Prague Leaders Magazine 01/2015

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Leaders Magazine I/2015

now available in Brussels

Photo: Vladimír Weiss

Tomáš Sokol, Lawyer


Brno I Ostrava I Plzeň I Liberec I Olomouc I Ústí nad Labem I Hradec Králové I České Budějovice I Pardubice I Zlín I Jihlava I Turnov I Karlovy Vary I Mladá Boleslav

The main commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

SIMPLY FANTASTIC! The Baroque Palace of Riegersburg that is situated between Vienna and Prague, directly on the Czech and Austrian border, has become a traditional place of meeting of artists from all over the Europe. Countess Francesca Pilati von Thassul, the director of museum and exhibition programmes, organized there the first exhibition of modern art in 2003. Since then the Baroque Palace of Riegersburg hosts an international exhibition every year with a different theme. The exhibition for the year 2015 with the title Simply Fantastic! will present surrealistic as well as fantastic realism artists. With cooperation of the Infeld Collection and Ernst Fuchs Collection there will be shown works by the artists from The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. Works of art by Ernst Fuchs (who will be celebrating his 85th birthday this year), Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden as well as the following fantastic realists Peter Klitsch or Hanno Karlhuber will be exposed. Czech and Slovak artists will add to the spectrum their surrealistic visions of tearing reality, crystallization of a new one and conceptions of fibre bundles that go through the history. Thanks to the cooperation with the Zlata husa Gallery (Prague) the exhibition will be enriched with artworks by František

Janoušek, Karel Nepraš, Peter Oriešek, Zbyšek Sion and Jaroslav Vožniak. Particularly valuable are Jaroslav Vožniak’s works from the collection that have been rescued from Sweden by Zlata husa Gallery at the very last minute and then restored. The generations of artists inspired by surrealism are represented also by e.g. Karol Baron, Adolf Hoffmeister, Lubo Kristek, Josef Liesler and Jan Švankmajer. The international exhibition Simply Fantastic! will present works of art by Austrian, German, Czech, Slovak, Italian, Russian and Italian artists. It will be open from 29th April until 15th November 2015 at the Baroque Palace of Riegersburg in the Lower Austria.



until er 15th Novemb 2015

publisher’s note & contents


So we are finally into 2015 and leaving this quite unusually mild winter behind us. In front of us, spring is looming. And it is about time, if you ask my opinion. Spring gives most of us a fresh optimistic and hopeful feeling and the power to overcome whatever problems lay ahead. It also allows us to see the awakening of nature, the start of a new cycle teeming with life. I look forward to being part of nature’s explosion into colour, scents, noises and sounds; these things bring me a positive outlook on life. Some of the past month’s biggest and most attractive events will be featured in our magazine, such as The Czech 100 Best awards, taking place at the Castle with 800 people invited; the Czech-Saudi Business Forum; the 10th Prague Security Conference; the Canadian Chamber’s Traditional Christmas Party; the reopening of the Czech Embassy in Luxembourg; the celebration of Karel Muzikář’s 75th birthday with all known celebrities, politicians, business elite etc. participating and paying their well wishes; the Miro Gallery exhibitions; the CFO traditional conference; the Hilton Xmas Concert and much more. On our front page we have the very famous and respected JUDr Tomáš Sokol together with an in-depth interview and analysis of the legal situation in the Czech Republic. Other very interesting interviews are with the Minister of Regional Development, Mrs. Karla Šlechtová; Prof. Vladimíra Dvořáková, the first female professor among political scientists; Vladimír Bärtl, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade; Jiří Pospíšil, Czech Member of the European Parliament; Vice Chairman of the Chambers of Deputies and former Minister of Justice, Petr Dolinek (who is celebrating his 40th birthday this year); Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague for Transport and European Fund; and the charismatic RNDr Joseph Šmarda, a top immunologist, a car racing driver and athlete, to mention but a few. As always, we also have very interesting articles of various topics delivered from our contributors. I strongly recommend that you digest what these deeply knowledgeable experts say, and learn from their expertise and experience. Dear Reader, we are a unique magazine that mixes high quality stories with exciting interviews and coverage of various top level events in politics, business, culture, education, and diplomatic initiatives. I think this reflects the large numbers of readers we get to our web pages and the electronic version – approximately 50.000 visitors monthly and up to 500.000 page views, a third of which come from abroad. With this in mind, I think we do a very good job promoting the Czech Republic, its people, culture and business to many foreign countries.

events 10 President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman Received the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel 10 The Visegrad Group Summit Prague 2014 12 Traditional New-Year Meeting with Diplomats at the Senate 13 Celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Czech Academy of Sciences 26 CFO Club: Television and Film Production Funding Partnership of Czech TV and RWE 32 “Grand opening of Pharmacy Quadrio“ 38 The Czech – Saudi Business Forum 46 Hilton Christmas Charity Concert 50 Charity Academy for Paraple 54 Canadian Chamber´s Last 2014 Event: Networking in the Spirit of the Festive Season

FRYDAY Christmas party in Le Palais Art Hotel

From left: Mrs. Světlana Tyřová, Kraig Casebier, American Barber in Prague, and Mrs. Bozhena Vinskovska, Owner, Frabea Milano X page 72

I wish you all a very pleasant, joyful upcoming spring. 56 Lions Club Prague Bohemia Ambassador Benke Aikell

57 Lions Club Prague Bohemia Ambassador 58 Security conference: World, European Union, and Czechia: 1989 – 2014 – 2039 67 Castle Ball by candlelight with Helena Vondráčková and Petr Kolář 68 Zlatá Koruna Forum 72 FRYDAY Christmas party in Le Palais Art Hotel 83 Karel Muzikář 75th Birthday Celebration

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contents interviews 7

“Admitting Mistakes Is Not Very Popular Here”

sport events 61 Zlatá koruna GOLF CUP 2014

An interview with Tomáš Sokol, Lawyer 30 “My Ambition is to Open the Competence Bill” An interview with Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development 34 “On Banalities, Mistrust and Politics” An interview with Professor Vladimíra Dvořáková 42 “Considering the Size of the European Parliament, Legislative

culture events 86 Opening ceremony in the MIRO Gallery and the after party in Hotel Lindner 88 Opening ceremony in the MIRO Gallery Prague

Procedures Function Very Effectively Here” An interview with Jiří Pospíšil, Member of the European Parliament 64 “It is not True that we Cannot Influence Anything in the European Union.” An interview with Vladimír Bärtl, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade

culture event/Opening ceremony in the MIRO Gallery and the after party in Hotel Lindner

interview/Admitting Mistakes Is Not Very Popular Here

From left: Carlos Suárez, Tailor, Carolina Herrera, Financial Advisor, Lucas Giraldo, Architect, and Héctor Castillo, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of Venezuela in the Czech Republic X page 86

An interview with Tomáš Sokol, Lawyer

diplomatic events 37 Opening ceremony of the Czech Embassy in Luxembourg

X page 7

70 “Locals Deserve a Better Prague”

diplomatic events /Opening ceremony of the Czech Embassy in Luxembourg

An interview with Petr Dolínek, Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague, responsible for transport and European funds 80 “Life in Balance” An interview with Doctor Joseph Šmarda 90 Ambassadors Without Diplomatic Passport - MUDr. Milena Černá 92 Ambassadors Without Diplomatic Passport - Hana Machková

From left: Iva Mrázková, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Michal Wittmann, former Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Irena Pelikánová, Judge at the General Court, Court of Justice of the EU, Pierre Bley, Marchal of the Grand Ducal Court, H.E. Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic , and H.E. Petr Kubernát, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg X page 37


contents contributors 29 It is not easy to be a leader!/ Ivan Pilný 33 Potential Czech resolves for 2015/ Emanuel Šíp 45 It’s been a great year for gender integration! Time for men talk!/ Elisabet Dennehy 49 2015: Choose your media well/ Cristina Muntean 51 Are leaders born or made? Or both?/ Tereza Urbánková 52 Positively disruptive generation/ Jan Muhlfeit 76 Balance: The business-life connection Part VII: Life after college?!/ Jim Cusumano 78 Rich or poor - making a life or just a living?/ Sanjiv Suri

contributors/Balance: The business-life connection Part VII: Life After College?!/ Jim Cusumano

You don’t have to suffer the stress of deciding what to do for your professional life. There is a way to get on the right track to success. X page 76

EU matters 94 An interview with H.E. Jaroslav Kurfürst, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Belgium 96 EU debates - Czech Entrepreneurs on a Business Mission to Brussels 96 EU debates - EU Sanctions Against Russia: No Dramatic Effect, Say Czech Economists 97 EU debates - Increasing Energy Efficiency is Reasonable, but Should not be Counter-productive 97 EU debates - ICT education: Flexible Strategy and Political Will are Essential 98 Bussiness News

Leaders Magazine is a member of 6

Publisher: Benke Aikell Head of Editorial: Lenka Helena Koenigsmark IT Manager: Michael Serences Office Assistant: Tatiana Fominykh DTP: Los Typos s.r.o. EU Matters: CEBRE Czech Business Representation, CESES, Europlatform Contributors: James A. Cusumano, Iva Drebitko, Joseph Drebitko, Elisabeth Rodrigues Dennehy, ELAI, Martina Hošková, Lenka Helena Koenigsmark, Jaroslav Kramer, Jan Mühlfeit, Cristina Muntean, Ivan Pilný, Sanjiv Suri, Emanuel Šíp, Linda Štucbartová, Evžen Tošenovský, Tereza Urbánková, Jonathan Wootliff Photographers: Ondřej Besperát, Roland Hilmar, Martin Janas, Jiří Janda, Jakub Joachim, Jan Levora, Ivan Malý, Martin Pinkas, Jan Šilpoch, Jan Šulc, Vladimír Weiss Subscription service: Leaders Magazine, CEPONA, s.r.o. Lužická 32, 120 00 Praha 2 We appreciate your opinions of Leaders Magazine. Please send them to: Leaders Magazine Moravská 14, 120 00 Praha 2 tel.: +420 773 515 111 e-mail: Leaders Magazine comes out bi-monthly. Licence: MK ČR E 13147 No reproduction is permitted in whole or part without the express consent of Leaders Magazine. The advertiser is responsible for the advertising contents. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors or persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or Leaders Magazine. All editorial material and photos in Leaders Magazine is digitally stored and may be republished by Leaders Magazine either in printed form or in various digital media. All correspondence to Leaders Magazine may be published.

Photo: Vladimír Weiss

An interview with Tomáš Sokol, Lawyer

interview Last June, the best known advocate in the Czech Republic, Tomáš Sokol, former Minister of the Interior, and one of the most distinctive representatives of Czech advocacy, founded the Union of Czech Lawyers with his colleagues. Why, according to him, are advocates often demonized? And what are the disadvantages of his face being known to the public? In his interview for Leaders Magazine Prague, Tomáš Sokol claims that politics is like a drug. “I am happy that I was thrown out before it grew addictive,” he admits. He also explains why he had problems after the revolution, when he wanted to prosecute the communists.


interview Dear Dr. Sokol, recently we “celebrated” the two-year anniversary of Václav Klaus’ presidential amnesty. Does it surprise you that one-fourth of the prisoners have already returned to prisons? Is this the normal rate of recidivism? “It does not surprise me. Good pigeons come back. This is always true, and I think it was the same under the “Reds” as well. Do not expect a good explanation from me, this is a problem of another professional field. But it is also a matter of point of view. From my point of view, it is important that most, i.e. three quarters of the pardoned took advantage of their opportunity. However, I was a bit surprised by the lasting level of media hysteria. Below, you can also see my answer to your question, which is what I would add to the Criminal Code. I think it will surprise me all my life how few of my fellow citizens respect common values, act with dignity, and honor a fair process. Look how important it is for them stop a nasty suspect, and to make sure that he doesn’t escape punishment. Even if ten innocents must go down with him. What are the disadvantages of, for a long period of time now, being one of the best known lawyers here? Don´t your clients sometimes have impossibly high expectations of you? “I guess such are the expectations for many clients, regarding their advocates. The same goes for patients who expect miracles from their doctors. Expectations may increase over the years of being known like that, but on the other hand, over the years I have also been learning how to face this. Among other ways, I take a merciless, internal approach to each case, and give my best, honest analysis to clients. Just yesterday a client pleaded with me in a letter, begging me not to be so strict with him, regarding his position in his case. From my point of view, it is my priority to explain the clients core of their problem, doing so in a realistic way, and with no bombastic promises, and to offer a reasonable solution. And then I must fulfill that. I believe this is also somehow related to a thing called “being well-known”. Although it´s true, and I’m good at what I do, sometimes the clients come believing I am something like the “Miraculous Virgin of Our Office of Legal Lourdes.’” Is it harder for an advocate to plead the case of an innocent person or a guilty person? “On principle, I do not see, nor may I see, a difference there. In a criminal trial, the innocent are often separated from the guilty by the mere extent of convincing evidence. Both the guilty as well as the innocent have the right for a legal and just process. This means a process in which, among other things, all important factors and evidence are considered. My duty, which I still perceive as my mission in life, is to contribute to ensuring this kind of process for my clients. Of course in a case, there may be a big difference between advocating for someone who is judged with twenty pieces of evidence against them, and someone against whom there is no evidence at all. And it is an amazing feeling when finally you liberate someone from their problems, being absolutely sure they are innocent. For some people, an acquittal means a kind of release from previous accusations, and is like returning their lives to them. There are not many cases of admitted guilt, which is revealed to the

