PositionEuropean Security and Defence Policy - Brief article

A major and unexpected stumbling block has come up for the Czech EU Presidency in the area of defence policy. The lower chamber of the Czech parliament rejected, in late December 2008, the annual plan for the foreign deployment of Czech troops. This concerns Czech participation in both NATO and European Union military operations.

The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU Presidency for the next six months, is involved in particular in NATO operations in Afghanistan (International Security Assistance Force and the US Operation Enduring Freedom), Kosovo (KFOR) and Iraq (army training mission). The government wished to boost its participation in the first two theatres of operation, raising the number of troops in Afghanistan from 400 to 645, and in Kosovo from 400 to 550. This deployment is now at a standstill, along with the Czech participation in EU operations, notably the implementation of...

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