The Anna Lindh Foundation National Network in the Czech Republic connects civil society organisations and citizens to build trust and improve mutual understanding. The Head of the National Network is the Institute of International Relations (IIR), which works in the field of international relations, including the area of the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa as well as the Sub-Saharan Africa. These areas are studied mainly in relation to the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
As an independent institution originally founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the IIR also provides policy analysis and recommendations. It also forms a link between the academic world, the public, and international political practice.
The ALF in the Czech Republic is a network of several dozens of organisations united under the umbrella of intercultural dialogue, which is also reflected in initiatives in the fields of climate change, culture and the empowerment of women and youth. The Czech Network is remarkably diverse and includes cultural and community associations, academic institutions, youth organisations and individuals.
The main goals of the Network include promoting dialogue between different cultures, bringing important issues into academic and public debate, and involving communities in public life. Given the regional differences in the perception of diverse cultures, the Czech Network needs to support initiatives in places other than the capital. This is mainly done through cultural events of various sizes. In the Czech Republic, ALF offers its members free training on a relevant topic every year, supports the promotion of members' events, provides the opportunity to participate in joint projects and promotes the exchange of exciting exhibitions, educational materials and event spaces.
In the future, the Czech Network should get more involved in cross-border projects and take inspiration from best practices of other ALF National Networks in its events and activities. In this respect, cross-border exchange is also an opportunity to disseminate Czech experience and knowledge. Due to its composition, the Czech Network, with its strong academic and cultural background, can strive for projects that combine these two spheres and thus bring new perspectives to the topic of intercultural dialogue.
From its beginning, the Czech network has been under the auspices of the Institute of International Relations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It gradually brought together more than 40 non-profit organisations, cultural associations, universities, youth organisations, and other initiatives whose activities aim to inspire intercultural openness and dialogue. They work on culturally and politically relevant topics concerning the intercultural dialogue between Euro-Mediterranean countries to enhance public discussion. The headquarter of the Czech ALF Networkis based in Prague.
Intercultural dialogue in the Czech Republic is focused on communication in the contemporary multicultural world and its main objective is to establish a productive dialogue in a culturally diverse society. The need to strengthen intercultural dialogue is increasingly apparent, particularly in the context of the migration crisis and disinformation disseminated via social (and other) media. A large number of local initiatives are dedicated to facilitate intercultural dialogue and to build trust and respect across the Czech society and beyond borders. The public communication by civil society about difficult and emotionally or politically charged issues needs to be reframed and gain much more political support.