The Central European Strategy Council is honoured to announce the further expansion of its International Advisory Board. The Board represents a network of distinguished leaders and thinkers with firm values and clear vision from the region, broader Europe and North America who can articulate a new strategy for empowering Central Europe in global affairs.

The Honourable Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, former Prime Minister of Poland, is currently President of the Polish Institute of International Affairs Council (PISM) and Chairman of the Partners Board at EY Poland. Until December 2014, he served as Chairman of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Economic Council. Former Prime Minister, Minister for European Integration, co-founder of the Liberal-Democratic Congress and Freedom Union, and the Executive Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, Mr Bielecki has been active on the political and economic stage for over two decades. As an advisor to key Solidarity figures in the early 1980s, he organised economic publications and was involved in the historic strike at the Gdansk shipyard in 1981. In 2013, the Slovak Atlantic Commission and the Czech Euro-Atlantic Council Jagello 2000 honoured Mr Bielecki for his contribution to freedom and democracy-building in Central Europe with the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award, which celebrates those who keep inspiring us with their wisdom and vision.

Ambassador Jiří Schneider is currently Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects at the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI). He recently served as First Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. From 2005 to 2010, he was Programme Director of the PSSI. He was previously Head of the Policy Planning Department at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1993 to 1994, 1999 to 2001 and 2003) and Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Israel (1995 to 1998). He was an International Policy Fellow at the Open Society Institute in Budapest (2002) and a Member of Parliament of the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly (1990 to 1992). He is a graduate of the Czech Technical University and holds a Diploma from the University of Cambridge.

Twenty-five years since the fall of Communism in Central Europe, we are facing a new and unprecedented challenge to the stability and security of Europe and the world order. The Russian aggression and the Ukraine crisis have shown us how vulnerable the democratic achievements in Central Europe might be. Today, it is once again very important to reaffirm the transatlantic bond and the values that underpin it as a basis for articulating a clear vision and strategy for the future.

The Central European Strategy Council’s International Advisory Board is a honorary representative body composed of distinguished leaders, policy makers, former and current members of government, renowned thinkers and journalists, as well as representatives of the business sector. Its aim is to provide the Council with leadership, strategic guidance and insight in pursuing its core mission and goals. The Board usually meets once a year to discuss current international issues. In addition, ad-hoc meetings with Board members are organised in Washington, Brussels and other key capitals throughout the year.