Former Czech Defence Minister Jiří Šedivý was appointed new Chief
Executive of the European Defence Agency. He will assume office next month.
Mr Šedivý, who is 56, served in the past as deputy minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic and permanent representative of the Czech Republic to NATO. He currently works at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for for combating disinformation and hostile foreign influences.
As an expert, he also played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO. It was during this period that he served as external adviser to President Václav Havel.
The Czech diplomat Jiří Šedivý has made the shortlist for the post of
chief executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the newspaper Lidové
noviny reported on Monday, citing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Mr.
Šedivý was the Czech Republic’s ambassador at NATO and is also a former
minister of defence. At present he is government commissioner for combating
disinformation and hostile foreign influences.
If Mr. Šedivý gets the EDA post it would be one of the highest posts in an international organisation ever held by a Czech, the Office of the President’s foreign affairs specialist, Rudolf Jindrák, told Lidové noviny.
The EDA promotes and facilitates integration between European Union members within the bloc’s Common Security and Defence Policy.
Ski resorts around the Czech Republic are witnessing one of the worst snow seasons on record, and according to long-term predictions by Czech climate experts, we can expect even less snow in the future. While the skiing season in the country’s mountains will be considerably shorter, white winters in the low-lying parts of the Czech Republic will soon become a distant memory.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Visegrad Four counterparts met in
Prague on Thursday to discuss energy and climate change with Austrian
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The V4 summit attended by the Austrian chancellor focussed on energy and EU climate change policy, areas where the positions of Austria and the V4 (which includes Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) differ significantly.
Unlike Austria, the V4 countries say achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is not possible without building more nuclear power plants.Austria does not like the idea that EU money paid to help phase-out coal mining and boost alternate energy sources should be used for nuclear power.
PM Babiš argues that in the interests of “energy security” and ecomomic growth, the Czech Republic must build new nuclear units even if it contravenes European Union law.
The talks also covered EU funding and migration where the heads of government found more common ground.They agreed on the need to fight illegal migration,rejected the idea of obligatory migrant quotas and stressed the importance of defending the EU's outer borders.
Since the talks were held on the anniversary of the death of student martyr Jan Palach, the prime ministers laid flowers at the Palach memorial at the top end of Wenceslas Square where Palach set himself on fire in protest against growing public apathy to the Soviet-led invasion.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Ministry officials have moved to quell concerns over the security of Czech soldiers and police officers serving in Iraq. The general chief of staff said precautions had been taken to ensure the safety of the 40-member-strong Czech team and an emergency evacuation plan was in place should the need arise.
Last year was the second warmest in the Czech Republic since 1961,
according to data published on Wednesday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological
Institute. The daily average temperature in 2019 was 9.5 degrees Celsius,
which was 1.6 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.
The hottest year since 1961 was 2018. The years 2014 and 2015 are tied for third hottest year in almost six decades.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic is not at present
considering withdrawing its troops from Iraq. Speaking on a visit to
Olomouc, Mr. Babiš confirmed an earlier statement from the General Staff
of the Czech Army that none of the country’s soldiers had been harmed
during overnight rocket attacks on two US bases in Iraq.
A Czech Ministry of Defence spokesman said no Czech soldiers had been stationed at the bases.
Iran said the strikes had been in retaliation for the killing last week of its military commander Qassem Suleimani.
A spokesperson for the Czech Army said its troops had halted exercises and were remaining at their bases, adding that it would await a decision on how to proceed from NATO command.
Almost 40 Czech soldiers are taking part in a NATO mission in Iraq and five Czech police officers are serving as instructors in Bagdad.
Amidst growing tension over the latest developments in the Middle East, following the killing of Iran’s military leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Czech foreign minister has joined calls for a level-headed approach to the crisis, warning that a further escalation of tension will not only destabilize the region, but put at risk the progress made in the war on terror.
With the arrival of the New Year, the Czech Army has deployed 1,000
soldiers to NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, the army said in
a statement on Thursday. The Czech soldiers will be on alert for the
entirety of 2020 and must be able to take action in a crisis situation
within five days.
Commander Petr Blecha said the Czechs had been preparing intensively to play a role in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force since 2018. The task force was created following the Russian annexation of Crimea.