Ministry of the Interior prepares draft measures to strengthen the internal security of the Czech Republic

 11. 01. 2024      category: Events
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According to the Ministry of the Interior, not only in the wake of the current tragic event at the Faculty of Arts building in Prague, but also in light of events abroad, there is a need to prepare a more comprehensive proposal of conceptual measures that would further strengthen the level of internal security in the Czech Republic. These measures should not only be technical, but also further steps in the area of prevention and preparedness for crisis situations. The involvement of other entities is also a logical prerequisite, although the primary responsibility for this task lies with the Ministry of the Interior.

Foto: Ministerstvo vnitra připravuje návrh opatření k posílení vnitřní bezpečnosti České republiky (ilustrační foto) | Shutterstock
Picture: The Ministry of the Interior is preparing a proposal for measures to strengthen the internal security of the Czech Republic (illustration photo) | Shutterstock

External and internal state security

External security of the state means ensuring the territorial integrity, external sovereignty and independence of the state, the inviolability of its state borders and the protection of its embassies, members of the diplomatic corps and other citizens (especially in the event of a threat of an emergency abroad or after its occurrence).

In a broader sense, the internal security of the state means the preservation and safeguarding of the internal functions of the state, the protection of its democratic foundations, the protection of internal order, security and legality, the protection of life and health, property values and the environment against threats originating in the territory of the Czech Republic.

The boundary between internal and external security is often almost imperceptible, and the effects of individual security measures are similarly intertwined. Thus, it is often impossible to state unequivocally that specific threats or activities relate to only one of these dimensions of national security.

War in Ukraine

The security situation in the Czech Republic over the past two years has been most affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of its main direct impacts was the arrival of a large number of war refugees and the need to adequately care for them. In 2022, it was necessary to re-declare a state of emergency and to provide for adjustments in activities and increased capacities in many different areas of public services. The indirect effects of the invasion from 2022 onwards were to affect the supply of energy raw materials, the deterioration of the cyber-security situation, hybrid action by the Russian Federation and the acceleration of price increases.

In 2023, the main internal security challenge for the Czech Republic was the adaptation and integration of war refugees from Ukraine and the response to other security threats related to Russia's ongoing efforts to destabilise the European security architecture. Attention was also paid to undesirable phenomena associated with the increase in crime.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In the context of Israel's war with Hamas, with the ongoing Israeli operation against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip in response to previous rocket fire on Israeli territory and Hamas ground attacks against military and civilian targets (the Hamas attack on Israel began on the morning of 7. At the end of last year, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan expressed his opinion about the anti-Israel demonstrations in the sense that the Czech Republic is not in immediate danger and the anti-Israel demonstrations that are taking place in the country are not yet extreme.

Shooting at the Faculty of Philosophy

The police and the Interior Ministry managed to communicate after the tragic shooting at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague, given the crisis situation, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said at a recent press conference after a government meeting. However, in the future, the police president will ask for better communication with so-called soft targets in case of tragic events.

A total of fourteen people, including students and teachers, lost their lives in the shooting at the faculty building in the centre of Prague on 21 December 2023. The perpetrator, who police said was a student at the college, also committed suicide after the attack. The Police Department's Office of Internal Control found no wrongdoing in the police response, but recommended better crisis communication in the future. In fact, during the search for the student because of his possible suicidal intentions, the police did not inform the faculty administration, but only the school staff present.

"I am identified with this conclusion and I will ask the police president to better set up communication with schools, soft targets, their representatives, and people responsible for security at the institution in case of similar events," Rakusan noted.

According to Rakushan, crisis communication manuals will be created not only for the authorities, but also for representatives of individual universities. It is also necessary to talk about how to better prepare methodically for the protection of soft targets. Communication will continue, the interior minister said.

The proposals for measures to strengthen the internal security of the Czech Republic mentioned in the introduction, including the determination of the necessary financial costs, should be submitted by the Minister of the Interior to the Government, after discussion by the State Security Council, by 28 February 2024.

 Author: Jan Zilvar

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