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advocate, but claimed to be innocence to the courts. Usually, the advocate himself does not know what the real story is. He has no reason to not believe his client, however, there is a matter of the quality of the evidence, or its ability to convince a court. And we are back to the just process again. What do I care if the person concerned is guilty, if there is not enough evidence against him? Should the judges have the right to judge based on their feelings in such unclear cases? Or from their crystal ball? And should I have that right even though the client claims he is innocent? Or should I go to report him, if he confesses his sins to me privately? Or just pretend I am advocating for him? The evidence is what I abide by. On the other hand, I am disgusted by those who are able to judge guilt according to somebody´s face, or what rumors there are about him, or that he may have suspiciously too much money. However, quite often, especially with so-called economic crimes, the question is whether the accusation really is a criminal act, or completely legal behavior. Then it becomes a matter of purely legal argumentation related to the client’s behavior, not their guilt. And there are also many cases in which clients are a bit innocent and a bit guilty. Sometimes the truth leans more towards one direction, sometimes towards the other. In such cases, it becomes a question of how you want to perceive the person and what he did. Typically, this happens in cases of traffic accidents. Did the driver drive too fast? Did he drive recklessly? What was the unexpected factor, or even their unlucky occurrence? How would I have been driving in that situation?” Have you ever been convinced of the innocence of a client, but despite your conviction, the court´s opinion was different? Or has it happened the other way around? “The first scenario is a bitter reality of my profession. Fortunately, I have not experienced the second scenario yet. However, an ugly similarity is when the advocate assesses the evidence as insufficient to ask for acquittal in court, and although the client believes they are innocent, the advocate convinces the client that the best thing to do is to aim for a light sentence. And so the advocate pleads this way for the client. As we say, he pleads him the sentence. But the court then in fact acquits the client, because the evidence did not convince them. For the client, it sure is nice, and as a person the advocate can also be satisfied, but professionally it is a nightmare. Fortunately, this has not happened to me yet, but it happened to others and I really would not like to have been in their shoes at that moment.” In June, you and your colleagues in advocacy founded the Union of Czech Lawyers. Why? “Primarily this was our consensus on perceiving the same problems, finding the same reasons for their existence, and having the same or similar opinions on how to solve them. All of this was in relation to criminal proceedings, defense, and everything that is connected - let´s say professional issues. If I start with my favorite topic, it is a completely inadequate, really glorified idea of what the criminal law can heal. Many people think that it is possible to train adults to behave in ways that others consider proper, by promoting the permanent threat of punishment. Better

yet, they will be sent away to prison, since we have already demolished the gallows here. This is very wrong. We also do not agree with how easily, and without considering the facts of a case and its significance, the criminal prosecution is sometimes started. It leads to unnecessary human suffering, sometimes even to personal tragedies. Excessive use of some criminal prosecution procedures, such as wiretapping, is not perceived positively by us either. And there are more and more various problems, typical for advocacy. After discussing all of this for some time with colleagues, sooner or later you realize that it is not as much about discussion, but simply reciting the same problems. At the same time you are convinced that it is not just professional degradation, and the complaints that this brings, until the idea arises for finding a platform to point out the flaws together, with greater conviction. We may even possibly offer solutions. All of this already goes a bit beyond the role of the Czech Bar Association, which is rather a professional association as well as the state administration institution in the area of advocacy. So the Union originated from all of that.” Have you already succeeded in some ways? For example have the prosecuting authorities admitted their mistakes yet? “Admitting mistakes is not very popular here. Another thing is that we believe the pressure we are exerting will also force the criticized to “clean up” a bit. However, for example regarding our notice of the fact that in some cases the advocates have problems accessing court files after pressing charges, the chairmen of some courts reacted very positively, assuring us they will make sure this does not happen in their courts. Of course, it is necessary that the voice of the Union is perceived as important. Therefore, we make the effort to have our statements balanced and legally convincing. But that is not just six months of work.” Is the Union “open” to common citizens as well? Who is its activity intended for? “No, it is a narrowly professional club. However, with aspirations to improve the overall situation in the field of criminal law, there are wider effects than just for advocates, unlike many so-called non-profit organizations that pretend to be born exclusively for the good of humankind, but which simply work for their own interests.” Many people have distorted ideas about the work of advocates, and generally about criminal proceedings. Which idea is the “most deeplyrooted”? “We spoke about that a few moments ago. I see a big problem in the fact that many people are still able to decide somebody´s innocence or guilt just based on what they heard in the media, or in a supermarket queue. And quite logically, such people then consider an advocate a bothersome barrier, standing in the way of the accused going to jail where he belongs, since the street has already passed judgment on him. And guys in the pub say he must be a stinker too. For this same reason, which I mercilessly refer to as stupidity or narrow-mindedness, many people are convinced that an advocate bewitches the court somehow, covers the clear evidence with steam, and thus protects his client

interview journalists, politicians, and various monsters who somehow believe they are celebrities. For the head of the state, it would be the easiest. He would die on the spot. Deputies and senators would then spend about four months just voting to not turn each other in for this criminal offense, committed in the third paragraph sub lit. b). But the freedom of speech, the important part of democracy, includes the right to say, or as the case may be, even preach whatever nonsense you wish. God help us with that. Or nature. Whatever your faith may be.” Do you ever think back to the time you were the head of the Czech National Social Party? And was it actually possible to prevent its near collapse? “It was not. As soon as I realized that, I immediately left.”

from justice. In worse cases, he simply corrupts the court. For me personally, there is one more ridiculous type of theory, i.e. that I collected a bunch of discrediting information on judges when I served as the Minister of the Interior, and now I am blackmailing them. The fact is that at the time of my service as minister, most of today´s judges were just about to reach the peak of their pubescent lives, and the only compro you could get your hands on was about them smoking instead of going to their classes. But these nitwits, who accuse me of blackmail, simply do not realize this. But even quite reasonable people somehow cannot understand that criminal proceedings, in the same way as civil proceedings, work mostly with information coming from the side that bears the burden of proof. In criminal proceedings this means the police and public prosecutor. And the advocate cannot hide this information, carry it away, or possibly tear it from the file and eat it up. That is, both sides play the same cards. True, an advocate may discard the proof; I mean in the proceedings, for example by pointing out that it was illegally tampered with, or illegally acquired. However, this is his duty by law, and the problem, of course, lies somewhere else. It is the problem of the one who acquired such proof. As an advocate, I can also point out the fact that the proofs are contradictory to each other, that they represent a logical contradiction, and I can disprove legal conclusions and argue for a different, more correct interpretation of the law, but always within the frame of the evidence and the legal condition introduced by the defense. I can also suggest the execution of other evidence, produce an expert’s opinion disproving the one produced by the defense, but all of this is again judged by the court. In short, it is quite simple, and at the same time complex work, which is definitely not based on dirty tricks. But who cares. It is too difficult to understand, so most people choose to explain everything their own way. If someone should not be convicted, it is a matter of spells, magic tricks, and the existence of hellish creatures. And the most hellish of them is an advocate.”


Was it your first experience with politics? “After a year and half in the government of the CR, I already had some political experience. This problem in the party was one of human resources.The people there focused just on their inner aversions and arguments, and that is the end of any community. Every human community always spends part of its energy on solving inner issues. That is the necessary cost. However, if you spend most of your energy on that, it means the end of productivity. I had no choice but to leave.” If you had the power to remove one guilty act from the Criminal Code right now, which one would that be? “There are many of them. For example the sanction for graffiti seems funny to me. Or the possibility of prosecution for prostitution “…in the vicinity of a school, school or similar object or place that is reserved or intended for residence or visit of children…”. Not that I personally need to know that, however, it niggles at the back of my mind a bit, how far from a nursery you can do this…Or that an at-home prostitute has to move if they build a school next to the house where she lives and conducts business.” And which one, on the contrary, would you add to the Code? “That is simple. See: UTMOST BLATHER One who, if only by negligence, relentlessly blathers about something which he knows nothing of, will be sentenced to prison up to one year or his activity will be banned. (2) The offender will be sentenced to prison for up to two years, or his activity will be banned, if he commits the crime stated in paragraph 1 through the press, radio, television, publicly accessible internet network or another similarly effective way. (3) The offender will be sentenced to prison for up to five years or his activity will be banned if he commits the crime stated in paragraph 1 a) in connection to demanding that some action is taken, especially by the public administration authorities, or b) in connection to promising something to others. Consequences of such a provision would be similar to a legal nuclear bomb being dropped on the CR. Its first paragraph would hit about half of the adult population. In the epicenter of the explosion, i.e. “hit by the second and third paragraphs” would be many

After that your political career was relatively short. Did you regret, after some time, that you did not have more space to pursue your ideas? “No. I am happy with that decision almost every day, and I mean it. Politics is like a drug and I am glad I was thrown out of it before it became an addiction. This is not a cheap criticism of politics. The thing is, you pay a price for taking part in politics in the long term, a price which is too high for me. At the time, I was trying various ways to make my way back there, though I did not realize this, and let me take this opportunity to express my thanks to our citizens and those who did not vote for me, as their votes kicked me you know where. I am sure that thanks to this, I now do much more interesting things, I have a much more colorful and demanding life in my profession. And most importantly, I am not part of that political ghetto which would have surely beaten me, as it does most of the others. And so, my private life is different as well. Besides all of this, I understand that a politician is elected by people whose IQ is not much higher than the temperature in the election room. So, it is necessary to speak to them on their level, and promise things in ways they understand. But after all those years of people coming to me for advice, I somehow would not be able to press someone at an election meeting, or directly from a billboard, the idea that I am a perfect match for the Parliament, that I might be useful there, and that they need me there the same way they need the detergent offered on the adjacent billboard. And with my message delivered so that even a bypassing hamster could understand. I respect many politicians, I know that the Parliament and elections are absolutely essential attributes of democracy, and democracy is one of the top values for me, but my personality somehow does not fit the system.” By Jaroslav Kramer české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 9

Photo: Archive, KPR

state visit

From left: Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel greeted upon arrival by Miloš Zeman, President of the CR



President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman received Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel in Prague, December 18th. Miloš Zeman has emphasised support of the Czech Republic to the State of Israel and criticized the fact that Hamas should no longer be included on an influential list of international terrorist organisations. Photo: Stanislav Novotný, Archive KPR

Presidents of V4, Austria and Slovenia



Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary, Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland, Andrej Kiska, President of the Slovak Republic, Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria and Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, met in Prague from 11th to 12th December 2014 to emphasize the close ties between the Visegrad Group, Austria and Slovenia and to discuss cooperation in various fields of mutual interest. The Presidents discussed the perspectives of the V4 and Austria and Slovenia cooperation in the development of road, rail, air and inland waterway trans10 port and in strengthening energy security in Central Europe. They also exchanged views on various regional and international issues including the crisis in Ukraine and the spreading of the so called Islamic State.

Press conference

state visit

Presidents of V4, Austria and Slovenia greeted upon arrival by Miloš Zeman, President of the CR

Official summit


Photo: Archive Senate


From left: Miroslav Nenutil, Senator, H.E. Andrew Hirsch Schapiro, Ambassador of the USA in the Czech Republic, and H.E. Peter Weiss, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in the CR



At the beginning of the 2015, the Senate became again a venue where senators meet diplomatic corps. Traditionally dozens of Ambassadors accepted the invitation of Milan Štěch, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic. He reviewed the past year as successful, mainly due to overcoming the consequences of the economic crisis. “Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about what is happening on the international scene, where we see unnecessary conflicts with the loss of human lives. I must also recall the tragic and brutal attack in Paris, “said Milan Štěch, reminding rampage of Islamic radicals.

