Thirteen of the 28 EU member states have given their backing to a request from the European Commission for a mandate to negotiate with Russia over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
American sanctions threat fuels tensions surrounding Russia’s plans to expand gas supplies to Europe.
The Czech Republic will not join the euro or the push for deeper EU integration, and will continue to resist migrant quotas, said Andrej Babis, who looks destined to become PM following elections in October.
While the Eurosceptic Poles and Hungarians were scathing of French President Macron’s efforts to kickstart reform of the bloc, the Czechs and Slovaks were more open minded.
A poll by Pew Research found that attitudes to both democracy and homosexuality remain very conservative in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including among the young.
Contrary to the opinion of some Czech MPs, the government tender to buy 12 multi-role helicopters is not a done deal in favour of Bell Helicopter. In fact, politics could intrude with elections set for October 20-21.
With the rapid decline of its last strong traditional party, it looks as if the country will join its neighbours in embracing populism and picking fights with Brussels.
Emerging markets are starting to feature more prominently on the QS World University Rankings, with Russia's top five universities all advancing more than 10 places on the latest index.
Growing in confidence that it has beaten the populist threat, the EU has launched infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over their refusal to take part in the EU’s migrant quota scheme.
Officials insist enhanced EU defence co-operation should focus on terrorism and is not a reaction to the way President Trump has cast doubt over Nato guarantees.
The banking downturn is over, with profitability surging last year, according to the lender's annual CEE Banking Report.
Foreign investment booms in Russia, Czech Republic and Hungary, and the regional upward trend is expected to continue this year.
The Visegrad Group of countries has shown defiance on migrant quotas, but now it faces an EU reinvigorated by the French election.
Families who once owned Czech castles are still struggling to win restitution of their properties more than a quarter of a century after the collapse of communism.