Removing Barriers, Promoting Responsibility. The Czech Centre-Right’s Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2021.
The year 2020 will become one of defining moments for societies across the globe, including Europe and Czechia. The coronavirus crisis revealed the weaknesses of national economies, political and party systems, the education systems, healthcare systems, labour markets, generational conflicts and also the weaknesses of the European integration process and its fragility. While it has revealed these more or less hidden/visible weaknesses, it has not resolved any of the long-term issues; in many cases it actually reinforced them. We are consequently facing a situation involving a changing global paradigm.
This publication addresses several important issues related to the current Czech and European experience. Ladislav Cabada analyses the long-term direction of Czech foreign policy and its main trends with a special emphasis on the post-2013 period. Pavel Havlíček discusses one traditional aspect of Czech foreign policy, the EU’s Eastern Partnership, and its outlook for the post-2020 era. Olaf Wientzek focuses on the EU and the impact of Covid-19 with respect to its relations with USA and China, that is, the wider international arena. Pavel Hroboň presents his proposal for reforms on the Czech level, addressing the full complexity of care provision, which would make the system more efficient while guaranteeing its accessibility. Media freedom, analysed by Viktória Jančošeková, is another area where the Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated substantial weaknesses; she endorses a stronger legislative framework ensuring media freedom and protection from political and economic influence. Jonáš Syrovátka discusses the so-called information disorder and the related threats to our security. Otto Eibl focuses on segmentation and election campaigns and Lucie Tungul analyses the integration of Muslim migrants. Eva Palacková addresses the impact of the Green Deal on the SMEs and labels them ‘pillars’ of sustainable recovery under the condition that they will have access to consultancy and financial resources. The last chapter by Jaromír Hurník, Zdeněk Tůma and David Vávra discusses the topic of adopting the euro; they present the essential arguments for and against joining the eurozone.
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The (Post)Covid Era: The Middle Class in Focus
The stability and prosperity of Western liberal democracies depend on the stability and prosperity of the middle class. Several economic crises in the past demonstrated that economic instability, jeopardizing the position of the middle class, can very quickly lead to political instability and the redrawing of the political landscapes. Since the financial crisis in 2008, we have witnessed an increase in populism, nationalist chauvinism, and isolationism. If not addressed, the Covid-19 crisis will amplify these tendencies and significantly disturb the established order. That might be a bad thing in terms of threatening the liberal world order, international trade, and cooperation, but it can also be a good thing — a counterreaction to these forces can push Western societies towards more responsible and sustainable economic activities, towards greater support for socially deprived areas, towards higher political representation, and towards more environmentally responsible policies and individual choices.
The publication examines the various aspects of these turbulent times and their impact on the Czech and European societies, with a special emphasis on the middle class. It was the (often) painful experience of the ‘quarantined’ middle class that exposed what it needs to flourish and not perish in the future. The authors uncover the threats and the opportunities related to the current situation, and provide recommendations for centre-right parties, who have most often represented the interests of the middle class, currently most endangered class by the effects of the pandemic. The centre-right parties (together with the centre-left) will be in danger, too, if they do not present straightforward programmatic goals for the future of the middle class and honest leadership skills capable of cooperation and solidarity. Otherwise, we face the danger of further destabilisation of the political scene and the dismantling of liberal democracy.
The following authors contributed to our publication: Alexandra Alvarová, Ladislav Cabada, Horst Heitz, Jakub Charvát, Martin Kastler, Lubor Lacina, Bedřich Moldan, Elmar Nass, Filip Nerad, Danuše Nerudová, Luděk Niedermayer, Jiří Pehe, Tomáš Petráček, Jaroslav Poláček, Tomáš Prouza, Michael Romancov, Rumiana Stoilova, Zdeněk Tůma, Lucie Tungul, Eva Zamrazilová, Alena Zemplinerová and Michael Žantovský.
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Middle Class at a Crossroads
The middle class and its connection with various different social phenomena and their impact on our society is a very complex topic that requires an interdisciplinary approach when attempting to capture the individual aspects and influences. This book aims to define the concept of the Czech middle class. It also intends to analyse and evaluate its economic, social and political aspects in the local as well as wider European contexts. The class structure of the Czech society was determined based on data obtained in a questionnaire survey followed by a sociological, economic and political analysis of selected phenomena associated with the current Czech middle class. The findings were subsequently placed into the context of the development of the middle class in the European Union.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: Middle Class at a Crossroads
Economics, Politics and Europe. The Czech Centre-Right’s Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2020.
The publication addresses several aspects of social responsibility from the Czech and European centre-right perspectives. Identification and analysis of the major local, regional, national and global trends are the starting points for understanding the individual and general aspects of social responsibility which demonstrates to the citizens, the corporations and the government how to contribute to a healthy economy and stable society. The nine chapters address the proposals for reforming the pension and the education systems, analyze the Czech party system changes, assess the post-2020 MFF strategies and the innovation capabilities of the Central European SMEs, and focus on specific foreign policy aspects such as Brexit, migration, and the US-Russia relations.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: Economics, Politics and Europe
Presenting Middle Class survey
TOPAZ, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies present the results of a in-depth survey mapping the segmentation of the Czech middle class.
For free downloading of the survey summary click here: Middle Class Survey – Results
Handling Environment in Czechia: Sustainable Development as Our Common Future
This publication addresses a range of issues, which relate to the environmental aspects of sustainable development in Czechia within the broader European framework. Despite many positive changes, the country needs to step up its efforts, especially in areas such as energy, agriculture and transportation. Foreword by prof. Bedřich Moldan.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: Handling Environment in Czechia: Sustainable Development as Our Common Future
The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2019
TOPAZ, the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung present a publication, which investigates some of the challenges our societies face today. The proposed recommendations do not focus on the national and European levels only, but involve local specifics, and appeal to the need to educate active and responsible citizens who could effectively participate in public affairs in and out of their most immediate environments.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2019
The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2018
The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2018 publication proposes solutions to some of the main challenges which the Czech Republic and the EU are facing.
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Unity in Adversity. Immigration, Minorities and Religion in Europe.
Despite the EU’s official motto ‘United in Diversity’, the bloc is experiencing a profound crisis in which diversity is threatening to dispel unity. Instead of harmony, diversity increasingly spells conflict. A variety of factors are behind this strife, including terrorism, the uncertain position of religion in public life, the unclear situation of minority groups (including autochthonous minorities and the Roma), radical Islamism, insufficient integration of immigrants and a loss of personal status and identity due to globalisation. Lucie Tungul, president of TOPAZ Academic Council, contributed to the Martens Centre publication with a chapter titled ‘Explaining Immigration to the European Public.’ Ed. by Vít Novotný, WMCES.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: Unity in Adversity
The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2017
A joint publication of TOPAZ, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung presents nine topics, which should lead to an open debate on some controversial but pressing issues we face today. Those include migration, analysis of Czech EU membership and foreign policy, SMEs innovation, environmental policy, regional and local policy, the role of the media, and the state of the Czech civic education.
For free downloading of the full-text click here: The Czech Centre-Right Solutions to the Political Challenges of 2017