Despite their weakening grip on power, 2004 has been the sixth consecutive year of Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) rule. It was also the year during which the Czech Republic acceded to the European Union, and saw an unprecedented growth in its public debt.
I try to be consistent in my views. I looked, therefore, at the speech I gave here on the occasion of getting an honorary doctorate degree in February 1997.
Reading my speech after 7 years, I was pleased to find out that I tried to make several important points then which are worth repeating now
Fraser Institute Student Seminar, Sheraton Centre Toronto, 13.11.2004
Germany is in recession and on the verge of deflation. It can be argued that this state is connected with the introduction of the common European currency.
The war in Iraq revealed the weaknesses of the UN, which in the eyes of many is – or should be – the source of legitimacy of international military actions. These weaknesses, however, are of such a fundamental nature that we must ask whether the organisation’s further existence in its current form has any sense, or whether it has any sense at all.
When in 1989 we called "Back to Europe!," we meant to free ourselves from the bounds of the Asian culture represented by the former Russian ruler over our sovereignty and to rejoin the democratic and capitalist Western Europe. Few years later, with the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union was established. We took it for granted that "Back to Europe!" now referred to joining the European Union. We pledged an official application in Brussels and began to amend our laws according to the European legislation. Slowly, we started to realize that the European Union was not the ideal to which we wanted to return. We started to have doubts.
in the book NO, NO, NO - only one positive choice, 10.09.2004
Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, Robert Mundell, defined the Optimum Currency Area (OCA) as an area where it is efficient to have a common currency. Optimum Currency Area is an area where production factors are mobile, i.e. labor force can move smoothly and wages are flexible. If an area is not such a homogenous economy, it will be better to let the currencies separate and not to implement a single currency. Some economists say the EU is homogenous enough to be considered a Mundellian OCA, while others say it is not, and the system of different currencies with flexible exchange rates would be more advantageous.
Charta Minuta (Italy) No. 45, 10.09.2004
Economists and politicians agree that Europe’s economy has been suffering from a serious disease. In 2000 the Lisbon Agenda identified the symptoms of this disease – high unemployment and low economic growth.
Speech for the European Voice conference, 24.06.2004
There are two visions of European order. The first one is Europe of free nations where no nation can set rules to other nations or to the citizens of other nations. Measures of common interest of European nations can be adopted only upon free will of all concerned parties, i.e. upon intergovernmental treaties. No country can be forced to fulfil the wishes of others.
War is a terrible thing. This is not a pacifist or a scared phrase from me, but an expression of my fundamental conviction.And not only mine. We live in a country which has more than long-gone historical experience with war and the suffering which goes hand in hand with it. Although the youngest generations have, fortunately, not experienced a war conflict directly – I myself remember the War only as a little child – it is obvious that the vast majority of our public realises quite well what horrors any war conflict brings both to soldiers and to the civilian population. And [the public realises] that we must therefore measure, not twice, but ten times, before we allow generals to take control of resolving political problems and disputes among states.
Hospodářské noviny, 21.03.2003
When politicians in the European Union persuaded the public about the benefits of the single currency, they argued that the euro would increase economic growth, cut unemployment and bring monetary stability to all countries.
The European Journal Vol. 10 No. 4, 10.02.2003