Czechia and Poland: Relations Deep Down In The Coal Mine

With the new government being formed in Czechia, how will the Czech-Polish relationship continue?

20 October 2021

Martin Ehl

Senior Fellow

It was many months before the Czech contribution of 20 million euros to the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (3SIIF) was ready to be sent.

The government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had it on their to-do list, for a meeting on 18 October, a week after the Czech parliamentary election. But then the media got the news that in a time of the biggest public deficit ever created by this government, Babiš wants to send a huge sum of money for the dead project — because the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is connected in Czechia with the Danube-Oder-Elbe channel promoted by president Miloš Zeman. This meant that the 3SI — if anyone in Czechia has heard of it at all — has been labelled a strange Polish imperial project. So why choose to support it?

Dead Czech Project 

Andrej Babiš has lost the elections and his government is supposed to only keep the state working until a new coalition is formed and comes to power. A short and heated public debate about 20 million euros and the channel was only one of the signs of how complicated the relations in Central Europe are, how Czechs and Poles generally do not know each other’s projects and priorities, and how relations between Prague and Warsaw have deteriorated recently.

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Martin Ehl

Senior Fellow

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow. Martin Ehl is the Chief Analyst at Hospodářské noviny (Economic daily)

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