The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is a global one. That means that various countries in the world are facing similar, if not identical, challenges and problems. The Czech Republic entered this fight a few moments and stages earlier than other countries in Eastern Europe, like Ukraine and Georgia, among others. Czech civil society (in the broader understanding of this term) has already shown a high degree of innovation, creativity, voluntarism, and solidarity when it comes to the fight aganist this disease. We believe that there is no need for others to reinvent the wheel and waste precious time in the face of a potentially fatal disease. Therefore, we decided to compile the best practices and lessons learned by Czech civil society and offer them as this shareware toolkit to other countries.
Autor - European Values
The European Values Center for Security Policy was founded in 2005 by a group of friends who wanted to publicly comment on the direction of European policy and the formulation of Czech interests after the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union. The very first project of the European Values Center was an international petition campaign rejecting accession negotiations with Turkey. The lack of a strategic debate on the interests of the Czech Republic in the area of foreign and security policy following its joining the European Union and NATO also motivated its founders.
The growth of the European Values Center from a group of motivated students into a professional security center took place in three phases, during which the organization has hired and trained 500 employees.
Between 2005 and 2010, at the beginning of its work, the young team in addition to developing public debates, conferences, and summer schools, focused on European activities within the European Values Network, which taught young people to formulate specific political recommendations for the European Union. A small team consisting mainly of volunteers, with an annual budget of around three million crowns, sought mainly to contribute to the education of European policy and to the cultivation of Czech public debate.
Next, between 2011 and 2014, a generational change in the European Values Center welcomed young Czech experts with an array of individual sectoral backgrounds to research topics within the range of Czech membership in the European Union. The European Values Center nurtured the professional development of dozens of young people in the areas of European Values Center institutions, internal security and issues related to migration, radicalization, terrorism, and foreign and security policy. Many of them now work in Czech or international institutions.
We have strategically reconsidered our activities since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. We have also established an intrinsic security specialization in radicalization, illegal migration, and terrorism, but in particular have established the Kremlin Watch Program, which draws attention toRussian influence and disinformation in its myriad forms. Our success in this security agenda was confirmed in 2016, when Czech security institutions invited us to audit national security institutions and co-authored Czech national policy addressing the influence of foreign powers.
Thanks to our focus on the hostile foreign pressure on European democracies, we have begun to build extensive expertise in this narrowly specialized agenda. Since 2016, our analysis and recommendations have been utilized by our allies’ security institutions, and for example were quoted by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We are regularly consulted by the largest global media, have briefed the NATO Political Committee, and host government representatives every year from more than 30 states at our programming for community specialists. Naturally, we have attracted the ire of those who support Russian interests in the Czech Republic, such as President Miloš Zeman, which only confirmed that our activities have an impact that bothers the enemies of Czech sovereignty.
Since 2019, we have run a new Security Strategy Program and the Red Watch, both obviating Chinese influence in Europe. We have grown in staff and transformed from a small group of students to a professional security center. Thanks to its narrowly profiled area, it has blossomed into one of the largest and most influential in Europe. European Values Center have come to this position not only thanks to the commitment of dozens of motivated young experts, but also thanks to the strategic vision of the generation of founders.
At the beginning of 2020, the European Values Center for Security Policy is one of the leaders in countering Russian and Chinese influence in Europe with activities and programming in Central Europe, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Western Balkans.
This Report is a final output of a year-long cooperation between non-governmental organizations and think-tanks from Central Europe and the Western Balkans. The goal of this cooperation within the #BalkansWatch project was to use the experiences of the countries from the Visegrad group in mapping and assessing malign foreign influence of third countries, adapt their approach and apply it to the current situation in the Western Balkans. This Kremlin Watch Report focuses on tools of foreign influence which aim at disrupting democratic processes and attacking the trust of societies towards democratic institutions. Číst dále
European Values Center for Security Policy is organizing a two-day workshop on disinformation and foreign influence, centered on Central Europe case studies, in cooperation with Transition Promotion Program of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and National Endowment for Democracy.
