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Czech Foreign Policy and EU Membership: Europeanization and Domestic Sources

By Michael Baun and Dan Marek

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of EU integration and membership on the foreign policy of the Czech Republic. After examining the historical, geopolitical, and domestic sources of Czech foreign policy, it surveys Czech foreign policy since 1989, focusing on five distinct periods. The paper concludes that Czech foreign policy has been “Europeanized” to only a limited extent, and that EU influence on Czech foreign policy decision-making is relatively small compared to domestic political factors. EU membership also does not appear to have altered basic perceptions of Czech foreign policy interests, which remain largely determined by (pre-1989) historical experience and perceptions of geopolitical vulnerability. However, the Czech Republic has also sought to use the EU to achieve its key foreign policy goals, especially during its EU presidency in the first half of 2009. Limited socialization within EU institutions and the Czech Republic’s peculiar historical experience and geopolitical situation are the main explanations for limited Europeanization, suggesting that further socialization and the accumulated experience of EU membership could promote greater Europeanization of Czech foreign policy over time

Topics: common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy, Czech Republic, europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:aei.pitt.edu:33023

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