On February 26, 2018, in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic a discussion was held on the influence of states with authoritarian regimes in the fields of cultural, academic and media cooperation, public diplomacy, human contacts, civil society – all the areas traditionally considered as spheres of the so-called “soft power”. The focus was on Russia's and China's activities in selected countries of Central Europe and Latin America, their intentions, methods and implications.
The event which was part of the project mapping the influence of authoritarian states in the countries undergoing a process of democratic transition, was co-organized by the National Endowment for Democracy (Washington, DC), the Forum 2000 Foundation (Prague) and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Vice-President of the Senate, Jiří Šesták.
The event was opened by Senator Tomáš Czernin (Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic) and Jakub Klepal (Forum 2000 Foundation).
Grigorij Mesežnikov (IVO), Jacek Kucharczyk (Instutute of Public Affairs, Poland), Juan Pablo Cardenal (Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America, Argentina / Spain) and Martin Hála (Sinopsis, Czech Republic) participated in the discussion which was moderated by Shanthi Kalathil (International Forum for Democratic Studies, USA).