This workshop aims to share experiences, lessons learnt and best practices from Central Europe to increase the capabilities of civil society in exposing foreign malign influence and disinformation. We will be covering the state of play of Kremlin’s influence, discussing ways of facing this threat and sharing lessons on personal security in this line of work.
The conference will take place on 27th and 28th of February in Sarajevo.
Please register now:
This paper aims to analyze the Czech experience of countering disinformation on both governmental and non-governmental levels. The reason for choosing the Czech Republic is twofold: firstly, the historical commonalities as well as current similarities in terms of the praxis of the disinformation in the Czech case make it worth examining for Georgia; and secondly, with comparison to other European countries, the Czech Republic led with a major policy shift on the topic on Russian disinformation and thus provides some useful lessons. Číst dále
Analysis of the texts of annual intelligence reports has proven what the European Values Center for Security Policy has been claiming for years. The hostile influence operations are not a random occurrence, nor are they a phenomenon that concerns a few countries only. In fact, our research has uncovered a broad consensus among the intelligence agencies in terms of existing tactics and tools applied by Russia and China. In other words, our long-held stance has now been backed by “hard data” i.e. texts of intelligence agencies. Report available in PDF. Číst dále
The European Values Center for Security Policy enters the new year of 2020 with the following five personnel changes:
As of December 10, 2019, the position of Chairman of the Executive Board was released by Co-founder and long-term Executive Director Radko Hokovský, who is now leaving the organization completely after almost fifteen years. Radko Hokovský is founding a new international think-tank, the European Center for Internal Security, which will focus mainly on combating Islamic extremism and terrorism, preventing mass immigration and ensuring internal security in general within the European context. Dr. Hokovský, who teaches about this issue at Charles University, thus builds on the activities of the Internal Security Program and the international platform HOMEAFFAIRS – Internal Security Forum Prague, which he built in European Values. From the New Year onwards, these activities will continue individually and independently of the European Values Center for Security Policy, which will continue to focus on facing Russia and China in Europe. Because of this division, both activities, which have separate partners, donors and target groups, will be separated transparently.
Petr Holec is becoming the Chairman of the Executive Board. Mr. Holec has been a member of the European Values boards for several years, managing and supervising the organization. He works as a project manager in the commercial sector at Edwards Lifesciences. He received an engineering degree from the Czech-French MFTAP L´Adminitration Publique / Public Administration program and received a master’s degree from the Palackého University in Olomouc (Applied Economics).
Jiří Kopal, who has been cooperating with European Values since 2012 and founded the League of Human Rights, has left the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Mr. Kopal was responsible for the development of program priorities for the organization, transparent financing and sustainability of the organization, and as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board,supervised adherence to the management rules, statutes and code of ethics.
Jan Famfollet, who in 2015 – 2017 served as Deputy Director for Financial and Project Management and has been a member of the Management Board since 2017, is becoming the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He specializes in the economic aspects of European integration, with a particular focus on banking and the development of the post-crisis architecture of the euro area. At present, he works as a senior ministerial advisor at the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and is engaged in doctoral research focused on the EU banking union at the University of Economics in Prague.
David Stulík, who has been an EU diplomat for the past 12 years as a spokesperson for the EU delegation in Kyiv, is joining us as a senior analyst at Kremlin Watch. Until his time in Kyiv, he worked, among others, with People in Need andthe East-West Institute and was a member of the European advisory body of the European Social and Economic Committee. In European Values, David Stulík will focus on activities concerning Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.
The Executive Director Jakub Janda adds the following to these changes:
“I would like to thank Radko Hokovský as a co-founder and longtime director of European Values and Jiří Kopal as a wise mentor for the years of their work. Without them, our organization would not be here today, and we would not be able to grow and fight the enemies of liberal democracy in several European countries at once. Radko and Jiří have led the European Values Center for Security Policy into its imaginary adulthood, and now a new generation can continue the mission.
For the European Values, nothing will change when it comes to the content of our work – we will continue to focus mainly on countering the hostile influence of Russia and China in Europe. Every year as an organization, we grow in terms of personnel and projects. Today, we operate in Central Europe, we have a small team in Germany and our people are implementing projects in Georgia and the Western Balkans.”
