Press Advisories

12. 3. 2014 12:32

Comment by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on the 15th anniversary of entry by the Czech Republic into NATO

Entry by the Czech Republic into NATO in 1999, represented the first real step of our return to democratic Europe and a transatlantic alliance, which was one of the key objectives emphasised 25 years ago at the time of the Velvet Revolution.

Membership of the Czech Republic in NATO and five years later, also entry into the European Union provided our country with unprecedented guarantees of security, the like of which our country had never had and which are very important even now in the context of the current events in Ukraine.

But investors also appreciated the fact of security and economic integration, because our country registered a record influx of direct foreign investments and strong economic growth after entrance into NATO and the EU. The process of entry into NATO was certainly not however an easy affair. We had to meet a wide range of conditions relating to membership in a short space of time, prepare not only the army for this, but also the whole system of top management of the state, as well as modifying and creating whole new defence legislation. And of course we also had to prepare our soldiers and diplomats for service in the structures of NATO. This also represented a significant impulse for modernisation of our army in such a way that it is capable not only of protecting the Czech Republic, but also its allies.

Active participation in several military missions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was an expression of our accountability in terms of ensuring our security and the security of our allies. These in particular include the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, or KFOR in Kosovo. Our soldiers proved their bravery and professionalism there, which was and is highly praised by our allies too.

Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

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