March 06th 2015

Quo vadis Europe?

Václav Klaus, former Prime Minister and former President of the Czech Republic

In the framework of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® recently had the pleasure of welcoming Václav Klaus, former Prime Minister and President of the Czech Republic, who took a critical look at the future of Europe.

As his country’s former President, Václav Klaus was invited to speak at the MCI once before, namely in 2006, when he already criticized the European Union, considering it to be in a state of stagnation and to be paying too much attention to political correctness. In his recent speech, he said that these concepts had become even more relevant.

Centralization at the European level in so many fields and the resulting loss of sovereignty for the EU member states is something that Klaus sees as an obstacle for a free economy and as a threat to democracy. Greater homogeneity between the member states, he said, is not something that can imposed by dictating structures but something that must come about through a process of evolution.

The former Czech President conceded that many people found his interpretation of the situation in the European Union excessively critical, but he considers Europe to have come to a dead end from which it can only turn back. He said it was time for the Europeans to recognize that and to initiate a return to the fundamentals of a free economy and economic liberalization, something that required greater political courage.

Professor Klaus Schredelseker chaired the subsequent lively discussion.