From left: H.E. Daniela Anda Grigore Gitman, Ambassador of Romania in the Czech Republic, Markéta Šarbochová, Director, Diplomatic Protocole, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Giuseppe Leanza, Apostolic Nuncio, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps

H.E. Jan Thompson, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Czech Republic

H.E. Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, Ambassador of France in the Czech Republic

12 H.E. Tetsuo Yamakawa, Ambassador of Japan in the Czech Republic

From left: Hassan Mezian, Senator, Miluše Horská, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate, and H.E. Souriya Otmani, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morroco in the Czech Republic

H.E. María Susana Landaveri Porturas, Ambassador of Peru in the Czech Republic


From left: Prof. Jiří Drahoš, President, Academy of Sciences and Milan Štěch, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic


Friday January 23rd, 2015 The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic has celebrated 125 years since its founding by Emperor Franz Joseph. „It was on this day when an imperial act confirmed the prestige of Czech educated elite, which for years has sought to establish a national research institute - Academy of Sciences,“ said President of the Academy of Sciences prof. Jiří Drahoš during the ceremonial meeting in the Main Hall of the Wallenstein Palace. The event was held under the auspices of the Chairman swof the Senate Milan Štěch, who in his speech highlighted mutual cooperation of the Senate and the Academy of Sciences. Photo: Archive Senate

From left: Miloš Vystrčil, Chairman of the Senate Committee for Regional Development and Jan Žaloudík, Chairman of the Senate medical committee Milan Štěch, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic at his speech

Václav Hudeček, Violinist

Audience at the Wallenstein Palace

Prof. Jiří Drahoš, President, Academy of Sciences

Audience at the Wallenstein Palace

From left: Prof. Jiří Drahoš, President, Academy of Sciences, Milan Štěch, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic, and Václav Pavlíček, Constitutional Lawyer




Photo: Archive

comenius czech 100 best / conference


From left: Vladimír Dlouhý, President, Chamber of Commerce of the CR aand Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Key Factors of Success 19th International Conference

New Gallery, Prague Castle, November 28th, 2014 As part of the “D” day of the Czech 100 Best competition 2014 Comenius Society organized 19th international conference “Key Factors of Success” in the morning hours of November 28th. More than 100 participants – top managers from significant Czech companies, but also diplomats and representatives from the state administration – have traditionally filled the New Gallery Hall at the Prague Castle and listened to the presentations delivered by their colleagues, all of whom had a lot to say about how to reach success and what success means. Tomáš Březina, Owner, Best

From left: Šárka Parobek, Director, Ifield Computer Consultancy, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and Jan Klas, General Director, Air Navigation Services Jiřina Nepalová, Owner, Renomia


From left: Jiřina Nepalová, Owner, Renomia and Jana Bobošíková, Politician

comenius czech 100 best / conference Jiří Havlíček, Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade

From left: Mr Julius Jesztrebi, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and Jiří Rubáš Alessandro Pasquale, General Director, Karlovarské minerální vody

Erik Best, Publisher, Fleet Sheet

Renata Mrázová, General Director, ING Insurance & Pensions

Alessandro Pasquale, General Director, Karlovarské minerální vody and Jiřina Nepalová, Owner, Renomia

Chen Jianjun, Chargé d´Affaires, Embassy of the PRC

15 From left: Tomáš Březina, Owner, Best and Luis Fernandes Aneas, Director, LAIC

comenius czech 100 best / conference

From left: Víťa Vala, Director of Strategy, SIKO Koupelny, Chen Jianjun, Chargé d´Affaires, Embassy of the PRC, Jan Klas, General Director, Air Navigation Service, Erik Best, Publisher, Fleet Sheet, Renata Mrázová, General Director, ING Insurance & Pensions, and Jiří Havlíček, Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade

Víťa Vala, Director of Strategy, SIKO Koupelny

From left: Pavel Calábek, Chairman of the Board, Krajská nemocnice of T. Baťa, Petr Formánek, Commercial Director, Magellan, and Daniel Vavřina, Director, HealthCare Institute

From left: Jiřina Nepalová, Owner, Renomia, Tomáš Březina, Owner, Best and Marta Nováková, President, Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism

16 Rut Bízková, Chairwoman, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic

Prague hrad Castle, 28listopadu November2014 2014 Pražský 28.









84 ZLKL, S.R.O.


85 TEDOM, S.R.O.


86 OLMA, A.S.












55 ICZ A.S.













98 API CZ S.R.O.


















57 ECONOMIA, A.S. 58 ASE, S.R.O.














69 SYNOT W, A.S.

29 EXCON, A.S.




31 GECO, A. S.

72 PSJ, A.S.






62 JUTA A.S.




91 ELLA-CS, S.R.O.





51 G - TEAM A.S.

21 PPF A.S.

34 CZ LOKO, A.S.





























Mojmír ČAPKA



Vladimír MRÁZ



Antonín PAČES








17 ČESKÝCH 100 NEJLEPŠÍCH/CZECH 100 BEST 28. listopadu 2014/November 28th 2014, Pražský hrad / Prague Castle

comenius czech 100 best / gala evening


Comenius, Pan European Society for Culture, Education, Scientific & Technical Cooperation, organized the “CZECH 100 BEST” for already 19th time. The award ceremony Czech 100 Best traditionally took place at the Spanish Hall at the presence of more than 600 VIP guests including the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Jan Hamáček, Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek, Minister of Regional Development Karla Šlechtová, President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce Vladimír Dlouhý, Chancellor of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic Vratislav Mynář and other VIP guests.

Jana Fialová, Counsellor of the Vysočina Region and Major General Jiří Baloun, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Czech Army First place: Škoda Auto, Bohdan Wojnar, Member of the Board


Winners of the category DYNAMIC GROWTH & STABILITY with the President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce Vladimír Dlouhý

Jiří Weigl, exChancellor of the President, Director of CEP (Center for Economics and Poltiics) and Michal Hašek, Governor or South Moravian Region

comenius czech 100 best / gala evening

From left: Josef Mráz, Executive Director, Agrofert and Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies

Ivan Pilný, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies with his wife

Ivan Lapin, General Director & Chairman of the Board, Severočeské doly on the left and Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies

Zbyněk Pardubský, Vice President, Huawei Czech with his wife

Jan Světlík, Owner, Vítkovice Holding and Jiřina Nepalová, Owner, Renomia

Mona Sandescu, Owner, Favea and Michal Hašek, Governor or South Moravian Region

From left: Alessandro Pasquale, General Director, Karlovarské minerální vody and Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies

Michal Drozd, Owner, and Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development

Vratislav Mynář, Chancellor of the President discussing with Jiří Rusnok, Member of the Banking Board, Czech National Bank with his wife

Winners of the category HEALTH – EDUCATION – HUMANITY with Lenka Teska Arnoštová, Deputy Minister of Health Care

Mojmír Čapka, General Director & Chairman of the Board, Brisk Tábor and Zuzana Baudyšová, Senator


comenius czech 100 best / gala evening

Michal Hašek, Governor or South Moravian Region and Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development

Lady Pro 2014 and Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies and Karel Muzikář , President, Comenius

Josef Matějka, Founder and Owner, and Ivan Pilný, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies

Jiří Čáp, Founder and Coowner, SPRINX Systems and Lenka Teska Arnoštová, Deputy Minister of Health Care

Jan Žůrek, Managing Partner, KPMG Czech Republic on the left and Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies

Winners of the category INVENTION – COMMITMENT – EXPORT – PROFIT with Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade

Lubomír Dvořák, Founder and Owner, Dvořák – svahové sekačky and Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade

From left: Jiří Weigl, exChancellor of the President, Director of CEP (Center for Economics and Poltiics), Václav Klaus, former President of the CR, Martin Diviš, General Director & Chairman of the Board, KOOPERATIVA Pojišťovna


Rut Bízková, Chairwoman, Technology Agency of the CR and Major General Jiří Baloun, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Czech Army

Winners of the category CIVIL CONSTRUCTIONS & TRANSPORT with Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade

comenius czech 100 best / gala evening

Gentlemen Pro 2014 with Zuzana Baudyšová, Senator, Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Parliament of the CR, and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Antonín Pačes, Chairman of the Board, EXCON and Zuzana Baudyšová, Senator Jaroslava Valová, Owner, SIKO Koupelny in the middle

Prof. Tomáš Zima, Rector, Charles University in Prague and Lenka Teska Arnoštová, Deputy Minister of Health Care

Petr Paukner, Founder and Owner, CARBOUNION Bohemia and Vladimír Dlouhý, President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce Ivana Tykač, Founder, Women for Women and Lenka Teska Arnoštová, Deputy Minister of Health Care

Winners of the category AGRICULTURE & FOOD INDUSTRY with Michal Hašek, Governor or South Moravian Region

Libor Sadílek, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Klement and Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade


networking/discussion event Photo: Archive


From left: Zbyněk Solecký, Chief Financial Officer, RWE Energie, Ivan Pilný, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Chamber of Deputies, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, H.E. Farid Shafiyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan, H.E. Ștefan Gorda, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova, and H.E. Latchezar Petkov, Ambassador of Bulgaria



ISCUSSION INNER WITH R VAN ILNÝ HAIRMAN OF THE OMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AFFAIRS OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE CR Due to the increased demand for an English speaking Round Table, the discussion dinner with Mr. Pilný, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic,was already the second one to take place in English and was therefore amply attended by Ambassadors and other international participants. Such attendance resulted in a lively debate during which participants contributed with a range of comments and practical suggestions from all over the world.

H.E. Ed Hoeks, Ambassador of the Netherlands and H.E. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the People´s Republic of China

From left: Stanislav Novák, Vice President, Comenius, H.E. Ștefan Gorda, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova, and H.E. Farid Shafiyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan

22 From left: H.E. Ayman Mohammad Aladsani, Ambassador of Kuwait and Jiří Uklein, Chancellor, Senat of the Parliament

From left: Jiří Uklein, Chancellor, Senate of the Parliament, H.E. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the People´s Republic of China, and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

networking/discussion event

From left: Zbyněk Solecký, Chief Financial Officer, RWE Energie, Ivan Pilný, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Chamber of Deputies, and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Jiří Uklein, Chancellor, Senate of the Parliament .and H.E. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and H.E. Ștefan Gorda, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova

H.E. Farid Shafiyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan

23 From left: Tomáš Čáp, Executive Vice President, Comenius and Petr Soukup, Managing Partner, Stance Communications

From left: Stanislav Novák, Vice President, Comenius, Radka Bučilová, Advisor, Ministry of Environment, and Václav Bubník, Comenius

networking/discussion event Photo: Archive




From left: Albín Sybera, Director of Strategy, Imos Group, Ivo Hlaváč, Member of the Board, Director of Division, ČEZ, and Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment


If there is a global, persistent threat to this world then it has been endangered environment and climate changes. While we in Central Europe are environmentally lucky enough not to face any imminent crisis there is still a great deal of risks and dangers which even we must fight with and we must do it as effectively and systematically as possible. For that reason Comenius has organized the Round Table with Minister of the Environment to discuss the chances, possibilities, duties and actions we have to take to help ourselves and future generations.

Miroslav Ježek, Sales Director, Hydro & Kov and Ilona Jáchymová, Sales Director, Aquatest

From left: Karel Muzikář Jr., Managing Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Jakub Vít, External Relations Manager, ArcelorMittal Ostrava, and Martin Kramář, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges

24 Tereza Fajtlová, Air Navigation Services and Zbyněk Fibich, Air Navigation Services

Jan Rafaj, Director, Corporate Affairs, Member of the Board, ArcelorMittal Ostrava

networking/discussion event Rostislav Dvořák, President, Union of the Czech-Moravian Production Cooperatives in his speech

From left: Ivo Hlaváč, Member of the Board, Director of Division, ČEZ, Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and Václav Jakeš, Owner, Pretol HB

Pavel Uzel, General Director, PlanSecur

From left: Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Vladimír Budinský, Chief Financial Officer, Severočeské Doly in his speech

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, Jana Fialová, Counsellor, Vysočina Region, and Libor Joukl, Deputy Governor of Vysočina Region

From left: Mrs. Pavla Zelená, Ctirad Nečas, General Director, Královopolská RIA, Albín Sybera, Director of Strategy, Imos Group, Ivo Hlaváč, Member of the Board, Director of Division, ČEZ, Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment, and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

From left: Václav Jakeš, Owner, Pretol HB, Richard Klíma, Director, Air Navigation Services, Tereza Fajtlová, Air Navigation Services, and Zbyněk Fibich, Air Navigation Services

Zdeněk Chlád, Counsellor, Vysočina Region

25 From left: Václav Jakeš, Owner, Pretol HB, Mrs. Pavla Zelená, and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Jakub Vít, External Affairs Manager, ArcelorMittal Ostrava in his speech

Photo: Archive

discussion event Martin Herrmann, CEO and Chairman of the Board, RWE Česká republika



This year‘s Christmas meeting of CFO Club, held December 10, 2014, took place traditionally under the auspices of RWE in the beautiful hall of Boccaccio Grand Hotel Bohemia. The evening started with welcome speeches of Dean Brabec, CFO Club President and Managing Partner CEE, Arthur D. Little and Martin Herrmann, CEO and Chairman of the Board of RWE Czech Republic. The evening was moderated by Martin Chalupský, Head of Press Services, RWE Czech Republic, who mentioned the previous Christmas CFO Club meetings, such as meeting with Jiří Bartoška or debate on the preparation of the Olympic Games.

