EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2004: Abstract:

April 29, 2004  

His Excellency Martin PALOUŠ
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Czech Republic

Topic:  The Czech Question in the Beginning of the 21st Century.

In his excellent lecture, Ambassador Martin Palouš of the Czech Republic offered both, a historical background of the Czech Republic and the future vision of his country's policies on the arena of the world politic. He emphasized that indeed there is an old Europe and a new Europe, and this formulation was first lunched by the founder of his country, Thomas Masaryk. This fact is important, because it explains why, for example, his country opposed French President Jacques Chirac's stand in the Iraq question. History taught the Czechs that one can not appease dictators like Hitler, or Sadam. After all, as a result of the shameful Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia was the first victim of Nazi Germany's aggression. The Czech Republic and other Central European countries, said the Ambassador, had expressed their own vision of the future of the world. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland believe that Europe needs strong trans-Atlantic ties. At the same time, Central Europe is for the European integration also with strong trans-Atlantic ties. Central Europe is offering a difference in tone and views. That is the reason, said Ambassador Palouš, why Central Europeans have different ideas than those coming from Berlin and Paris. That is why the Czech, the Hungarians, and the Poles are involved in Iraq, supporting the efforts of the United States. He concluded with his far reaching message: "We need a strong cooperative relations with your country, ... trying to bring some of your spirit back to the Czech Republic, and ... our dialogue with America is may be one of the most important instruments in this effort."

Š 2003 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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