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What is Česko hledá budoucnost (Czechia seeks the future)?

"Česko hledá budoucnost" is a project whose goal is to formulate an alternative and daring, yet realistic, vision of the Czech Republic in the next fifteen years. This vision is based on increasing the quality of life, developing modern green economy and strengthening democracy. The project cooperates with a broad network of analysts and representatives of private as well as public and civic sector of the society.

Does the Czech Republic need any vision at all for its future? And why?

Many would think that it does not. That the common path of a nation is best established by a free exchange of ideas in a democratic and free-market environment. We are convinced, however, that the search for and the formulation of a consensus on the key issues in the society is necessary in order to provide basic legitimacy, consistency and durability for the measures we adopt, after all, thanks to taxpayers’ money.

Why does not the Czech Republic already know its future? Visions, scenarios, models and long-term strategies – they all have been formulated before and they all are still being formulated even now.

Yes, that is true. But these visions, scenarios, models and strategies are not widely accepted. There is a lack of substantial debate about them and we have not been so far capable of pursuing and implementing these visions consistently over a longer period of time. So far, these visions are constantly facing what until now have been insurmountable obstacles.

What kind of obstacles?

Mainly, the resistance of a variety of particular interests as well as the non-existence of the enabling systemic preconditions for long-term monitoring and carrying through of strategic goals. This is caused by the same old problem of control and accountability of the Czech public administration, undermining the quality of Czech democracy at the same time.

What is that fundamental problem of our democracy? Why is the mistrust of the state administration so high?

Czech democracy is being suffocated by clientelism and interest groups. The attention is on solving short-term interests and problems while there is neither time nor interest to discuss the long-term direction of the country and its wider European and global responsibilities. Public interest became a dress to veil the pursuit of particular and very private interests. The civil society, media and private sector are hitting their limits. The social contract between those who govern and those thanks to whom and for whom the first group is governing is slowly eroding.

What can be done about it?

There is no simple recipe to break this unholy alliance of politics and a part of business. Media diligence and consistency as well as the active interest of the civil society in all things public are essential. The need to reform funding of political parties, to professionalize the state administration and to increase the transparency of public tenders and business accounting is also fundamental. Everyone can help with his or her bits and pieces. In the final analysis, it seems that we need to once again ask ourselves Masaryk’s Czech question: How do we, the citizens of the Czech Republic, think about our future? How do we imagine our usefulness to our compatriots and the world? How do we govern ourselves?

What are the sources of inspiration and motivation for the project?

More than twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the Czech society finds itself in a condition whose primary characteristics are "historical aimlessness" and disillusion. (more about motivation)

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