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The Extended Concept of Security and the Czech Security Practice

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Author(s): Miloš Balabán | Antonín Rašek | Libor Stejskal

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 40;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: security | Czech Republic | security policy | security strategy

ABSTRACT
According to the extended concept of security, the nation state is no longer the sole privileged reference object of security. The traditional model of national security is developing from military terms to a broader concept which embraces the international, economic, social, environmental, and human rights dimensions of security. The meaning and relevance of the concept is being extended “upwards”, to international organisations, and “downwards”, to regional and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, communities, and individual citizens. This has immediate bearing on the everyday security reality of the Czech Republic. In international context, the “security frontier” of the Czech Republic is expanding, e.g. through the country’s involvement in UN and NATO security missions in conflict-ridden regions of Europe and the world. The country also helps enhance the internal security of the European Union, whose strength depends on its Member States’ willingness to “harmonise” the pursuit of their respective national security interests. This approach is especially important with regard to the principal security threats Europe faces and will continue to face in the future: terrorism and organised crime. It is vital that the Czech Republic have a well-working security system capable of responding effectively to a broad range of threats. This requirement applies first and foremost to the Police, the Fire and Rescue Service, and intelligence services. Unfortunately, with the present effectiveness of the Czech security system, much remains wishful thinking and, due to the lack of a comprehensive framework, a comparatively low level of protection against emergencies exists. Fight against crime is hampered by inefficient operation of the Police and judiciary. A thorough analysis of the aforementioned problems could provide basis for a broader public debate over the priorities and goals of Czech security policy, which should accompany the drawing up of a new security strategy for the country. A step in the right direction would be if, after public debate, the Government submitted a new version of the country’s security strategy for consideration and approval to the Parliament as the supreme representative body. The new strategy would thus be assigned greater importance than that of 2003 which was adopted only by the Government and, as a result, was often denied the status of a binding document. A broader public debate over the new security strategy would help ensure that the extended concept of security is more fully implemented in practice.

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