Prague remains pro-European, Czech parliament head tells Juncker30. 1. 2018
President of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek assured European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Frans Timmermans that the Czech Republic remains pro-European.
President of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek assured European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Frans Timmermans that the Czech Republic remains pro-European, he told after the meetings.
"We made it clear with Mr Juncker that our stance is pro-European and that this is absolutely essential for the Czech Republic. There are groupings calling for a referendum (on leaving the EU) in our country, but we assured him that the main stream is different," Vondracek said.
Vondracek said Juncker asked him about the Czech presidential election. He said Juncker told him he knew Zeman for a long time and considered Zeman his friend.
Vondracek said both the EC and the Czech Republic want to find a solution to the migrant quotas.
Vondracek discussed migration with Timmermans and they also talked about the action that the EC took against Poland over its controversial judiciary reform. His meeting with European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuinness also focused on migration affairs. "She presented her idea of solidarity to me, that we should contribute," Vondracek said.
"Both sides are ready to lead a dialogue," he added.
Vondracek today also met Czech EU commissioner Vera Jourova and Guy Verhofstadt, head of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the EP, of which ANO is a member. Jourova is to address the Chamber of Deputies on the EC idea of a future financial framework after 2020, Vondracek said.
The jubilee year 2018 – Brussels 29.01. 2018
Opening statement on gala evening to 100. celebrations Czech and Slovak statehood
Excellencies, honorable Deputies, dear guests, dear Czechs and Slovaks,
it is a great honor for me to launch the program of the jubilee year of our statehood here in Brussels, where I have arrived today together with the Prime Minister, on my first official visit after the parliamentary elections.
I come from Kroměříž, a Moravian town, which will commemorate yet another important jubilee this year. The year 1848, which played a very important role in the history of our peoples. Revolutionary events in Vienna forced the exile of the imperial court to Olomouc and the Reichstag to Kroměříž. In response to widespread dissatisfaction across Austria-Hungary, the Deputies of the Reichstag prepared a draft new constitution in this town, in a relatively calm atmosphere, and the draft for the first time included more rigorous elements of the separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial. The new constitution also presupposed federalization, and from this point of view it entered history as the last serious attempt to organize the monarchy for the peoples in a way that would allow their separate development also for the benefit of the monarchy as a whole.
It is a known fact, that the imperial power finally suppressed the movement, the emperor dissolved the Reichstag, and the Kroměčíž constitution with its important aspect of the equality of nations remained only on paper. The events of 1848 more than anything else heralded the internal development of the monarchy, brought further attempts for self-determination of nations, and because they had not succeeded, they also led to the radicalization of attitudes.
First World War ended all efforts, and the recognition of our national and political agenda got to a completely different, unprecedented situation. Based on the principle of legitimacy, the internal and international recognition of the Masaryk program succeeded only gradually and not without difficulty. In the end, the proverbial Masary's petite work brought success - from the moment when the Allies started to talk with Masaryk, Štefánik and Beneš no longer as with private individuals, to the first political achievements, such as negotiating Allied relief for Czech and Slovak prisoners of war in the Allied armies.
Freedom and sovereignty agenda for all Czechs and Slovaks was only achieved in January 1917, and only during that year the National Council was recognized as the highest political body pursuing Czechoslovak national interests. At the same time, Masaryk's representation was recognized as a guardian for our entire army, which at that time had 128,000 soldiers and 54,000 volunteers.
Dear guests, I´m mentioning these distant historical moments in order to remind us that the path to independent and free Czechoslovakia was very long, requiring invention and political skills, and consisted of many minor achievements, but on the other hand, also a series of losses and failures that seemingly dragged our peoples back. The lesson from 1848 eventually made us stronger, if only by opening a lively discussion about our future political possibilities and chances in the Czech and Slovak lands in the second half of the 19.century, in the times that were highly unfavourable for open political activity. And these unfavourable times and tough absolutism allowed brave personalities to stand out, personalities that we will commemorate this year.
When you visit Prague and stroll to Malá Strana, you can read the following words on the memorial plaque on the Chamber of Deputies building: "In this memorable building of the Landtag of the Czech Kingdom, a revolutionary act against the Austro-Hungarian Empire was completed and a renewed Czechoslovak state was built". Let us build our state further so that it is better and allows our citizens to live better lives. Let´s respect our statehood, its traditions and founding values, let´s not take it for something granted to us by history and circumstances once and forever. Let´s be active in creating our good position in Europe, let´s create interest coalitions for the benefit of our citizens and for the benefit of the whole of Europe.
And with thanks to our representation in Brussels and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Kingdom of Belgium for the implementation of this project, and with Masaryk´s "The world stood and stands on work, not on the mood, the the world is only kept with work, with petite and permanent work"
I would like to wish all of you, here in Belgium and at home in the Czech Republic, a lot of success in the jubilee year of 2018.