Dean Brabec, President, CFO Club and Managing Partner CEE, Arthur D. Little

From left: Martin Dittmar, Owner, Villa Memories and Vladimír Mikoláš, J & T BANK, a.s.

26 Jan Vinter, Chairman of the Editor Board, CFO World

discussion event


Petr Narwa, Senior Associate, Prochazka & Partners s.r.o. and Marie Simona Kratochvílová, Public Relations & Press Services, RWE Česká republika a.s.

Ivana Goossen, Director, EMBA – Europe, University of Pittsburgh and Martin Novák, CFO and Vice chairman of the Board, ČEZ, a. s.

From left: Martin Chalupský, Head of Press Services, RWE Česká republika, Dean Brabec, President, CFO Club and Managing Partner CEE, Arthur D. Little, and Martin Herrmann, CEO and Chairman of the Board, RWE Česká republika


discussion event

From left: Martin Chalupský, Head of Press Services, RWE Česká republika and Petr Dvořák, CEO, Czech TV


Petr Dvořák, CEO, Czech TV

Irena Prášilová, Senior Manager, MSD IT Global Innovation Center s.r.o.




It is not easy

TO BE A LEADER! Daniel Goleman, guru of emotional intelligence, wrote an interesting study which analyzes one of the most important aspects of leadership - the ability to concentrate, focus, and achieve objectives. If a leader can do that, he can effectively direct the attention of a team or company to achieve common goals. Concentration can be thought of as the ability to filter out and rid yourself of unwanted interference, not only sharpening your mental focus, but also physically altering the perception and behavior of others.

Concentration is a sort of “mental muscle” which we can train. And we often don’t recognize our own lack of it. We may listen to someone speak, but we don’t actually hear what they are saying. We focus more on our mobile phones than on people with whom we interact, as though on some sort of social autopilot. Mental concentration means being aware of what is happening within your body: the rhythm of your breath, of your heart, and your thoughts. Meditation is a great exercise for anyone wanting to achieve this art of self-control, the art of focusing attention in a particular direction, and maintaining that focus. As described in The Trias proposed by Goleman, concentration consists of: y cognitive empathy - the ability to understand how others think y emotional empathy - the ability to feel what your counterpart feels y interest - the ability to recognize what others require from you


Cognitive empathy allows us to interpret our own thoughts, so they can be understandably expressed to others. Emotional empathy allows us to identify with others, so that we can affectively mentor co-workwers, or understand customers. Interest allows us recognize the goals of others, and is necessary in strategies and creating “winwin” situations. These skills will help you avoid slipping into defensive positions, in which you may lose any leadership advantage, as well as lose valuable mental and physical energy. We can learn emotional empathy and we can manage it. One just needs to regulate the perception of harmful thoughts. If we are able to calm ourselves down in stressful situations, and prevent our own emotional outbursts, we can influence others with our calm, collected demeanor. Controlling others is related to social intelligence. It starts by improving yourself, by developing good manners. “What you yourself hate, do that to no one.” Respect others’ personal space. Try not to monopolize conversations; let others speak and express their opposing views.

Outward concentration refers to perceiving the world and all of its possibilities. You must accept that different people have different views, which may not agree with your own. This kind of acceptance leads to an open-minded approach, which then leads to searches, innovations, and discoveries. And yet we must also be careful about the amount of information

Photo: Archive

that we take in. As the well-known economist Herbert Simon said: „In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of attention.“ In conclusion, a brilliant leader is not one who focuses on the three biggest priorities of the year. Nor are they the best thinker, nor the one who perfectly controls corporate culture. It is the person who brilliantly manages internal concentration, focus on others, perceives the external world, and practices cognitive empathy, emotional empathy and interest. Extract from a new book “Máte na víc” published by Albatros Media By Ivan Pilný Member of the Parliament, ANO party President of Tuesday Business Network české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 29

Photo: Archive

interview As a graduate economist, the minister of regional development Karla Šlechtová started her professional career in the Czech Business Leaders Forum at the position of a project manager and mentor of seminars. For three years she also worked at CSR Europe as a coordinator of project portfolios, and at the European Center for Public Administration as a project manager. Then she moved to Bulgaria for a few months, where she worked for Deloitte Bulgaria. She followed her position at Deloitte Advisory with a position consulting EU projects and grants. She also has experience at the Czech Social Security Administration in the position of project manager for smart administration projects. In 2011, she joined the Ministry of Regional Development first as a director of the department for the programming period 2014-2020, then as a director of the EU funds departments, section of European matters, and also at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.

An interview with Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development

“My Ambition is to Open the Competence Bill” 30 Leaders Magazine I/2015

interview But that is not all of your agenda… “Correct. Contracts, building law, auctions, real estate activities, regional administration… it is possible to find coherence in all of this. I found it in four key sections. Now, it is up to me and my deputies to push it through. I believe we will make it happen.”

Dear Mrs. Minister, how coherent do you think the agenda of the Ministry of Regional Development is? “This question may be answered by my chart of the reconstruction of the Ministry of Regional Development, which I prepared in November. The agenda of the Ministry is completely incoherent. When I was talking to the lawyer who worked here in the past, he told me of how the agenda used to arrive here. They arrived here when nobody wanted them. That´s how the Ministry of Regional Development was created. But I am sitting here now, I am the minister, and the agreement with all my colleagues when I came here was that I am going to strengthen the Ministry.” So, the Ministry is not “bound to quit”, as most traditional reproaches from various MP’s insinuate… “It has been discussed for twelve years. The employees are nervous about what is going to happen. However, cohesion may be found here and I found it in The National Coordination Authority. That is a separate unit which coordinates all funds and is relevant above all. Then there is a section of European programs where I have all of the controlling units of the programs. I have the Integrated Operational Program, the Integrated Regional Operational Program, the Operational Program Technical Aids 1 and 2, and whole cross-border programs…” That is quite a lot of bodies. “I have twenty controlling bodies here. Four essential ones and seven under the European regional cooperation for future periods. My colleagues have to negotiate this.” So, what is the key? “Well, it is the Ministry of Regional Development, and of course regional policy. When I took up the position, as far as the regional policy is concerned, I did not even know what my colleagues were doing there. What was the point? There were few people… To feel that our Ministry is strong, the support of management is necessary. It is necessary that the billions that I am sitting on are not a media bubble. I am responsible for a range of things.” So, regional policy. ”Yes. The regional policy is made up of the agenda of the Ministry according to competence law. It consists of the regional policy, housing policy, and tourism. This is under our competence, although we can of course discuss if part of it belongs to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Anyhow, it is at our Ministry and I will take care of tourism. We also have CzechTourism, which by the way will probably be audited for the whole year. For this organization I will run quite big audits because some of their projects have to be evaluated.”


You mentioned the employees. You had worked at the Ministry before. How much does the ministerial building reflect the constant changes of the Ministers, and the turns in political direction? You are mainly specialized in the European funds… “I am quite amused by the texts in the media saying I am a fund expert. If you have a look at what I have been doing for the last three months, you will see that I passed the funds to my deputies and “only” supervise them. Now, I am solving issues that probably nobody has ever been solving here before. Public contracts, building law, housing policy. It must make sense; these are the tools of the regional policy.” Ok, but what about the employees? “If I refer back to my position as director, four Ministers changed while I was preparing the whole programming period for 2014-2020. This was just within three-anda-half years. For each Minister we prepared passing protocols, and each Minister had different requests, different opinions, preferences, and priorities. The policy Statement of the Government is an illustration of the fact that each government wants to have their priorities somewhere else. I do not agree with that. I miss the strategy of governing the state here. I do not think that the Minister is here just to collect points during the whole four years of the term. I don´t need any points. I am not a deputy, I don´t belong to any party. I want to enforce a key, competent, and effective Ministry. I want to give security to the people who are here.” Does it mean that the fact you are not connected to “high politics” makes you a stronger Minister? “I don´t simply speak. I prefer working, deciding. Many managers of ministries do not decide, they are afraid to do so. I go for it, because someone must do it. To do so I have offered myself and my privacy, because of “my” people, of whom there are 650 here. It is these civil servants who make the Ministry, not me. Therefore I strive to give them security so that they can live on, so that I will leave something here and my successor will be able to continue our work, not change it. It is necessary that all political parties perceive that. They cannot take control, come to the Ministry and change priorities, change the agenda. By the way, my ambition is to open a competence bill. It doubles the work of ministries many times. When I was preparing the partnership agreement I faced a great departmentalism. The term synergy is a bit forbidden here. But if the ministries do not cooperate, it is a mistake.” Can you give an example? “The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs must cooperate with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, no matter what party is currently in the lead. I thus

belong to everybody, I must cooperate with everybody. Especially because of the funds.” Speaking of the funds, your Ministry is currently working on a certain simplification. What will the difference be? “We have prepared the methodology so that the applicants have just one application and we have one system. Everything will be electronic from now on. To transfer the very complicated, complex, and demanding limits of the commission into the methodology took us quite a lot of work. However, the end result may make the work of controlling bodies and applicants easier. I personally am a former processor of applications. I helped hospices, senior houses, and sewage disposal plants. I must say that giving 14 attachments with one grant application is way too many attachments. There will not be that many attachments anymore, information will be passed from the basic registers. This will make everything easier, I count on that.” Why won’t the development of tourism be supported in the programming period 2014 – 2020? “You know, it is a bit of our own mistake. We built up many golf resorts here, aqua parks, and hotels. The commission does not want that. In 2012, the commission came with a positional document where seven areas were marked that it was not satisfied with the solutions in the Czech Republic. The area of tourism was very narrowly specified there. Tourism as a whole will not be supported, with the exception of cultural heritage. We are also negotiating with the commission the support for smaller historical sights, but I don´t mean the chapels. The commission will not provide the money for that. I mean the local museums with regional importance.” Finally, I would like to ask about the conditionals, meaning the requirements of the European Commission, according to which we can draw the money from European funds we are entitled to if we meet our obligations. “This is something where the Czech Republic falls short by 70%. For example we are still missing an amendment of the EIA bill, i.e. an evaluation of the impacts on our environment, though it is under preparation. By passing the amendment we may be able to stop a legitimate statement that the commission has prepared. If they send it to us, we will lose 100 billion. It is a key legislative conditional.” What about the rest of the key conditionals? “In the area of energy, for example, we have infringements, and the threat of European Commission proceedings against the Czech Republic. We have one year to deal with that. If we don´t make it, the commission will announce that the stated provisions we have in the operations will not be financed. They will simply send no money for that because we did not meet the condition. We, as the National Coordination Authority must come to controlling bodies and say that we are aware of a possible breach, and we must predict that. Then we have to move the money from that specific target to somewhere else. The commission allows that but we must not miss it.” Author: Jaroslav Kramer české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 31

grand opening


From left: Oldřich Lomecký, Mayor of Prague 1, Jana Doleželová, Miss of the Czech Republic 2004 and Pharmacist, and Veronika Blažková, Spokesperson, Town Hall Prague 1

The most beautiful Czech pharmacist opened her new premises Jana Doleželová, Miss of the Czech Republic 2004 has opened her second pharmacy in a brand new shopping mall Quadrio in the centre of Prague. Pharmacy Quadrio with a unique concept Dermo-Center - the first of its kind in the Czech Republic - is inspired by the original French pharmaceutical tradition. The pharmacy was baptized by Prof. Tomáš Halík, renowned priest, god fathers were two famous doctors - Doc. Jan Měšťák and MUDr. Ján Lešták. Felix Slováček, famous musician played for the guests such as Gabriela Franková, Miss of the Czech Republic 2014, Marcela Krplová, Owner, Czech Miss, and Bořek Šípek, Architect and Designer. Prof. Tomáš Halík, Priest and holder of The Templeton Prize

Grand opening of Pharmacy Quadrio

Gábina Franková, Czech Miss 2014 Felix Slováček, Musician during the grand opening of Pharmacy Quadrio

