Czech Republic Defense and Security
The office of the interior ministry that deals with terrorism analysis concluded that in the Czech Republic there is no serious danger of attacks, even if the global situation remains unpredictable: the country’s membership of NATO, as well as its own military presence in Afghanistan are risk factors that could expose the country to attacks. The army has been heavily downsized and reformed since the early 1990s. Czechoslovakia had 200,000 soldiers, while the current Czech Republic has about 21,000. The obligation of military service was eliminated in 2004 and defense spending amounts to just over 1% of GDP. The Czech Republic is involved in NATO missions in Afghanistan (Resolute Support) and to a lesser extent in Kosovo (Kfor), as part of a joint operation with Slovakia. In 2007 the country had begun negotiations for the construction of a US missile base on its territory, but President Barack Obama decided not to carry out the project and to develop in its place a system aimed at intercepting Iranian short-range missiles. through mobile naval stations.
The Czech Republic’s way to nuclear power
According to indexdotcom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland are countries heavily dependent on Russian hydrocarbon imports (between 80% and 100% of their national needs). To increase their respective energy security, the members of the Visegrád group have for some time adopted national policies and strategies aimed at reducing dependence on Russia, increasing projects for the diversification of infrastructures and resources. The crisis in Ukraine, the imposition of European sanctions against Russia and the interruption of oil and gas flows to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have made the issue of energy security urgent.
Among the countries of the Visegrád group, the Czech Republic is the one that first promoted a diversification strategy based increasingly on nuclear power. In fact, since 2010, Prague has modernized its plants in Dukovany, in southern Moravia, and Temelín, in southern Bohemia, equipping them with six operational reactors. Since 2011, the nuclear production of the two plants has guaranteed 35% of national electricity consumption. To encourage greater development of this strategy and thus bring the nuclear energy rate up to 58% by 2040, Prague is considering the construction of new reactors in Temelín and Dukovany from 2016-2017. In the intentions of the government, investments in nuclear power could have important socio-economic repercussions, guaranteeing employment and development in the regions concerned.
Nonetheless, the pro-nuclear choice of the executive has fueled some internal doubts: the decision to consider the atom as the best or the only solution to be evaluated, thus putting aside the idea of using renewable energy, has increased protests from the media and environmentalists. Precisely these considerations, mixed with safety factors – the nuclear power plants were built close to the Austrian borders – convinced the government of Vienna to take an anti-nuclearist line and to threaten complaints in Europe against Prague in the event of approval of the new energy plan.
Dictionary of History
Czech, Republic Parliamentary republic, originating from the division of the Czechoslovakian Federation (1st Jan. 1993). This dissolution was the final stage of the political and social crisis following the collapse of communism (1989). First President of the Czech Republic was the writer V. Havel, one of the protagonists of dissent during the communist regime, re-elected in 1998. In 2003 Havel was replaced by V. Klaus. The decline in the fortunes of the Social Democrats, which had already manifested itself in the 2004 European elections, led to the victory of the center-right coalition led by M. Topolánek in the 2006 parliamentary elections and the re-election of Klaus. On the international level, the Czech Republic, in addition to maintaining good relations with Slovakia, is committed to a policy of regional integration, strongly desired by President Havel and resulted in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (1992) between the countries of the Vişegrad group (Republic of C, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary). Relations with the United States and Western Europe have strengthened, establishing relations with Germany in particular. This line has been confirmed by joining NATO (1999), the EU (2004) and the Schengen area (2007).