TOP 09 thinks about the future

The Czech Republic is a country with a rich culture and history, which is part of the European cultural heritage. It is we who shape our country. However, we must not stop there. It is our duty to one day pass on our state to future generations in a better state than we took it over.

We are a country with potential in science, research, industry and above all with talented and creative people. We are thinking about our future. The 4E programme represents the vision of the Czech Republic as a country that is a strong and confident part of the European structures. It emphasises the environment, economic prosperity and individual freedom.

The 4E Programme consists of four key priorities, which are:

ECONOMY (pension reform, reduction of the national debt, focus on higher value-added businesses, digitalization and the introduction of the euro)

ECOLOGY (reducing emissions, promoting renewables, preserving ecosystems)

EUROPE (return to the first diplomatic league within Europe, leading voice of the Czech Republic within the European Union, revision of relations with China and Russia)

EURO (adoption by 2030 and timely fulfilment of the Maastricht convergence criteria)

TOP 09 has much more in mind in our long-term programme.

We think about our values

The Czech Republic is the heart of Europe and European history runs through its veins. At the heart of its foundations is respect for the human being as a unique being. Other values derive from it. It is the freedom of man to decide how he will live. It is a shared responsibility for family, nation, country and world. It is solidarity with the weak. It is respect for the right and freedom of the other.

We recognise the importance of cooperation between countries that share common values. For us, it is Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area in particular. We are a relatively small country. It is very foolish to think that we can be completely unconnected to our surroundings. Either we will be swallowed up against our will, or we will be free to join a society of countries with the same values as we did by joining the EU and NATO. After all, TOP 09 was one of the few Czech political parties that has long warned against the power desires of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation.

TOP 09 supports the Czech Republic's commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, and it is also on the basis of our pressure that the government has already approved this commitment for 2024. If we are reliable partners who fulfil our commitments, we are stronger than if we were alone on the world political map in protecting our traditions and values.

Since its inception, TOP 09 has defended our values against totalitarian powers that seek to undermine them. That is why we have long supported a strong and independent secret service. We insist on righting the wrongs of the past. That is why, for example, we have pushed for compensation for those who were persecuted in 1969.

We promote quality education to make our country successful and wealthier. We support the development of civil society, because it is not politicians but, above all, engaged citizens who guarantee the maintenance of democracy and freedom.

We insist that all citizens of our country must have an equal opportunity to exercise their civil rights, which is why our goal is to push for a postal vote abroad, where some 600 000 Czechs live and who finally deserve the opportunity to vote.

We must also strive to improve the standard of Czechs living at home in the territory of the Republic. One of the preconditions for a more successful future is the adoption of the euro. Let us not forget that the Czech Republic has the third highest inflation rate among the Member States of the Union (17.5%, 2/2023), whereas inflation in the euro area has remained at an average of 8.5% (2/2023).

We think about the reputation of the Czech Republic abroad

The Czech Presidency has made it clear that we will no longer bow down to the totalitarian powers from the East. Our back is once again straight in international relations. However, our task remains to act in such a way that we remain a respected member of the European Union and NATO.

We stand firmly behind the Czech security forces. That is why we consider one of the most important tasks to be to combat hybrid threats and false news, which together are eating away at democracy, in a long-term and systematic way.

Czech foreign policy will be firm, predictable and understandable. It must be clear that it is based on the basic structures of the European Union and NATO. Regional ties need to be strengthened, particularly with Germany, the Slavkov format or the Baltic states rather than the Visegrad Four. In the current situation, on the other hand, this grouping should redefine its objectives and, at best, rebuild itself from within, because at the moment it is unable to bring the benefits to the Czech Republic that were expected of it.

We think about modern and affordable healthcare

We want a healthcare system that will serve future generations as well as us and reflect the rising cost of treatment. We do not believe that taking money out of people's paychecks by raising levies is the solution. That will not solve the problem. We offer the most sensible solution - to link pension, health and tax reform together so that everyone can rely on our health service in the long term, the levy burden is reduced and the whole health insurance system is modernised from the ground up to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond. Financing must respond flexibly to the necessary computerisation of healthcare, telemedicine, the rapid development of technology and modern medicines. At the same time, the role of the general practitioner must not be overlooked, as he or she is an absolutely vital route to quality care for many patients. The aim is therefore to increase the efficiency of the system.

And, of course, it is necessary to improve the conditions for those on whom the system is based, especially when it comes to decent remuneration for health professionals and doctors. This is the only way to prevent the health professionals that we bring up in the Czech Republic from leaving to earn money abroad. And it is not just about money. It is necessary to improve and finally stabilise the system of their further education.

We think about the future of the planet

Water, air and living nature are the sources of our life; we have no others and neither will our children. This is not a time for abstract debate, it is a time for decision-making. We have all the conditions we could wish for, economic and technical. We are part of the European Union, which strongly supports countries that are trying to be more modern and more environmentally friendly. We just need to seize this opportunity, there is no need to wait, it must be immediate.

We consider it our duty to protect nature. In the long term, we are working on more effective measures and laws that are more friendly to our environment. We have systemic changes in place that will halt this trend and lead the way towards a responsible, environmentally friendly and prosperous country.

Modernisation of our economy, meaningful investment in the real modernisation of our rail transport, investment in basic and applied research. These are also basic conditions for responsible protection of our environment. The Czech Republic can no longer pour money into concrete and subsidies from the oligarchs. Modernising our country is a major task. We know how to do it. And we are not afraid of it.

We think about the future of education

Our children will face very different challenges from previous generations and school must prepare them for them. The last year has shown not only our weaknesses but also the enormous potential of our teachers and pupils. We need to take seriously the warnings that have become apparent, especially in times of pandemic, and we need to take full advantage of the opportunities that the modern age offers. But none of this will happen without major investment in education. We will only move from where we are if we provide schools with a sufficient material basis for modern teaching.

If teachers' salaries are commensurate with the demands of the profession and attractive to young people. If we are willing to change our approach and get rid of the ills that the whole system carries over from the previous regime. If we give children the competences they need to live in an era that has never in history changed as rapidly as it is today. Therefore, we need to change the whole approach, not to force children to learn for the sake of grades, but to motivate them to be interested in learning new things. Parents can also help in this, as they should have more opportunities to participate in their children's education. Digitisation, modernisation of education, new approaches and support for the growth of the potential not only of pupils and students, but also of teachers and school principals, this is the path TOP 09 wants to take, which will lead Czech education into the 21st century.  We do not want to see an increase in the number of workers in the Czech Republic, but we want to train skilled craftsmen.

TOP 09 is pushing for an amendment to the Teaching Staff Act for these reasons as well. This law guarantees teachers decent salaries and professional growth. Thanks to the law, the amount of their remuneration will be within the competence of principals. The law thus guarantees teachers a salary of 130 percent of the average wage and sets clear conditions for "non-teaching" teachers.