- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
First year of Duke Wenceslas Future Leaders Programme successfully completed
Nine young politicians, journalists, diplomats or government and non-government employees from the Eastern Partnership countries, the Western Balkans and Turkey graduated from the first edition of the Duke Wenceslas Future Leaders Programme from 13 to 21 September 2023.
“Our aim was to enable young talented people from Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, the Western Balkans and Turkey to establish new partnerships, meet our diplomats, share their experiences and also discuss various foreign and security policy issues. I myself once went through a similar programme and it was an important experience for my future work,” said Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský.
The programme, initiated by the head of the Czech diplomacy, not only introduced the participants to the priorities of Czech foreign and security policy, but also introduced them to our advanced technologies. The programme was attended by young people from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The guests were received by Minister Lipavský and attended the opening of the Forum on the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE. They were given the opportunity to discuss with MPs, a number of diplomats, representatives of Czech think tanks and experts from the security services. They visited Czech Radio and had the opportunity to discuss with representatives of the czech media. One of the most interesting moments of their stay was the visit to NATO Days, during which the group was received by Chief of General Staff Karel Řehka.
An important part of the programme was the introduction of several advanced innovative companies and technologies, such as Vrgineers, 3D Printers, FabLab, the CEITEC Centre of Excellence at Brno University of Technology or the South Moravian Innovation Centre. Masaryk University allowed guests to see a cybernetic training polygon and a simulation hospital facility unique in Europe. Tatra Trucks a.s. presented its top-quality products and the guests were also treated to a ride on the test polygon.
“It was a pleasure to take part in this great programme. I have always liked the Czech Republic, but now I can proudly say that I love this country for its beautiful landscape, people, culture, food and language. Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the EU and it is great to see that we have real friends and partners in the Czech Republic,” said Timur Vilić from Sarajevo at the end of the programme.
As part of the cultural part of the programme, the participants visited the library of the Strahov Monastery, the Roznov open-air museum and the Dolní Vítkovice industrial complex.
Finally, they visited Prague Castle, where they were personally welcomed by the Head of the Office of the President of the Republic, Jana Vohralíková.