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Address of Václav Klaus at the Congress of Brussels

English Pages, 7. 12. 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen,

allow me to greet your inaugural meeting of the network of representatives from various European countries who try to re-create a Europe of nations. I really regret that due to my domestic obligations I was not able to take advantage of your kind invitation and be with you today.  I consider your initiative extremely important for all of us – for the European Union, for our countries and for our citizens.

Europe is now standing at an important crossroad, probably the most important one in the EU history. The French and Dutch rejection of the European Constitution clearly revealed the wide gap between the centralistic and bureaucratic project of „ever-closer“ Europe which was pushed forward by the Brussels political elite and the genuine interests and preferences of the EU member states' citizens. It proved that European future cannot and must not be a matter of bureaucratic and elitist decision-making which does not accept alternatives, which is not open to discussion and which does not respect the needs and feelings of the ordinary citizens.

Up to now the formulation of European vision has been monopolized by one coordinated grouping aggressively rejecting and neglecting all other legitimate opinions about the European future. The result of its dominance is well known – the contemporary European Union is a bureaucracy-driven conglomerate characterized by growing democratic deficit. It is an entity, which has abandoned the initial ambition to eliminate barriers of all kinds. It has as well abandoned the ambition to create democratic, free-market continent-wide space in which the member countries could enjoy freedom and prosperity. Instead, Europe today is characterized by ever-growing regulation of all spheres of life, protectionism, artificial harmonization and unification of everything and gradual dismembering of the sovereignty of the nations. These tendencies represent a serious danger not only for the future of European integration, but also for the relations between the member countries.

We must not allow the European idea to be sacrificed and discredited by the advocates of this centralized, bureaucratic, post-democratic concept, which has lost support of the citizens. We are obliged to raise our voice and make all efforts to return the EU back on the right track to create democratic, free-market and Atlanticist orientation of the European future.

I know that this vision is shared by many across Europe, but unfortunately has not been vocal enough yet. I am convinced that right now it is the time to put these voices together, to make them loud and heard. Now it is time for all of us to reshape Europe.

Creating a permanent network of politicians and opinion makers sharing this vision is an important and necessary project I fully endorse. I think it is an important step from which the new vision and the spirit of change will get a firm organizational ground.

I wish your gathering full success, I wish this initiative long and productive life and I would like to express my support to your activities.

Address was delivered  by the Chancellor of the Office of the President of the Czech Repubic, Dr. Jiri Weigl, Brussels, December 5, 2005.


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