Prague Diplomatic Academy was established in 1997. In its short history, it has never ceased to develop and respond to the changing needs and priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today, it has over 250 graduates.
The Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is in charge of the training of MFA diplomats. Its main responsibility is to develop the system of diplomatic education and to organize training courses aimed to improve skills and knowledge necessary for diplomatic work. The Academy’s activities include coordination, planning, implementation and evaluation of training programmes, cooperation with internal and external teachers, contacts with Czech and foreign partners and organisation of internships for MFA diplomats.
Diplomatic training is a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops, as well as e-learning and self-study. It responds to the specific needs of Czech foreign service while respecting the general standards of education of civil servants imposed by Czech laws and regulations and the Czech Government priorities in the field of education.
The Diplomatic Academy’s core programmes are the one-year general diplomatic training programme for junior diplomats and the manager training programme. The Academy also offers other specialised courses related to practical diplomatic work, such as language education, IT courses, etc.
History of the Diplomatic Academy
The Diplomatic Academy of the MFA was established in October 1997 following an analysis of the training needs of Czech diplomats and a comparative study of foreign diplomatic training systems. The analysis resulted in an "Initial proposal for a training system for Czech career diplomats". This project, prepared together with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations in Clingendael and the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, was approved by the MFA’s senior officials in December 1996. The project also received support from the European Commission’s Delegation. In 1997 and 1998, the initial stage of the DA project was financed through the PHARE programme in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Public Management. The financial support covered the costs of foreign and Czech experts, equipment and operation of the DA and of the Institute of International Relations library; the DA was an organisational unit of the Institute until 2006. Since 1999 the DA has been fully financed from the MFA budget. In January 2007, it became an integral part of the MFA.
The present and future prospects of the Academy
As a result of the transformation of the Institute of International Relations in 2006, the MFA decided to detach the DA from the Institute and integrate it fully into the MFA structure. The reason for this was that, under the Institute, the training at the Academy could not fully meet the requirements of everyday diplomatic work at the MFA. Moreover, the Academy was going through a difficult period and was not able to effectively respond to new needs and trends in the diplomatic training, in which lifelong education became a crucial condition for career development.
In May 2006, the DA started a reorganisation process to better integrate in the MFA structure. The basic diplomatic training programme (DA1) was changed significantly. The goal of the whole transformation process was to stabilize and professionalize Czech diplomatic service.
Currently, the Academy has established and maintains useful contacts with respected institutions abroad (such as the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Diplomatic Academy of Peru, Diplomatic Academy of Chile, Oxford University in the UK, and Netherlands Institute of International Relations in Clingendael).