Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations, PCTR
The Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations (PCTR) was established in November 2009 as an internal research, education and advisory facility of CEVRO Institute.
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Principles and Goals
- The preservation and the strengthening of the transatlantic link represent a key contribution to Czech and European security.
- As the future of transatlantic relations is increasingly questioned, it is desirable that academic institutions in the new NATO member states devote a part of their research capacities to help solve the challenges facing the transatlantic agenda.
- Scepticism toward cooperation with the United States has been on the rise in the Czech Republic and some other Central European countries. It is important to prevent the recent difficulties in US–Central European relations from growing into a refusal of the very idea of transatlantic alliance.
- The concept of transatlantic relations should not be limited to NATO. In fact, transatlantic relations include a much wider range of issues spanning politics, security, economy and culture. In particular, US–EU relations are gaining special prominence.
- Conduct systematic research in the area of transatlantic relations with a special emphasis on US–Central European relations.
- Develop practical solutions to problems in transatlantic relations and produce analyses and policy recommendations that can be used in decision-making processes in the Czech Republic and in other countries of Central Europe.
- Join the Czech, European and US debates on the challenges that transatlantic cooperation faces.
- Put on the agenda those topics related to transatlantic relations that have been neglected in the Czech and in the Central European foreign policy debates.
- Cooperate with European and US research institutions and thereby introduce Czech perspectives on transatlantic relations to a wider audience abroad.
Message from the Director
By joining NATO In 1999 the Czech Republic has gained the best security guarantees in its modern history. It does not mean that we are to idly sit with our hands folded in a lap and do nothing. The security should not be taken for granted. The quality always depends on our will to do something for it and make sacrifices. Such a fact is applicable not only for us at home but also for cooperation with our allies. The world is not a safe place; security threats of today are less predictable and therefore potentially more dangerous. A state, which does not study security threats and loses the ability to defend itself, is not entitled to have a long-term existence. Therefore, providing and maintaining security must remain an integral part of policies not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe. The persistent economic and debt crisis, which has affected all western states in recent years, has taken its toll in the reduction of defence budgets. It is even more important to deepen a rational cooperation of states, which can effectively reinforce national defence and the protection of citizens against current threats such as terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
For this purpose the Centre for Transatlantic Relations CEVRO Institute has organized conferences, seminars, workshops and produced analyses and policy recommendations for professionals. The Centre is also going to publish outcomes of these researches in media and scholarly journals. You can look forward to many new projects aimed to deepen public debate about security, economic and cultural cooperation, especially between Europe and the United States.
Alexandr Vondra, Director, Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations (PCTR)
Message from the President of CEVRO Institut
Joining Euro-American security and political cooperation was one the most prominent goals of the Czech Republic’s post-Communist reform policy. Achieving NATO membership was an important step in meeting this goal. Along with this achievement, however, there is also a permanent duty to infuse the Czech Republic’s membership in the Alliance with concrete and meaningful content respective to the reality of the ever-changing international security environment.
Today, the transatlantic link remains a key pillar of our country’s security. By establishing the Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations, devoted to research and discussion, the CEVRO Institut intends to contribute to the cultivation of Czech public discourse on the meaning and content of transatlantic cooperation in the 21st century as well as on the role the Czech Republic and other European countries should play in it.
Josef Šíma, President, CEVRO Institut – School of Political Studies