Faster pace of modernisation of the Czech Army is a priority for the new Minister of Defence Jana Černochová
Yesterday, Prime Minister Petr Fiala inaugurated the new Minister of Defence, Jana Černochová. She has replaced Lubomír Metnar as the highest representative of the ministry. Jana Černochová was greeted by the outgoing head of the ministry, Lubomír Metnar, in front of the main building in the Valey complex. Their first steps led to the minister's office. This was followed by a brief introduction and introduction of the main officials of the Ministry of Defence and the Army.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala said at the press conference that the new minister has all the prerequisites to manage the important ministry well.
"We are doing this not only because we are committed to it and because we want to be good partners of our NATO allies, but also because it is important for our defence," he stressed. He also pointed out that we are not living in "completely safe times" and it is in the Czech Republic's interest to have a quality army and a good defence policy, including a solid membership in the Alliance.
The commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence by 2025 is also realistic for the new minister Černochová, who said in a recent interview with CZ Defence: "It is an ambitious goal, but it is realistic. It means an annual increase in the defence budget of approximately between CZK 10 and 12 billion, depending on the development of the economy. These will be generated both by savings on the revenue side of the state budget, for example by abolishing subsidies on fares, etc., but also by natural economic growth, which is often forgotten. Just as important as the size of the budget is its stability and predictability. That is why we will propose legislation that will allow for multi-year and predictable funding of military investments."
The new Minister thanked her predecessor Lubomir Metnar for the good cooperation and assured the public of the continuity that will accompany her work. While a number of previous defence ministers said they had "left this complex department behind", Jana Černochová's situation was the opposite. "I chose it and I have been trying to prepare for its agenda for a long time," she said.
In Černochová's opinion, future cooperation with Lubomír Metnar, who is to become chair of the Defence Committee, should be smooth. "We have good relations with Minister Metnar, our cooperation has always been correct, and I supported his nomination for this position (chair of the Defence Committee, editor's note) in our parliamentary club. I have long been of the opinion that the defence and security of the country should be an area where fierce political battles are not fought. Minister Metnar and I have long been pursuing this and I believe we will continue to do so."
She identified a faster pace of modernisation of the Czech Army as her priority. "We must continue and have a clear concept and direction. The support of the domestic defence industry is and will remain important," the minister stressed.
Jana Černochová also wants to focus on quality training of soldiers, recruitment to the Armed Forces and support for the Active Reserve. It is also important to continue deploying members of the Czech Army in foreign operations. "We are anchored in the Alliance and we want to remain a reliable and strong ally. This is supported by our entire government coalition."