PROFILE OF DAVID STULIK:
DAVID STULÍK worked for last 12 years as the Press and Information Officer at the EU Delegation in Kyiv, Ukraine. Prior to this position, he was shortly employed in the Czech Deputy Prime Minister Office, where he dealt with the preparations for the Czech EU Presidency. Before joining the public sector, David acted as the Head of Unit for Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova and the Coordinator of democracy projects in Eastern Europe in one of the largest Central European NGOs, People in Need.
Before, he served as the Project Manager at the Civil Society Development Foundation (NROS), which has been predominantly involved in the administration of PHARE programs aimed at the development of civil society in the Czech Republic. There, Mr. Stulik coordinated 3-year projects on preparations of Czech NGOs for EU accession, which was funded by CEE TRUST program.
He also lectured at the Charles University at the Department of Civil Society Sector. After the EU accession, he has been appointed by the Czech government as a member of the European Economic and Social Committee, where he represented the Czech non-governmental sector and also served as the Rapporteur for Belarus.
His professional experience includes working for the independent Czech think tank, Institute for European policies, Europeum, which he co-founded. Mr. Stulik also served as Project Manager and Executive Assistant to Senior Vice President of the EastWest Institute, an Euro-American think tank. During his studies, he held the position of Vice President of AEGEE-Europe (European Students’ Association). In 1997, he received the award “Young European of the Year” and, as a result, he conducted a 6-month internship at the European Parliament.
During his previous stay in Poland, he had been employed at the Polish public radio (Czech service) and worked as a foreign correspondent for a number of Czech media (print, TV, radio). After his return to the Czech Republic in 1998, he co-founded and became the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly magazine Integrace, which shortly became a leading online publication on the EU integration. Eventually, the portal www.integrace.cz joined the family of European portals of the www.euractiv.com.
Among his fields of interests and competence are: EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy, development of civil society, EU communication policies, EU lobbying, civic dialogue, and the socio-economic consequences of post-communist transition.
Mr. Stulik has MA degree in Society and Politics from the Central European University and MSc in International Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. He also finished European studies at the Academia Istropolitana NOVA, Slovakia.
Security Strategies Program is publishing the second part of its publication “How do EU Members States’, Canadian and the United States Intelligence Agencies Assess Russian and Chinese Influence Operations?”. This second report examines Russian and Chinese influence in the Central European region. The aim of the re-port is to more closely cover the actual events that have already happened in Central Europe and analyze them as part of the larger picture. The report is divided into two parts: Russia and China. In both cases, the report will first go through the short- and long-term goals for the countries. These goals have been adjusted to the context of Central Europe: what is the value of Central Europe for Russia and China? How does the region work as a mean towards larger foreign policy goals, and how does the region work as an end itself? Read more in the report. Číst dále
With a population of a little more than 650,000 citizens, Montenegro is NATO’s newest and smallest member. It joined the Alliance controversially and without a majority of public support in June 2017 (“The World Factbook: Montenegro”). Though Montenegro is small, its admission into NATO is viewed as a big win for the Alliance. The NATO win, however, is not in terms of what Montenegro can provide militarily – it has an army of a mere 2,000 soldiers – but in terms of the message it sends to Russia and other Western Balkan nations.
However, despite NATO membership, Russian influence in the country remains significant and has shown no signs of going away. This influence is seen in nearly all levels of Montenegrin society, but most prominently in the economic, political, civil society, media, and religious realms. Russia relies heavily on disinformation and uses its proxy agents to promote its agenda directly and indirectly in the country. The high level of corruption in Montenegro and its weak institutions provides the fuel that allows Russian influence to take hold and infiltrate all levels of society without any recourse. This poses a major threat not only to Montenegro, but to the broader Western Balkan region and to both NATO and the EU. It also damages Montenegro’s chances of EU accession in 2025, which the majority of the population supports, and feels is necessary for Montenegro’s economic prosperity.
Read the full Kremlin Watch Report.