the survey is the regularly published Index of Czech Interests. The topic of the first one is the response to the economic recession following the Special European Council.
- Czech perception of EU’s Reaction to COVID-19 – Researcher Vít Havelka is the author of a text that deals with the topic of the European Union’s response to COVID-19 and how it is perceived by Czech society.
- Global Analysis 2021. Front Line Defenders, one of HRDN members, launched its Global Analysis on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk around the world. The report details the variety of risks, threats and attacks faced by HRDs around the world, and examples of HRDs continuing to defend and advance the rights of their communities and societies despite threats to their lives.
- HRDN “Do’s and Don’ts” for the EP on HRDs – The European Parliament is a great ally of human rights defenders worldwide, with many individual cases mentioned in the monthly urgency resolutions, and declarations by individual MEPs or Chairs. But can the EP do more in its public diplomacy on HRDs? Read more in HRDN’s paper on “Do’s and Don’ts for the EP on HRDs.
- How to make the European Parliamentamore visible, consistent and coherent actorin defending human rights and democracyworldwide – Following the 2019 European Parliament elections, new members will take their seats within different parliamentary Committees. The Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) believes that this is atimely momentto share recommendations,which would ensure thatthe European Parliament (EP) willbe an important actorin defending democratic governance and human rights worldwide, notably through its Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). With the backlash against human rights, the shrinking space for civil society and attacks on human rights defenders in many countries, the EP must be more efficient than ever in defending EU values.
- Civil Society on the Frontline: 5 Points for EU Action 2019-2024 – The Internal HRDN working group contributed to the development of ‘Civil Society on the Frontline: 5 Points For Action 2019-2024’ that is co-signed by over 30 networks and individual organizations.
- The role of civil society organizations during and in a post-Covid-19 world – As a community of human rights organizations, HRDN has compiled resources from our members, partners and international organizations to help guide crisis responses, monitor, inform and assess the impact of COVID-19. We have clustered the resources under key rights and highlight the different ways in which civil society is contributing.
- POLICY PAPER: Challenges in the Transatlantic Partnership: Are We Drifting Apart? During November 2019, EUROPEUM co-organized the second Transatlantic Policy Forum along with CEPA, a leading US think-tank. The private roundtable provided a unique opportunity for candid and open discussion about the issues that are at the heart of transatlantic cooperation. Our research fellow Martin Michelot concluded a debrief and analysis of these debates.
- Czechs Weigh Human Rights Against Business – An analysis by the Inter Press Service features Director of the Forum 2000 Foundation Jakub Klepal discussing the importance of a principled policy on human rights as part of Czech foreign policy.
- China‘s Sticks and Carrots in Central Europe: The Logic and Power of Chinese Influence – A new comparative study has revealed that China has been using a targeted mix of ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’ to increase its influence in Central European countries. Findings reveal that China does not use a ‘one size fits all’ approach towards the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, instead relying on varying local political climates, existing geopolitical standing and level of bilateral interactions to shape its strategy and tactics in the region. The study was undertaken by the MapInfluenCE project and involved collaborative research across these four Central European nations.
Understanding New Polish Intermarium: Trap or Triumph for the Visegrad Group?