32 MUDr. Ján Lešták, Owner, Eyeclinic JL, Godfather of the pharmacy

Bořek Šípek, Architect



RESOLVES FOR 2015 At the end of every year, at least some people usually take resolves for the year to come. Even if a part of the new year has already passed, it is worth while to shortly sum up (without any ambition of completeness) what potential resolves for 2015 might be taken in the Czech politics and society. Many of potential resolves should be taken by the Government and are related to the domestic playing field. The Government should employ a pro-growth policy, still cautiously keeping the public budgets’ deficit under the Maastricht criterion and the Government’s spending on a tight harness, as the complete relief from the economic depression is still at stake and international political situation got considerably worsened during the last period. Another pressing necessity is to speed up stagnating public infrastructure projects, especially in transport infrastructure. A profound ministerial strategy is needed to speed up covering the gap between the quality of the Czech infrastructures and that of the “old” European countries. A key issue is a new and coordinated legislative solution of support of strategic infrastructure projects to speed up the process of negotiation and approval of strategic investment without jeopardising democratic and ecologic principles of decision. It has also to be accompanied with restructuring of processes within so-called investor organisations (such as the ŘSD and SŽDC), as well as introduction of a due expertise of public investment projects during the entire investment cycle. This all can lead, inter alia, to the recovery of the crisisstricken construction industry. The Government should also resolve to proceed with a sustainable strategy of the social system that is endangered by adverse demographic trends. While the half-compulsory “second pillar” of state supported savings is going to be abolished, there is no medicine to prevent growing deficits in the existing pay-as-you-go system and no incentive to prompt as many people as possible to save and invest for their old age. Another theme for resolves is the solution of worsening age structure of the nation and a respective pro-family and propopulation policy. An issue to tackle with is also the simplification of the Czech tax system that is one of the most complicated and burdensome among OECD countries, as its complexity has grown so far year


after year. It means in practice to execute a curbing action against too numerous stipulations and exceptions and to block channels of tax evasions, which all should be connected with lowered rates of direct taxes to support entrepreneurial success and investment. Another task is to improve rules for state aid to research and development and innovation. A new act linked to the new European framework is under preparation. The Government should find a proper way between the necessity of good commercialisation of new discoveries and the need to take risk in financing projects with unclear result. This is connected with an enhanced role of risk capital and a better financial support of education at all levels. A great deal of resolves is to be taken by the Czech diplomacy. The country should get rid of a reputation of a “not-too-clever-troublemaker” having been capable to destroy own Presidency, exhausting itself with ideological battle against European integration while unable to exhaust attributed EU funds. Also the view the Czech foreign policy gives in the last months is somehow dim and confused. A new European policy is needed where an active adherence to European principles would not be in controversy with making ad hoc alliances to support own national interests as well as a tenacious personal policy aimed at strengthening of the so far low Czech participation in Brussels structures. May it be also a time for resolves also in the broader public? It looks so. It can be proven statistically that, in spite of a considerable growth of living standard during the last quarter of a century, the Czech economy was one of the slowest catchers-up among the “new” EU countries and the distance from the “old” countries even slightly extended itself during last years. If we project the existing trend, the Czech economy will soon be overrun by the Slovak, Polish and Estonian ones, as to both the GDP per capita and actual individual consumption.

And what is more, the existing living standard was attained and kept at the expense of suppression of necessary infrastructure investment. This all deserves a profound discussion not only among economists and managers, but also in the public. Where are we and where do we wish to be in, say, 2030? The aforementioned public discussion may be the only way how to attract the attention of Czech politicians, both from the coalition and opposition, and convince them to reduce their short-term fights, look beyond their four-year term and concentrate joint effort towards a long-term prosperity of the nation. The old Roman “videant consules” now gets a specifically Czech flavour. Emanuel Šíp Partner Allied Progress Consultants Association české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 33

Photo: Vladimír Weiss


Almost all political parties in the Czech Republic are, according to Vladimíra Dvořáková, confusing. “I am missing a deeper set of values,” she says. We asked her how one can recognize a good political scientist. And why does “trivializing” approach of the media lead people to uncritically accept anything different they see? In this interview for Leaders Magazine Prague, we also focus on her activities in the Accreditation Commission and The University of Economics Prague.

An interview with Professor Vladimíra Dvořáková, a top female professor among political scientists

“ON BANALITIES, MISTRUST AND POLITICS” Dear Professor, it is typical for Czechs to enjoy commenting on current political events. Does it mean we are a nation of “non-professional political scientists”? “If people talk about politics in the pub, or make statements in social media, then it is rather positive. It shows that they are interested in the situation, and everybody has a right to express their opinion. It is bad, however, when someone publicly presents themselves as a political scientist, with not even the slightest professional approach. The lady who sells herbs can often help when you are sick, but if the illness is serious, I would rather see a doctor.” How much do the opinions of common people agree with your own assessments – for example in the case of a political crisis, or some important event on the political scene? “It depends on the issue itself. If I use health care as an example again, I think we all can recognize when we have a cold, but we must see a doctor for a serious

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diagnosis. Political negotiations can be analyzed by anyone with common life experience. But a political scientist should look under the surface, recognize deeper social connections, and the possible impact of events on further development.”

If you chose one word to illustrate the current political situation in the Czech Republic, which would it be? “Mistrust.” What topics will be crucial for Czech politics in 2015? What topics will you lend your voice to most? “It depends on what people ask me about. If I choose an issue, I would want to discuss restoring trust in society, trust among people in general, trust in promises, trust in the state and politics. I would be glad if we could talk about positive (and negative) examples of how elections influenced local politics, which impact our everyday lives. I would be glad

if we talked about the function of the state, about the modern (un)transparency of decision making, the shady appointments of high officials, and other shenanigans. These are much more important topics than the bickering between this minister and the other. But of course, the media loves personal conflicts, it promotes them, as they are much more interesting than the tediousness of passing laws, funding schools, and improving our nation.”

During foreign conferences and other trips, are you met with fundamental confusion over Czech politics? “Scientific work has many interpretations, and scientific truths are only valid until somebody proves them wrong scientifically. This can be seen in natural sciences, where new research methods and technologies enable new interpretations of phenomenon. Thus new truths are created, ideas which nobody ever thought of. This applies to social sciences as well. A good researcher must ask the

interview right questions, and have excellent researching skills. To put it simply, if a political scientist focuses on the role of the Czech president in the political and constitutional system, they are ignoring whether he promotes economic diplomacy or human rights. Or if he believes in global warming. A good political scientist wants to know if the president´s powers are interpreted consistently in the long term, if he respects the constitution (or crosses the line), how he communicates with his government, and how foreign and defense policy are decided. The rest is rather unimportant for him. On the other hand, if somebody studies the issues of Czech foreign policy, they focus on how presidents rule on certain topics.” We can see many political scientists in the media. But how can we safely distinguish the objective and capable from the incapable ones? “It is not so easy, because though opinions may differ, it does not make them wrong. A political scientist should definitely have a basic knowledge of and a professional approach to analysis. There should also be a certain ethical rule, that if a political scientist works for somebody, they should at least inform the public of the relationship. But the real problem is related to the questions a political scientist is asked. I remember when during a big corruption scandal I was asked if I think that the person in question “accepted a bribe”. I felt like answering, “I have no idea, dear Watson.” This would have been a good question for an investigative journalist, but the question meant for a political scientist should have been completely different. For example: “What does this scandal tell us about politics?”; “How can there be such tight relationships between politicians, businesses, and organized crime?”; or “How can we determine the cause of this, and how can we stop it from happening again?” So, you see the problem as mainly caused by journalists and the media? “It is very easy to criticize the media. If you consider the wide scope of journalism, as well as the background that an editor or moderator has to work with, then it is of course very difficult for them to be able to ask excellent questions on all subjects, including politics, economics, art, science, climatic phenomenon, etc.. On the other hand, only a few years ago it was common that a moderator, and respectively their assistant, would ask me to make some interesting or significant comments. I mostly pointed out three or four issues, and briefly explained the context of them, and why these issues should be interesting. It was of course the moderator´s decision to choose from my suggestions or not, but they usually did. And then the listeners learned something other than the trivial replies so often given to trivial questions. This “trivializing” approach of the media finally leads us to the fact that people will uncritically accept almost anything different they see.” So, these days moderators are not asking for this anymore? “They are asking for much less, or they do not follow recommendations, or they push for a certain reply


because you are supposed to fit a certain scenario in which other material, already worked out, will follow. Let me give you a recent example. It was at the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, after president Yanukovych was brought down. I was invited to a program to comment on the situation. I told the assistant that this topic is not my “cup of tea”, as I am not an expert on Ukraine, so they should find somebody else. However, I suggested that it could be interesting to discuss in general what impact the conflict could have on both sides, the rebels vs. the militia. Experiences from Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Kosovo, could be referred to for similarities. The assistant agreed with this suggested topic, but the question which the studio finally aired was completely trivial, and the effort to get at least something substantial into the reply was prevented. On the other hand, I also often hear political scientists reply to good questions with meaningless banalities.” If we observe political scientists in the media, they often comment on very recent issues. Often these issues occur just a few minutes before the comments are made. Has your view or comment on a situation ever been completely different from the final result? “I strive to speak rather about connections, to show various possible approaches and perceptions, not to formulate definite statements. I think this method is much more interesting for viewers or listeners, as they not only receive information, but they think about it more. However, sometimes an expert or editor can get into trouble. I remember a live broadcasting in 2003 at the time of a NATO summit, where I was asked to comment on US foreign policy. First, I arrived late because of security measures, and somebody else was speaking on this topic. However, since the closed negotiations of Václav Havel and G.W. Bush took longer than expected, there were 4 of us - 2 editors and 2 guests - holding a panel discussion for more than 30 minutes. Under such circumstances there is a kind of solidarity of course, as you know that the editor must ask questions and you have to reply. So, I evaluated the state of preparedness of the Romanian army, the strategic importance of the Baltics, and finally the possibility of sharing fighter planes with Slovakia. The depth of my analysis corresponded with my knowledge of the issues and the level of banalities was very high. On the other hand, not many listeners knew much about the issue. But I have never left the studio so exhausted…”

It is not a secret that in 2003 you were the first woman among political science professors. How many women are there now? “As far as I know, there are two of us. But in related fields, especially international relations and European studies, there are more.” In your opinion, what is a reliable method for distinguishing which side of the political spectrum a certain political party or movement belongs to? “It is not so clearly decided, but the key is of course a party’s stand on the basic socio-economic division of society, simply said – work vs. capital. But it is very important where a party’s “center” is. Many times, attitudes of the right wing parties in northern countries would be perceived as almost dangerous leftism here. Also, since the 60’s we have seen the growing importance of focusing on the questions of “quality of life”, questions of the environment, discrimination, and the importance of human rights. These issues have been introduced mainly by the Greens, while the Pirates are concerned with the right to access information sources. However, I think that the socioeconomic point of view still holds its importance, and the financial crisis after 2008 has made it a rather strong issue globally.” Which political party or movement do you consider most “confusing” from this point of view? “To be honest, it seems to me that almost all parties are “confusing” these days. I miss discussions about deeper values, and while a certain level of pragmatism is always necessary, a party’s main values and ideas should be evident. This is the result of many parties’ small membership bases, other than the parties whose memberships strongly connect to the situation before November 89, namely KSCM and KDU-CSL. The other parties have very few (in some places close to zero) members. The memberships of CSSD and ODS are around 20,000 and that is rather small, and it strengthens the tendency of competition between single power fractions. TOP 09, without Mayors and with the fading symbol of Karel Schwarzenberg, is rather a virtual party, as the municipal elections has showed, and the question is whether they can manage to anchor locally. ANO is structured like a company, which is nothing new in the world (see Berlusconi), but there is always a risk of managing to transform a “company” structure into the structure of a political

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interview party (or movement). How will very heterogeneous personalities, whom the party is marketing, tune up, and how will succession be managed after the founder and owner of the company steps down?” Can a political scientist actually go to the polls? “I think they should. It may be a bit different for them than the others, as sometimes there is too much strategy in their thinking.” During your studies, you came to political science through a combination of various fields. Today, the path is much easier. Is this good for the field? “Political science was created from various sources here, founded by people who felt close to it but were active in other fields.We can see the influence of social scientists, historians, lawyers, and philosophers. As a matter of fact, even today the main working places of political scientists are a little bit influenced by that founding spirit. Also, oftentimes political science is studied alongside other fields as well, and so a certain variety is therefore not only correct but also beneficial when the main contours of the field are preserved.“ Is it possible nowadays for a graduate of political science to find a good job and make a living from it? “I think it is. Of course, when deciding what and where to study, everybody should be interested in a concrete program of studies, including who the teachers are, where you might study abroad in foreign countries, and what internships and practical experience is offered. It is also important to realize what the final profile of the field looks like. For example, at VSE (University of Economics Prague) we try to profile the field that would connect economic and political science, i.e. so the students have not only the basic knowledge of both fields, but so that we can gradually introduce new courses in this inter-field background. These subjects may include lobbying, anti-corruption activities, as well as the functioning of institutions, decision making processes, and control mechanisms. And of course non-governmental organization activities, which we often cooperate with closely. For example, I am active in The Otakar Motejl Fund, and my colleague cooperates closely with the Transparency International. In this way we also try to develop internships for the master´s degree students.” So they have no problem finding work? “That is basically correct, but we have only been active for a short time. The field is developing, and meanwhile we are paradoxically facing a lack of students. It is true that for bachelor´s degree students the requirements for matriculation exams are very demanding – mathematics and two languages. And due to a fall in demographics this year, we were not able to open the field, and we have not even listed it for the following year. We will see if the problem can be solved. The follow-up master´s degree program also has examinations in economics and one foreign language. For the bachelors who did not study at the VSE, the demands on economics may also be quite hard, but on the other hand there is nowhere else with such an excellent profile combined with the possibility of practical experience and foreign trips, which is absolutely unique.”

