TOP 09 presented three pillars of its direction: pro-Western orientation, introduction of the euro by 2030 and environmental protection
At the programme conference, TOP 09 set out clear programme priorities for the coming years in the most important areas. The conference had a clear motto: "To lead the country out of the crisis." During the two days at the Clarion Hotel in Prague, opinions were expressed on the energy crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and climate change.
We will be legible, consistent and unmissable
At the beginning of the conference, TOP 09 Chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová spoke about the future of the party, which she will lead from November 2019. "These are our unequivocal pro-European and pro-Western orientation, economic erudition including support for the adoption of the euro, environmental protection and the fight against climate change. In all these areas we are consistent, clear and unmissable on the political scene," she said in her speech, outlining the party's programme priorities for the coming years.
V4 must not stagnate any longer, let's look for partners elsewhere
In the first session, Marek Ženíšek, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, spoke, among other things, about the decline in the importance of the Visegrad Four's cooperation. In his opinion, the Czech Republic should look for other beneficial partnerships instead of the V4, for example with the Baltic States. "It is proposed to develop other platforms that could eventually replace the V4. The Visegrad Fund, which is now linked to the platform, could be separated and operate independently. Worth mentioning are the Trident Initiative or the Slavkov format. These are organisations that were created precisely because the Visegrad Group ceased to function." The conference also set priorities for the Czech health sector. According to Health Minister Vlastimil Válek, these are prevention, access to healthcare and improving the functioning of health insurance.
The best way out of crises is to support education and science
In the second session, Senator Jan Grulich spoke about the unsustainably low number of teachers. "Interest in studying at faculties of education is low, and half of those who graduate from such faculties do not enter the education system at all. And when they do, half of them run away again within four years." Following this, MP Matěj Ondřej Havel spoke about the need to support teachers. "Teachers, who are the backbone of the education system, must be adequately rewarded. TOP 09 will therefore advocate that teachers' salaries be maintained at 130% of the average gross wage."
Euro by 2030
The final third block was devoted to the euro. MEP Miloš Nový on the benefits of adopting the common European currency. "Reducing risks and unnecessary costs associated with sudden changes in the exchange rate, easily comparable prices and wages at home and abroad, greater budgetary responsibility by joining the Stability and Growth Pact...," he listed just some of the many benefits of adopting the euro. However, he also pointed to the need to meet the accession conditions. "TOP 09 aims to adopt the common currency as soon as possible. However, to do so, it is necessary to first meet the Maastricht convergence criteria. Unfortunately, as we do not meet most of the criteria at the moment, rapid adoption of the euro is not possible. The realistic date for euro adoption is 2028 to 2030."
"2030 is a realistic date for euro adoption. However, its introduction must be preceded by the recovery of public finances and the related fulfilment of budgetary criteria. Our clear priority is also to combat climate change, which has not disappeared, although it may have seemingly taken a back seat in the current crisis. The conference, which was attended by nearly 200 members from all over the country, confirmed to me that TOP 09 has the energy and vigour to lead the country out of the crisis," concluded Chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová.