U.S. Embassy Prague’s American Center hosted a discussion looking in detail at the content of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Speech. The panel of experts included Kryštof Kozák of the Department of American Studies FSV UK, Jiří Schneider of Prague Security Studies Institute, journalist Kateřina Šafaříková of Lidové noviny and Alexandr Vondra of The Center for Transatlantic Relations.
U.S. Ambassador Andrew Schapiro opened the event and highlighted key themes of the speech, particularly the state of economy, which has been experiencing growth, and an unprecedented rate of investment into innovation and increasing competitiveness.
The panelists focused on the importance of the State of the Union speech for Europe and the Czech Republic. While acknowledging that the Address is directed primarily towards U.S. audiences, a portion of the speech is always dedicated to foreign policy.
The panelists agreed that from a European perspective, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was the most important goal of the Administration. According to Alexandr Vondra, TTIP is important for the Czech Republic, as it may replace the U.S.-Czech bilateral trade agreement and would offer Czech investments more protection.