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What are the students of today like? Generally we hear about a lower standard of students. “There is no doubt that the quality of university applicants has been in decline. It is not only because of a declining population, the problem is also the senseless politics aimed towards increasing the number of university students. On top of that, we adopted the ideal image of a successful person as a “manager” type: young, assertive, dynamic, flexible; one who makes decision based on instant results, regardless of the fact that he may possibly destroy long-term foundations of a company or institution. Ethics, empathy, respect for knowledge, and life experience are actually disappearing from education and management teams. It is certainly necessary to consider the competitiveness of graduates in the labor market, but we are going toward the opposite extreme, where students are not actually getting a real “education”. This is going to limit them in the future, and it will have a very negative impact on society. This is not only happening here; an Austrian researcher named K.P. Liessmann nicely analyzed this in his book Theory of (Non)education, which is definitely worth reading and thinking about. With a bit of ironic hyperbole I described this managerial type in the book “Něco se muselo stát” (Something Must Have Happened), suggested and edited by Václav Cílek. I have a short text there called “Ať žijí manažeři” (Long Live the Managers).” But our schools do not produce only this kind of student. “Of course, there are also great managerial students and great graduates. But it is also necessary to teach students how to think critically, based on a certain overview, and knowing how to defend opinions, while at the same time being able to accept the convincing opinions of opponents. To be able to listen, and try to understand problems in a wider context is very important. I have great experience with students for example at our Vysočina Summer School, where we usually have around 30 students, and the education is rather interactive, and in the evenings we have discussions with interesting guests and important personalities. Under these circumstances you see the students in a completely different way, as they gain much more knowledge and in a certain sense they personally mature.” Originally you were a historian, and at the beginning of your professional career you focused on the modern history of Latin America. From there you got into political science. Is the political scientist´s work harder in Latin America than here? “The work of a political scientist is the same everywhere. You introduce research questions which reflect the issues of a particular society or region. It may not seem so, but many issues (legal culture, corruption, ineffective and politicized state administration, weak civil society) are similar. By the way, recently there was an interesting conference in Hradec Králové focused on the issues of democracy and state in Latin America and post-communist Europe, and there are many topics for comparable political science. At my department, I have an intern from Brazil and currently we are considering a publication on post-communist Europe and Latin America, in cooperation with Czech

and Latin American researchers, which would then be published in Brazil.” Have you ever thought of moving to Latin America? “There were some offers, but the beginning of the 90’s brought the foundation of the discipline of political science here, and at that time I considered this most important. It was really demanding, you could not make money in it, but it was fascinating. No other generation of political scientists will experience this. I founded a specialized magazine “Politologická revue” (Political Science Revue), and this year on the occasion of its 20th birthday I passed the position of editor-in-chief to my successor. Contacts with foreign countries and cooperation with foreign researchers have always been a natural necessity. I was a member of the executive board of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) for six years, and for three years I even served as one of its vice presidents. My seat expired in 2006, but this year the association asked me to become one of the three editors of the magazine World Political Science Review. I was really pleased.” The public will also remember your work for the Accreditation Commission. After spending so much time there, would you choose another approach, for example in the case of the Law University in Pilsen? “Public awareness of the Law University in Pilsen still remains. However, I also find it very important that in the Accreditation Commission we constantly prevented taking the same approach toward education as toward doing business at a Vietnamese market – minimal cost with maximum profit. The quality of students then corresponded with that approach. I say “prevented” and not “always successfully prevented”, as the powers of the Accreditation Commission are, as with any other institution, limited by law, which means all negative opinions must be clearly and properly justified according to the law. Many businessmen with educations can find unbelievable ways to bypass quality control. Our education system has many problems, conditions are changing all the time, and the public school system is strongly under-financed, so we often find various problems. However, you can distinguish two different types of schools based on their reactions to our notice about their problems. The first type tries to solve the problems, even though it may be step-by-step and slowly. The second type of school hires advocates to help them protect “the right for low-quality education”, and then they provide confusing information, information that has no meaning, while refusing to provide the information which is relevant. I have even seen a defense by advocates who argued that the reproach of the Accreditation Commission, regarding the school’s acceptance of bad-quality bachelor´s dissertations, is irrelevant, because the law does not say that bachelor´s dissertations should be of a good quality.” By Jaroslav Kramer české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

diplomatic event


From left: Iva Mrázková, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Michal Wittmann, former Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Irena Pelikánová, Judge at the General Court, Court of Justice of the EU, Pierre Bley, Marchal of the Grand Ducal Court, H.E. Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic , and H.E. Petr Kubernát, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


On January 29th 2015 Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek together with his Luxembourg colleague Jean Asselborn re-opened the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg after a two year break. The reception organised by the new Czech Ambassador in Luxembourg Petr Kubernát on that occassion was attended by a hundred prominent guests . The Czech Embassy is located in the very famous „Maison Pierre Werner“, house of former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, belonging to the Czech state since the year 2004. Building of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Luxembourg

From left: Michal Wittmann, former Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, President of ATSL and H.E. Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

From left: H.E. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign end European Affairs of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, H.E. Petr Kubernát, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republig to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, H.E. Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and H.E. Mars Di Bartolomeo, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Henri Werner, son of the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and former owner of the building of the Czech Republic Embassy

From left: H.E. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, H.E. Lubomír Zaorálek , Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and H.E. Petr Kubernát, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

From left: Jacques Santer, former President of the European Commission and Lubomír Zaorálek Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

From right: H.E. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign end European Affairs of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, H.E. Mars di Bartolomeo, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Luxembourg, Marc Angel, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Chairman of Foreign Commission, Luxembourg, Joelle Elvinger, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, of the Luxembourg, H.E. Michele Pranchere-Tomassini, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg to the Czech Republic, and Iva Mrázková, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic


Photo: Archive


Vladimir Bärtl, Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade


THE CZECH – SAUDI BUSINESS FORUM Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia: Towards a Strategic Partnership.

The first Czech – Saudi business forum took place at Žofín Palace, November 5th, organized by Shobokshi Investment led by company owner, honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia and chairman of the Czech - Saudi Chamber of Commerce Hussein Shobokshi. Czech and Saudi business representatives, government officials, import & export managers and trade specialists met to discuss development of strategic partnerships and business relationships between both countries. The forum set up an ambitious goal to find new roads and ways of creating opportunities in the market through strengthening relationships between the Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia. Experts shared their experience but also promoted trade and investment opportunities between Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic.

From left: Pavel Šrédl, MSc, Technical Director, DN Formed Brno, s.r.o., Ing. Petr Strnad, CSc., Director of International Collaboration and Research, DN Formed Brno s.r.o., and Mgr. Lucie Karalova, Nurse, Life and Work in Saudi Arabia

From left: H.E. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Czech Republic, Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Mgr. Lucie Karalova, Nurse, Life and Work in Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Martin Vrba, MBA, Managing Partner, G5 Plus s.r.o., President Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce

Ing. Zbyněk Frolík, Chief Executive Officer, Linet Group SE and Vita Vala, Strategy Director, SIKO koupelny a.s.


Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, CzechSaudi Chamber of Commerce

From left: Carman Kobza, Investor, OPW Fueling Components, Jan Rott, Senior Vice President, Sales, Agile Europe, and Dr. Vladimír Sys, Chief Executive Officer, Agile Europe


From left: Miloš Janů M.Sc. (Econ.), Marketing Manager, ECOFLUID Group s.r.o., Tomáš Plachý, PhD., Chairman & CEO, Chemoprojekt, a.s., and Jaroslav Jansa, PhD., Senior Consultant, MacTechCity s.r.o.

Engr. Tarek O. Al-Kasabi, Chairman of the Board, Dallah Health

H.E. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Czech Republic

From left: Adam Nizar Homsi, Conference Interpreter, Sworn Translator, H.E. Jiří Slavík, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, and Ali Shobokshi, Shobokshi Investment s.r.o.

Audience Dr. Martin Vrba, MBA, Managing Partner, G5 Plus s.r.o., President, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Nadia Baeshen – Dean of CBA, University of Business and Technology

Ing. Zbyněk Frolík, CEO, Linet Group SE

Ing. Michaela Tesařová, Tax Advisor, C.P.A. Tax Partners

From left: Mgr. Ing. Michal Pravda, Attorney, Pravda Legal and Dr. Martin Vrba, MBA, Managing Partner, G5 Plus s.r.o., President Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce From left: Dr. Martin Vrba, MBA, Managing Partner, G5 Plus s.r.o., President, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, and Ing. Zbyněk Frolík, Chief Executive Officer, Linet Group SE

From left: Engr. Tarek O. Al-Kasabi, Chairman of the Board, Dallah Health and Maher Saleh Jamal, Chairman Board of Directors, Makkah CCI



From left: H.E. Jiří Slavík, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, Ing. Miloš Janů, Partner, ECOTRADE FLUID SYSTEMS, Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, H.E. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Czech Republic, Ilja Mazánek, MBA, Head of Middle East Section, Chamber of Commerce, and Prof. Michal Mejstřík, Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Český Aeroholding

From left: Josef Tichý, General Director, Chairman of the Board, Explosia a.s. and Hani AL-Robai, CEO Manager, ALROBAI GROUP S.R.O.

From left: Merouane Sadqi, husband of Mrs. Otmani, H.E. Suriya Otmani, Ambassador of Morocco to the Czech Republic, and MgA. Pavel Štastný, Art Director, The Art of Cultural Diversities

H.E. Jiří Slavík, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia

Kamal H. Shukri, Attorney At Law and Legal Advisor, Hussein Shoukri Law Firm

Ing. Petr Vizdal, MBA, Business Development Director, Skoda Transportation, a.s.


Basil M. Al Ghalayini, Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group

From left: Basil M. Al Ghalayini, Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group and Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce

Nada Masoudi, Chief Nursuring Office, Security Forces hospital


Gala Dinner

From left: Khalid Shobokshi, Shobokshi Investment s.r.o., Chalid Bitar, Shobokshi Investment s.r.o., MgA. Pavel Štastný, Art Director, The Art of Cultural Diversities, Dr. Martin Vrba, MBA, Managing Partner, G5 Plus s.r.o., President Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Linda Klementová, Project Manager, Shobokshi Investment; Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Jakub Koudela, Head of Trade Office, Merko CZ a.s., Vice President CzechSaudi Chamber of Commerce, and Ali Shobokshi, Shobokshi Investment s.r.o.

Gala dinner at Žofín Palace

Nadia Baeshen, Dean of CBA, University of Business and Technology

From left: Carman Kobza, Investor, OPW Fueling Components and Ing. Kamil Kolesa, Private Banker, Arrow Advisory AG From left: Eduard Forejt, National Director, Jones Lang LaSalle, and MgA. Pavel Štastný, Art Director, The Art of Cultural Diversities

From left: Kamal H. Shukri, Attorney At Law and Legal Advisor, Hussein Shoukri Law Firm and H.E. Jiří Slavík, Czech Ambassador in Saudi Arabia

From left: Engr. Tarek O. Al-Kasabi, Chairman of the Board, Dallah Health, Basil M. Al Ghalayini, Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group, H. E. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Czech Republic, Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Saudi Arabia, President, Shobokshi Investment, Chairman, Czech-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, and H.E. Jiří Slavík, Czech Ambassador in Saudi Arabia


interview An interview with Jiří Pospíšil, Member of the European Parliament

Photo: Martin Weiss

One of the most popular politicians, Jiří Pospíšil, moved from the domestic scene to the European last autumn. The former Minister of Justice, Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies and local representative in Plzeň celebrates his 40th birthday this year. What are his goals in the European Parliament and why is he active in the Meda Mladek Foundation?

