Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 20, 2009

Václav Klaus Addresses the European Parliament

by tarran

Václav Klaus gave a speech that U.S. politicians would do well to listen to:

The citizens of the Czech Republic feel that the European integration has an important and needed mission and task. It can be summarized in the following way:

– removing unnecessary – and for human freedom and prosperity counterproductive – barriers to the free movement of people, goods, services, ideas, political philosophies, world views, cultural patterns and behaviour models that have been for various reasons over the centuries formed among the individual European states;

– a joint care of the public goods, existing on the continental level, meaning projects that cannot be effectively carried out through bilateral negotiations of two (or more) neighbouring European countries.

….

This is closely connected with the question of prosperity. We must say openly that the present economic system of the EU is a system of a suppressed market, a system of a permanently strengthening centrally controlled economy. Although history has more than clearly proven that this is a dead end, we find ourselves walking the same path once again. (my emphasis – tarran) This results in a constant rise in both the extent of government masterminding and constraining of spontaneity of the market processes. In recent months, this trend has been further reinforced by incorrect interpretation of the causes of the present economic and financial crisis, as if it was caused by free market, while in reality it is just the contrary – caused by political manipulation of the market. It is again necessary to point out to the historical experience of our part of Europe and to the lessons we learned from it.

Predictably, his speech calling for less political centralization and more economic liberalization was poorly received, with a substantial portion of the parliament walking out on his speech after booing him:

Read the entire thing.

H/T Lew Rockwell

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  • http://www.ordinary-gentlemen.com Mark

    I’m going to the Czech Republic in May. Maybe I won’t come back.

  • tfr

    Hmpf… Klaus and Putin making sense, our so called “leaders” spewing nonsense. Not good.

  • David Wilson

    I study Political Science and right now one of my classes is on European Politics. The European model at this point is sadly quite leftist although my liberal professors continue to characterize them as more “centrist.” However, the CEE (Central and Eastern European) Countries which are relatively new to the Union are showing to be a bastion of more market oriented policies. Perhaps the fact that many of them are Post-Soviet satellites has influenced their market orientated political economy, since many of them have learned the hard way what government interference can do.

  • http://www.ordinary-gentlemen.com Mark

    David:
    I don’t know how much the banking crisis has changed things the last few months, but Austria and Switzerland, two Central European countries without ties to Communism, have consistently ranked as about the most libertarian countries in the world the last several years when you look at rankings of both economic and social liberty – and Switzerland, at least, is ranked higher than the US in both respects (Austria may be as well, but I’m not sure. I know they’re close).

    Klaus’ speech is particularly interesting because it is primarily about the direction the EU is going, not just in terms of being market-oriented but also in terms of how centralized it is going to be. Hell, he even talks about Bastiat’s Candlemakers’ Petition.

  • http://uwlaszczenie.eu H.Polcik

    From letter to Vaclav Klaus sent 1.01.09.
    …..
    ……We ask You as a EU President during first half 2009 year to investigate activity EU Commission in area of competition of Europe firms. Especially it is necessary to compare financial aid of Polish shipyards and financial sector in other countries. In our opinion the banking sector has received much more government financial aid (by one worker for instance) than Polish shipyards. …..The different standard to enterprises by EU institution cannot be accepted. It is very dangerous for Europe future. ……………
    We ask Mr. President to annual the EU Commission decision of returning financial aid by Polish shipyards to our government.
    …………Under the pressure EU (debate PE -21.10.08) our parliament voted special law. According to this law shipyards have to be divided into parts and should be sold on the market to receive maximum profit.

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