The Czech EU enlargement debate (manual)
Roofs in Prague. Photo: flickr/akpt

ESI Manual: The Czech EU enlargement debate. Information and contacts (February 2009)

Who shapes the debate on the future of EU enlargement in the Czech Republic today as the country runs the EU Presidency under the slogan of “Europe without barriers”? This downloadable manual aims to provide an overview, introducing the key people and key institutions that shape this debate. It starts with a summary of core facts about the Czech Republic. Much space is given to the vibrant media landscape, from TV, radio and print media to internet-based media. It also describes the most important interest groups, key government institutions, the current government, parliament and the main political parties.

On more than 50 pages you find information and contact details of over 180 individuals and more than 80 institutions. Before you download, have a look a the examples below.

Radiožurnál – CRo1

Radiožurnál is the longest established of the two news-based national public radio stations. It has had a rapid turnover of Directors. The previous Director, Barbora Tachecí, now at Z1TV, was fired in early 2008.

Alexandr Pícha is the Editor in Chief. He has been in overall charge since February 2008. Tel: + 420 221 551 1208

E-mail: alexandr.pí

Ceský rozhlas 1 Czech Radio – Radiožurnál is north of Wenceslas Square at Vinohradská 12 in Prague 2. Tel.: +420 221 551 111. Editorial: Tel. +420 22 155 2127 E-mail:

Hana Hikelová is the News Director. E-mail:

In Europe, CRo1 has correspondents and stringers covering Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Poland, the Baltics and the UK, as well as the Balkans and the EU.

Balkans and European Union coverage:

CRo now has two correspondents in Brussels: Pavel Novák, and Ondrej Houska:

Ondrej Houska. E-mail:

Pavel Novák. E-mail:

They are based at Czech Radio, Prague House, Avenue Palmerston 16, 1000 Bruxelles.

Stories they have covered include:

Balkans Coverage:

Jaromír Janev is the Correspondent for Cesky Rozhlas (Cr) in the Balkans. He is based in Belgrade.


His stories are available at:


Mladá Fronta Dnes usually known as Dnes (Today) or MF Dnes, as the prefix Mlada Fonta relates to its pre-1989 roots. It is the best-selling serious daily. It has one of the most popular news websites, It is an independent, center-right paper; arguably the most popular print source among decision makers. It has a strong reputation for its domestic coverage. It is owned by the MAFRA publishing company. It is based in the Andel Media Center in Smichov, Prague 5. The circulation is 291,876. Also taking into account pre-paid subscriptions, the readership is estimated at 1,058,000. The best selling editions are Thursdays, when the popular HN Magazine is included with the paper, and the weekend edition.

The Editor in Chief is Robert Cásenský. E-mail:

The Foreign Editor is Teodor Marjanovic.

Direct line: (+420) 225 06 2422 E-mail:

Teodor Marjanovic has been Foreign Editor since January 2007. He was born in Belgrade, and grew up in Ljubljana. From 1996 to 1998 he worked for Dnes as an editor with a focus on Germany. He has worked for the BBC in London, and has spent a year on internships in Washington. He studied philosophy at the University of Vienna.

The Foreign Department has a staff of 10 – approximately the same size as in other main daily papers. There are two foreign affairs specialists. Jan Rybár is a both a writer and a photographer. His book “Válecníci, teroristé a jiní šílenci” (Warriors, terrorists and other madmen) was published in September 2008.


His website is

His articles can be found online (in Czech).

The second international specialist is Lucie Suchá, who has written recently a number of stories about Germany and Austria; E-mail: Her articles in Czech are at

The Brussels Correspondent is Katerina Koubová – she has worked for Dnes as an economic reporter since 2004 focusing on the EU. Her ambition since joining the Brussels press corps in September 2008 is to cover the wider European story – not just the bureaucratic issues. She has also worked for two news agencies, CTK, and Reuters and for Euro magazine. She has lived in Paris and Milan for long periods. E-mail:

Other Dnes contributors based in Europe: are Jan Krcmar (Vienna), Renata Harvanová (Bratislava), and Ondrej Soukup (Moscow).