“Considering the Size of the European Parliament, Legislative Procedures Function Very Effectively Here” 42 Leaders Magazine I/2015

interview Dear Dr. Pospíšil, how is your “life” in Brussels? How often are you actually there? I strive to be in Brussels and Strasbourg for all meetings of the European Parliament, which means half of every week. My life here is still purely about work; I spend all day at the meetings or in my office, then I go to the hotel and fall asleep immediately. Unfortunately, I even did not have a chance to visit the main Brussels galleries and museums, which is my great hobby. I spend the other half of the week in the Czech Republic, either in The Kampa Museum or lecturing somewhere, trying to give people insight into the workings of the European Parliament and European Union, and at the same time I am interested in their opinions on the Czech and European policies. I do not want to be a politician who loses touch with his country and voters because of his career in Brussels. What are your personal priorities for your work in the European Parliament? And do they fully match those of your party? It would not be fair to claim that as a newcomer and MEP from a smaller member country I may influence the European Parliament in a substantial way. Therefore, I see my top priority of a Czech MEP in the active representation of Czech citizens. That is why I strive to consider all proposals on directives and regulations coming to the Parliament mainly with regards to the interests of the Czech Republic and Czech citizens. In addition, I try to pay attention to the issues of human rights; I find it important that Europe also supports the protection of human rights in other parts of the world. In my opinion, it is really essential to support partnerships with the countries of the former Soviet bloc, which want to cooperate with the EU and conduct a foreign policy independent from Russia. The EU must support such countries because Russia obviously tries hard to enhance its influence even outside its territory. What is the biggest difference between the work in the European Parliament and our home “chamber land”? The main difference is the fact that in the Chamber of Deputies each deputy may speak out on a certain topic basically at any time, but in the European Parliament it is very difficult to get a chance to speak out at the plenary session. It is no wonder, with as many as 750 MEPs, it is really complicated to let everybody speak out. Therefore, active work in committees and at the meetings of factions is important. Did you manage to get oriented in European law before coming to Brussels? And what was the biggest surprise for you in this aspect? Yes, I think I may say that thanks to my work at the position of the Minister of Justice at the time of the Czech presidency, I was quite well informed about European law. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that considering the huge size of the European


Parliament, legislative procedures function very effectively here. How much does it represent a commitment for you that you are one of the most successful politicians as far as elections are concerned? It is an enormous commitment for me. As I have publicly said many times before, at the moment when voters stop supporting me, I will withdraw from politics and I will fully focus on The Kampa Museum – The Jan and Meda Mladek Foundation. Unlike some Czech politicians I am lucky not to be fully dependent on politics, which means I can leave any time. I think it is quite a tragedy when a politician becomes a slave of his salary and he is not able to make a living outside of the parliamentary seats. I have met such people during my career, and I must say that their opinions were often influenced by their effort to appeal to their party and not lose their position. Do you follow the developments surrounding a new Civil Code and its possible amendment? Of course I do, like everything else connected to the affairs of The Ministry of Justice. I am unhappy about the developments surrounding the Civil Code. I am convinced that in spite of some partial flaws, which the code has, its objective was successful until now. No legal collapse, anticipated by its opponents, has come. It will be possible to evaluate the benefits of this code only after some time, but I really think that in a few years, Czechs will be happy that it was possible to push the code through. I consider the current efforts of the Ministerial

management to amend the Civil Code at any cost a political game, furthermore encouraged by personal motives, rather than a serious outcome of professional discussion on how the new Civil Code should be changed. The media largely discusses the meeting position of the Czech Republic in Europe. What does your experience tell you? In my opinion, unfortunately, the position of the CR in Brussels is not very good. We do not always act as a reliable partner in Brussels, which respects its obligations. Since the moment when during our EU presidency in 2009, the opposition under the leadership of Jiří Paroubek threw down the government of Mirek Topolánek, our reputation in the Union has not been very good. And as usual, regaining lost trust is much harder than losing it. Our disunited foreign policy is criticized as well, right? Yes, that is right. Our recent foreign policy is perceived controversially, mainly because of the statements of some of our representatives regarding the events in the east of Ukraine. Trivializing this crisis from the side of our president definitely did not contribute to a good reputation of the CR in Europe. How much interest from Czech media do you experience about developments in the European Parliament? Unfortunately, the European agenda is not very interesting for Czech media. Maybe

Leaders Magazine I/2015 43

interview still very successful in this respect, and that last year we reached 85 thousand visitors, who we prepared 14 interesting exhibitions for. The Museum also carries out an important public service by offering free special programs for students, which, to my delight, are vastly used by basic and secondary schools. What activities with the Foundation are you planning? As I already said, currently I connect with the foundation during all my free time and when I leave politics, I will do that full time. There is a whole range of planned activities, besides organizing important exhibitions. For example we are also trying to acquire tenancy at Werich´s villa, where we would like to create an interesting place reminiscent of the life and works of this Czech genius.

because developments in the European Parliament are not so full of conflicts or even scandals, as is the case with our national politics. With a bit of cynicism I dare say that Czech journalists are most often interested in the MEP´s salary, rather than current happenings in the Parliament. Are you glad that Věra Jourová became an EU commissioner? Moreover in the area that is so close to you… From the options that were gradually offered, the choice of Věra Jourová is the most suitable. Due to the weak position of the Czech Republic during negotiations, unfortunately we did not get the portfolio which our government wanted, and thus Věra Jourová dealt with issues which she has not dealt with in the past at all. However, the area of judiciary, consumers rights, and equality of genders is very complicated, and I only wish that our EU commissioner finds her footing in her position quickly, so that she can become an active member of the Commission. Don´t you miss the work of the executive power, concretely at the Ministry of Justice? I would be lying if I said no. I enjoyed working as a minister very much because I was actually convinced of its meaningfulness and I saw clear results of our work. During the time of my service we successfully pushed through two important codes – Criminal Code and Civil Code – then more than 40 bills and amendments, which in my opinion led to an improved quality of legal environment in the CR. The work of deputies is interesting too, of course, but you do not see the results of your effort so clearly there.

44 Leaders Magazine I/2015

How do you perceive the current development around the state prosecutor´s office? After all, you were a source of the principles discussed today. I am really sorry that the current management of the Ministry, even though they officially took a draft from 2011 (prepared, when I was heading the resort, as the basis for the new law on the state prosecutor´s office) has vastly degraded the original draft. By making their amendments they have gradually relativized its creators´ efforts for strengthening the independence of the state prosecutor´s office, as well as limitations on the influence of the political power of prosecutors. I am beginning to be very afraid that under the reign of this government there are not conditions for passing a meaningful law on the state prosecutor´s office. Over the last few years, you have intensively engaged in The Meda Mladek Foundation. Have you become an art fan? I dedicate all my free time to The Jan and Meda Mladek Foundation and Museum Kampa. It has been my great honor that Mrs. Meda Mládková entrusted me with the administration of the foundation, which means I can contribute to the development of her artistic visions. I would be glad if Museum Kampa remained a prestigious fine arts address in the future as well, visited by both Czechs and tourists alike. I am pleased that the museum is

You are going to celebrate your life jubilee this year in November. Do you have any personal goals to fulfill until then? An interesting question.. :) I will be 40 this autumn, and even though I try not to look into the past too much, on such an anniversary you might not completely escape this. I have been satisfied with my life so far and I will remain satisfied in the future as well, if my health serves me well and I am happy in my private life. I am not planning more, we will see what the future brings. Author: Jaroslav Kramer Translation: Martina Hošková české znění naleznete na našich stránkách



TIME FOR MEN TALK! When we started our firm our vision was and is to become the leading expert in gender integration issues at work. This simple statement meant that we wanted to support organizations to create a sense of balance and complementarity within its workforce. That both men and women would be able to

feel fully engaged and deliver great results. It has been quite a powerful and exciting process. I always have said that we needed to offer female employees training and learning experiences that help

debunk wrong perceptions and incorrect paradigms at work.

It is also time to reach out to the other 50% of the population- men. During our work we have seen two significant tendencies surface- first- women become aware of the behavior that is not applicable at work anymore, and second - men become aware of the subtle nuances related to women expectations as well as how unconscious biases can have a pivotal impact in decision

making process such as determining whether a female candidate is promotable, ambitious for more, and committed to work. A couple of days ago the Wall Street Journal published a great article that specifically address this issue. The article- Women at Work: A Guide for Men summarizes what we have seen in our day-to-day interactions with our clients. As the article puts it -“even the most well-intentioned male managers can be clueless when dealing with women in the workplace”, and it’s the reason for writing my book and the title I chose.

The article, just like I mention in my book, helps identify specific behaviors and perceptions that have created a sticky floor for both men and women as it relates to understanding how to best leverage talent. One example which comes up over and over again is the issue related to ambition. During my research what came up over and over again is the “clash” and mixed message between how girls are socialized and the expectations society puts on girls and young women versus the way boys are socialized and the expectations they bring to work. Women are told to wait and boys are told to seek and compete. No wonder men are always confused about how to determine whether a female employee is ready for the next promotion. The fact that women do not say what they want, they wait for the offer, they still miss on seeking stretch assignments, they lack networks that validate their contributions, the list goes on, but all these keep most men within their own male context. And so the vicious circle continues. Men asking what else they can do and women waiting for an invitation that many times comes too late. It’s time to break this circle. Europe has taken huge steps towards more integration and diversity at work. 2015 is a pivotal year to move the dialogue from just diversity to full inclusion- leveraging gender complementarity. As we look into the future lets continue forward with unwavering commitment. From our end we want to close with a big Thank You and by announcing our agenda for 2015 It’s time for MEN Talk! Photo: Archive


By Elisabet Rodriguez Dennehy, President Rodriguez and Associates LLC Leaders Magazine I/2015 45

Photo: Archive




On Sunday, December 21, Hilton Prague and Hilton Prague Old Town organized the 18th annual Christmas Charity Concert to support Tereza Maxová Dětem Foundation. Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager of both Hilton Hotels in Prague, was happy to hand over a cheque in the value of 100,000 Czech Crowns to the Foundation Director Terezie Sverdlinová. Same as the previous year, the concert was held under the auspices of the Embassy of the Indian Republic. Brno Philharmonic headed by the Indian conductor Mr. Debashish Chaudhuri, featuring Alena Schutová as a soloist, brought the festive spirit to life. International Chamber Ladies' Choir Viva Voce conducted by Soňa Frýdlová delighted the audience by traditional Christmas carols. Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager of Hilton Prague and Hilton Prague Old Town together with Terezie Kašparovská, presenter, led the audience through the evening. After the concert, guests enjoyed festive Christmas buffet dinner in the magnificent atrium lobby accompanied by piano music. International Chamber Ladies' Choir Viva Voce

46 Alena Schutová, Soloist and Debashish Chaudhuri, Conductor

From left: Aloysius Guntur Setyawan, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Somnath Chatterjee, Chargé d‘affaires, Embassy of the Republic of India with his wife, Terezie Sverdlinová, Director, Tereza Maxová Dětem Foundation, H. E. Nadzirah Binti Osman, Ambassador of Malaysia, Claudia Specking and Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Prague & Hilton Prague Old Town Terezie Kašparovská, Presenter and Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Prague & Hilton Prague Old Town

From left: Mrs. Papia Chatterjee, Somnath Chatterjee, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of the Republic of India, and Lenka Černá, M.A., Manager of the Conductor

From left: Robert Inneman, Sales Director, Janka Engineering, RNDr. Antonín Korenčík, Director and Owner, Gesto Computers, Friend of Ms. Korenčíková, Ms. Dominika Korenčíková, Filip Eisenreich, Executive Director, Lloyd Coils Europe and Janka Engineering, Claudia Specking and Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Prague & Hilton Prague Old Town




From left: Mrs. Papia Chatterjee, Somnath Chatterjee, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of the Republic of India, Debashish Chaudhuri, Conductor, and Jana Chaudhuri, Pianist


From left: Terezie Kašparovská, Presenter, Markéta Šebková, Cluster Marketing & PR Manager, Hilton Prague & Hilton Prague Old Town, and Terezie Sverdlinová, Director, Tereza Maxová Dětem Foundation

