Germany and Czechia: Bilateral Relations Czech Republic

19.02.2020 - Article

German-Czech relations are very close and marked by high‑level contacts reinforced by frequent two‑way visits at the highest level; the most recent such visit was that by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to Prague in October 2018 as well as a trip to the country by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in September 2019.

The cornerstones of German-Czech relations are the Treaty on Good Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation of 27 February 1992 and the German-Czech Declaration on Mutual Relations and their Future Development of 21 January 1997. The essence of the latter is the undertaking by both sides to advance German-Czech relations in a spirit of good neighbourliness and to disencumber them from political and legal issues stemming from the past. On its 20th anniversary, the then Foreign Ministers, Lubomír Zaorálek and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed a declaration reaffirming the spirit of the German-Czech Declaration.

Bilateral cooperation is very close also on the economic front, but the two countries have differing views on the role that nuclear power and renewable energies should play in supplying energy needs.

Cooperation is especially deep‑rooted with respect to foreign and European policy. Czechia and Germany work together intensively on foreign policy issues such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, and also in the Western Balkans. As part of their strategic dialogue, they discuss current foreign and European policy issues. German and Czech ministries are cooperating in a total of 11 working groups. Cross‑border cooperation, particularly with the Free State of Bavaria and the Free State of Saxony, has been stepped up significantly once again in recent years.

Cultural exchange at all levels is wide‑ranging, also in the case of projects conducted without state involvement. A range of foundations are represented in Czechia, such as the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

The German-Czech Future Fund is a Prague‑based foundation that was established in 1997 with the German-Czech Declaration. The Future Fund supports non‑profit mutual exchange projects in the areas of youth, culture, education, minorities, dialogue forums and publications.

There is intensive cooperation in the judicial and police sectors. The German-Czech police agreement establishes a comprehensive intergovernmental basis for police and customs cooperation.

Bilateral military relations are good. There are several agreements between the two countries’ Defence Ministries that form the basis for long‑term military cooperation at bilateral and international Level.

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