Czech elections won’t change defence policy, Prague will align more with Budapest, Warsaw

  • Petr Boháček
  • 23.10.2017 11:26

Despite complicated coalition forming and uncertainty about the making of the future government, the victorious ANO movement will play a central role in defining defence and foreign policy of the Czech Republic.

The Ministry of Defence led by ANO’s Martin Stropnicky anticipates an increase of defence spending to 1.35% of GDP by 2020 despite promises to hit the 1.4% mark. The ability to participate in allied structures is limited by personnel and equipment shortages that cut military capacities of the Czech Army. In 2018, Prague will send 290 soldiers to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania and Latvia, contribute to the rotating EU V4 Battlegroup in 2019 and NATOs Rapid Response Force in 2020. The biggest ambition of Minister Stropnicky is the contribution of the 7th mechanised brigade at NATO’s Multinational Corps Northeast in Poland and acquisitions of artillery or combat helicopters and vehicles worth nearly 18 billion euros. For a middle-size fast-growing economy, these ambitions are rather inadequately small.

From the EU standpoint, ANO is in favour of developing European defence structures as a pillar of NATO and rejects a European army. The movement leader Andrej Babis also rejects the euro, political integration and calls for multi-speed Europe. Prague will align more with Budapest and Warsaw and remain in the periphery of the EU.

 Policy positions on defence and a European Army by Czech parties.

About author: Petr Boháček

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