The editor in charge of the influential comment pages is Jana Bendová – she has worked at MF Dnes since 1990.


Dnes takes commentary articles submitted by outside contributors.

The idnes website,, gets over 630,000 hits a day – making it one of the most used news sites in the country. It also has been increasing its video content – idnes TV. The Web Editor is Michal Hanák.

EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

The EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy has established a strong reputation for its work focusing on European integration and on the impact of EU accession on the political, economic and legal transformation of the Czech Republic. It is based at Rytírská 31 in Prague’s Old Town.

Tel: +420-221.610.206, +420-221.610.207

David Král, the chairman of EUROPEUM, is the Director of the EU policies programme. He also lectures at the University of Public Administration and International Relations in Prague. His areas of expertise include EU reform and Constitutional Treaty, EU enlargement, EU external relations and the European Common Foreign and Security Policy. In 2007 he was the lead author on EUROPEUM’s study: “The perspectives of further EU enlargement as seen from the new member states and EU hopefuls”. He has also written on Czech attitudes to Turkey’s accession.


Vladimír Bartovic works on the Western Balkans, especially on the UN interim administration in Kosovo and the integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU.


Vera Rihácková is an in-house research fellow focusing on EU institutional reform, European Neighbourhood Policy and Security and Counter-terrorism.


Ivo Šlosarcík is a founding member of EUROPEUM. He is Director for Research. He also lectures at Charles University. His major areas of interests are legal issues of the European integration, judicial and police co-operation in the EU, and reform of the civil service and judiciary.


Radomír Špok, the Executive Director, deals with the broader aspects of the European Union with focus on EU Regional Policy. He is currently involved in the OSI Sofia-led project; “Unfinished Business” looking at the impact of enlargement in transition states.


European Policy-making

"We will make it sweet for you!"

“We will make it sweet for you!” (Czech EU Presidency advertisement)

Czech European Union policy-making has been headed by Alexandr Vondra, (“Saša” Vondra). He has been Deputy Prime Minister for European affairs since January 2007.

“The formation of the function of Deputy-Prime Minister for European matters has clearly weakened the role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the organisation of EU policies of the Czech Republic,” Marek Belko has written.

“At the moment, the rule is that when it comes to internal matters of the EU, Mr Vondra has the main say, while all matters related to external/foreign EU politics/policies remain the competence of the Ministry. The Department for EU politics (which is under Mr Vondra’s oversight) significantly influences politics towards the EU, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs remains responsible for agenda related to bilateral relations with other EU member states, as well as foreign and security policies as a whole.”

(Marian Belko in “Czech Foreign Policy,” edited by Michal Korán and Martin Hrabálek, IIPS, Masaryk University 2007, in Czech).

On the Western Balkans, Alexandr Vondra often refers to what he calls the “affinity effect” – the fact that 800,000 Czechs visited Croatia and an estimated 50,000 Czechs visited Montenegro in the summer of 2008. Vondra has also travelled widely in the region.

Detailed policy is carried out by the Foreign Ministry – see below.

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister:

Alexandr Vondra

Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs

Office of the Government of the CR

Nábreží E. Beneše 4, 118 01 Praha 1

Tel: +420 224 00 23 90


Antonín Berdych

Director of the Executive Office



Michaela Jelínková

Phone: +420 724 258 939


Linda Kopecká

Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs


Denisa Haubertová

Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs


Josef Kreuter

Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs


Jana Hendrichová, a non-party Deputy Minister, is in charge of preparations for the Czech Presidency of the EU. She is responsible for logistics and organization, the budget and public procurement, and communications (the EU Information Department).


Tel.: +420 220 14 3772

The EU Information Department is responsible for Euroskop web-portal:

Director: Pavlína Bartonová


European Affairs Section

The section headed by Deputy Minister Marek Mora handles the analytical and coordinating aspects related to the preparation of Czech positions for EU meetings.


The section has two main departments:

European Policies Coordination Department (OKE)

Director: Karolína Kottová, E-Mail: or

Strategies and Analyses Department (OKA)

Director: Lenka Pítrová

E-Mail or


ESI Manual: The Czech EU enlargement debate. Information and contacts (February 2009)

16 February 2009