International Chamber Ladies' Choir Viva Voce

Markéta Dvořáková, grand-granddaughter of Antonín Dvořák, Wellington Management London with her husband Rahul Ghosh

media power

2015: CHOOSE YOUR MEDIA WELL Looking back at 2014, it isn’t hard to draw the conclusion that the Czech media has been one of the most dynamic industries in terms of mergers, acquisitions, movers and shakers. Publishing houses changed ownership; reputable journalists left established newsrooms to test their chances on the open market; new titles were launched; new hopes emerged. For media-savvy leaders, this is both an opportunity and a reason to watch your media back much closer. Here is an overview of a few of the most important events that occurred on the Czech media market last year: z Complete redesign of Lidové noviny (spring) and Mladá fronta Dnes (October) following the Mafra acquisition by Agrofert in 2013; z Disappearance of the Ringier brand from the Czech market following the acquisition of the publishing house by Czech News Center (CNC) of Daniel Křetínský and Patrik Tkáč. Enforcement of the Blesk brand via expansion into financial and gas distribution services. z Launch of the online television DVTV by Daniela Drtinová and Martin Veselovský under the Economia publishing house (May). At the same time Economia ended the publication of its specialized titles Bankovnictví, FP-Finanční poradce, Finanční management and HR Management. z Launch of publishing house Echo Media (March) by Dalibor Balšínek, former head of Lidové noviny. The online portal was backed up by a print weekly in autumn. z Launch of the monthly Reportér (September) by Robert Čásenský, former head of Mladá fronta Dnes. z Launch of the weekly Téma (October) by Mafra Cristina Muntean is a professional communications advisor, media trainer and coach. She has more than 12 years’ experience in Czech, Romanian and international media. In August 2010, Cristina founded Media Education CEE, a Prague based premium PR advisory and training agency. Her clients are top managers, diplomats and public officials who aim to make their voice heard in their community. In June 2011, Cristina was elected president of the Czech PR Klub and in January 2012 elected chairwoman of the Marketing Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Prague. Cristina speaks Romanian, French, English and Czech and can be reached at


z Departure of Ondřej Neumann from Ekonom and launch of investigative reporting server Hlídací pes. The project was joined at the end of the year by Robert Břešťan, formerly Ekonom’s main commentator. What does it mean for your media relations? If you try to put some meaning on the rapid events on the Czech media market for your own communications strategy, here is what you should consider. Both new and established titles and media houses are hungry. They are hungry for unique content and they are hungry for your advertising budgets and partnership resources. What does it mean concretely? 1. More pressure on strategic media partnerships. As new titles need to survive and old titles need to show their new owners that they deserve a chance, you will face more pressure on putting your money where your mouth is and support the media outlets financially or through other resources (such as distribution channels). The lines between genuine and partnership media content will remain or become even more blurred. 2. More pressure on unique content generation. If you have any skeletons left in your closet, now it’s the best time to pull them out and decide what to do with them. The probability that a reporter might knock on your door and ask you about it is higher than ever before. Rookie and established reporters alike will strive to show the society that they have a legitimate role under the sun and that they deserve support. There is little in stopping a good reporter from the scent of a good story. We can also expect that, with the return of sounder economics, more investments will be made into journalist education, particularly in the field of social media research and communication. What does it mean for you personally? In the light of the media context above, here is a list of steps to consider this year: z Be very, very careful what you post on social media. As more reporters join and share information on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the like, we can expect that more stories will be grounded in reckless social media communication. z Learn to speak in front of a video camera with full confidence. Not only because you might get an invite to DVTV and stand the fire of some of the most reputable interviewers on the Czech market, but also because video communication is become more and more part of our daily lives. z Learn to express your ideas shortly, powerfully, in written. Since LinkedIn launched

Photo: Archive

its blogging feature for everyone in February 2014, the platform has become a power engine for knowhow sharing among experts worldwide. It is prone to become so in the Czech Republic as well. Being able to write quickly and attractively means you being able to make a difference and set the stage for your next career move. z Learn to manage your image and reputation in line with your life vision and goals. If there is one thing I healthily recommend to all my clients, it is to clarify their direction in life as soon as possible. How can you know which path to take if you don’t know where you’re going? It works the same way in strategic communications. If you don’t know why you communicate in the first place, any small effort invested into know-how sharing feels like pulling a tooth. As soon as you realize that your communications activities – writing, blogging, accepting media requests and / or being active on social media – are a founding block to your career and life, your approach on communications will feel completely different. Last but not least: do only what matters. Don’t hesitate to quit or ignore platforms that are not in line with your life vision and goals. It is the harsh truth, but no one can possibly manage every single new communication tool in a powerful, consistent and professional way. Particularly if you’re managing your image and reputation on your own, choose well. Your voice, once out, is there to stay and you will want to be proud of your deeds long years from today. By Cristina Muntean české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 49

charity event This year with Number 21 Charity Academy was moderated by renowned film director Zdeněk Svěrák and actor Jan Budař.



Charity Academy is a TV show of a renowned and famous film director Zdeněk Svěrák that supports Centrum Paraple – helping disabled adults and children. The show is live broadcasted by Czech TV and Czech radio and in 2014 it raised more than 6 million Czech crowns.

During the TV show many sponsors donated generous financial support to Centrum Paraple.

Audience Ilona Csáková, Singer

Pavel Šporcl, Violinist

50 Ode to Joy was performed at the end of the program with a new text from Zdeněk Svěrák.



OR BOTH? Which came first - the chicken or the egg? Do great leaders learn to be superb inspirational figures? Or is it all in the genes and do people with exemplary leadership skills have a natural aptitude for the job? The old ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ question! Can we finally put this age-old argument to rest and come to a conclusion? Let’s go to basics first. Encyclopaedia Britannica states: “Leadership - exercising of influence over others on behalf of the leader’s purposes, aims or goals.” Leaders are born not made: The 19th century Great Man theory believes that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership, claiming there are specific inborn characteristics which predispose people to be and become leaders. There is a significant difference between ‘learning a skill’ and ‘mastering one’, in the same way that some are born with outstanding musical or athletic talents. They will excel naturally in these areas but in others they would be like a fish out of water. This theory is supported by a 2013 research from UCL (University College London). The study is the first to identify a specific DNA sequence associated with the tendency for individuals to occupy a leadership position. Using a large twin sample, the international research team, which included academics from Harvard, New York University, and the University of California, estimate that a quarter of the observed variation in leadership behaviour between individuals can be explained by genes passed down from their parents. Although challenging the conventional wisdom that ‘leadership is a skill’, the study also admits that wisdom remains largely true, but “we show it is also, in part, a genetic trait”. If leaders were solely born, what is the point of the rest of us studying leadership or management? Tereza Urbánková is a PR, communications and marketing professional with over 15 years’ experience and proven success in industries such as hospitality, retail, IT, defence, broadcast, logistics and engineering. For the past eight years she has been working and living in London, UK; currently she is Head of Global Communications for Amec Foster Wheeler plc, a large international engineering consultancy. Tereza also works as a freelance consultant in the area of communications and PR. She speaks Czech, English, Spanish and Russian and can be reached on or through her LinkedIn profile.


Leaders are made, not born: Behavioural Theories believe that people can become leaders through the process of teaching, learning and observation and that leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time. Leadership learning is a lifetime activity. Good leaders seek out development opportunities that will help them learn new skills. Can enrolling for a programme on management and leadership make someone a leader upon completion? Can passion, charisma, influence, the ability to inspire and communicate, courage, selfdetermination and innovative mindset be taught? Will the granting of a certificate and a few letters before or after one’s name mean someone is a leader?

“BE NOT AFRAID OF GREATNESS: SOME ARE BORN GREAT, SOME ACHIEVE GREATNESS, AND SOME HAVE GREATNESS THRUST UPON THEM.” – WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, TWELFTH NIGHT Soft skills can be explained, but not implanted. The ability to share your vision takes more than a sophisticated PowerPoint presentation. Leadership can be learned by anyone with the basics. But an awful lot of leadership cannot be taught. The verdict: Leadership is a set of innate traits, refined and perfected over time with education, training and experience. Psychology Today has recently published: “The job of leading an organisation, a military unit, or a nation, and doing so effectively, is fantastically complex. To expect that a person would be born with all of the tools needed to lead just doesn’t make sense based on what we know about the complexity of social groups and processes… Yet, there is some ‘raw material’, some inborn characteristics that predispose people to be and become leaders.” The best estimates offered by research is that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made. However, there are other points to consider. For example, an aspect of being in the right place at the right time. You may be a leader but it also matters whether or not you are in the position within which your talents can shine forth. The discussion about leadership also needs to define the environment. Are we speaking about these

Photo: Archive

major performers (born or made) in an organisation, in an industry, in a society, in a country or in the world? Not everyone can be a leader just like not everyone can become a good actor. Some people will never have that trait in them while others have the latent ability and so can be taught how to lead. All the books and courses cannot turn a follower into a leader. Henry Kissinger said: “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” A leader knows where they are going and it is hard-wired in their thinking while a follower only knows how to get somewhere by reading a map or following someone else. To be a leader in a structured environment, one needs some formal training. Most people can learn to manage well, start a business, lead a project team since good management is based on rules - rules that can be learned and mastered. A leader also needs a mentor, someone aspiring to whose leadership style they want to emulate. Leadership is often a choice. A leader is a person who comes forward to take the challenge. If a leader rises up from the multitude, then that person was already a leader to begin with. Should someone have all the best training, nurturing and opportunities, but would rather be hidden in the crowd...not a leader. Leadership theories can be overwhelming. It is evident you cannot really support one side and negate the other. Although there are thousands of books, decade’s worth of well-documented studies, the debate can go on forever without arriving at a clear conclusion. By Tereza Urbánková české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 51

global perspectives

Jan M端hlfeit, Global Strategist, Coach, Mentor, Ret. Chairman Europe Microsoft Corporation Photo: Paul Pacey

Positively Disruptive GENERATION


global perspectives Our young generation is one of “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, cell phones, tablets, video games, and of course the Internet. They have been called by many names: the N Generation (N for Net), or the Digital Natives. Whatever we may call them, our young people have proven that they are radically different than any other previous young generation before them. Today’s youths – from kindergarten through university – represent the first generation of young people to grow up with disruptive innovation and technology. They are at home in the midst of the accelerated rate of change, replacement and innovation of technology. They not only follow this disruptive innovation, they demand it, they lead it. Therefore, I have found that the most useful designation for our young digital natives is the Disruptive Generation. They are “disrupting” the way we do business: many times their opinion carries more weight than that of their adult guardians, they exert their influence over other customers through the internet, and they are rising into business and political decision-making roles earlier than previous generations. However, this generation is bringing a positive disruption, as they are more connected and much more aware of big global challenges such as inclusive globalization, gap between the rich and poor, natural resources, multilateral world, and the list continues. Their thinking together with their use of technology will equip and help them address these global issues better than previous generations. Why is the young generation the disruptive generation? The young generation of today is unlike any other previous generation. Today’s youths differ from those of the past not only in the way they talk, the slang they use, the way they dress, their styles – these were the usual changing characteristics between previous young generations. But not anymore. The young generation of today is the first of its kind to understand the uses of new technology and to follow its change better than older generations. Young people have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using mobile devices, computers, video games, and all the other gadgets of the digital age. They are used to receiving information very fast. They prefer graphics before text, and hypertext before pen and paper. They function best in a network, especially social network, and they are always connected. These are the new characteristics or skills acquired and perfected by the young generation through years of interaction and practice. Everything in the lives of our youths is somehow touched by technology, and they seem to understand very well the enabling impact and influence technology has on our lives and indeed on our businesses. Young people have a powerful opinion when it comes to consumer behavior, both in their families and over other customers. For example, car manufacturers today have to take into consideration new research which says that more than half of the decision-making process on buying new family cars is in the hands of children below 15 years old. Young people also have influence over customers through the internet. They share their opinion quickly, repeatedly and


freely on social media and beyond, and managed to disrupt entire industries. An example is the hospitality industry. Websites like offer customer reviews that carry a lot of weight with consumers and act like an alternate advisor when deciding to make a purchase. But we cannot fully understand how as a result of the disruptive technological innovation around them, young people became a disruptive force themselves, without understanding the cycle between this generation and the technology they consume. Disruptive technological innovation There can be little innovation without technology, if any at all. The ICT industry (information and communications technology industry) started with room size computers for governments and corporations, and evolved to producing small gadgets for consumers in only four decades. How did huge computers get packed up in our pockets? Moore’s law predicted a technological evolution pattern that sums up this development. Transistors on a chip scaled down and multiplied, driving the computing power to double every year, while the size of devices actually decreased. While other industries experience a climactic change then plateau in terms of innovation, ICT keeps advancing at a fast pace, accelerating its rate of change. As technology accelerates in performance, it also brings innovation to every aspect of our lives – and it is a disruptive innovation. The capability of the latest technology rapidly enables the development of the next improved technology, which in its turn replaces or changes the previous technological product. Think of the evolution of cell phones, or indeed any other digital device. The positive power of disruptive innovation and the disruptive generation The rate of technological change and the wave of disruptive innovation create great opportunities in the market place. From a bakery to a bank, every and any business can be enabled if they choose to ride this wave of innovation and technology. And indeed, any bakery or bank should think of business in terms of software. If they choose not to, then others will take their place. I am currently coaching three global banks, and some important reminders I have for them is that even though a bank will maintain its core products, just how they will maintain and deliver them will continually change. This is where software and technology services play a crucial role because the delivery to customers and assuring their satisfaction is of crucial importance. Youths play a big role in almost any business because they have a big say in terms of how good and especially how bad a product is, and they love to share their opinion and plant it all over internet channels. As I mentioned earlier, the Disruptive Generation not only shares their opinion readily but also influences other consumers with those opinions. Furthermore, the young generation is rising into business and political decisionmaking roles earlier than previous generations. Just an example is European Union’s current foreign affairs minister from Austria who is only 28 years old. Young people are connected, dynamic and much more aware of big global challenges. That is why this generation is bringing a positive disruption. At the roots of their positive disruption are global concerns such

as inclusive globalization, closing the gap between the rich and poor, protecting our natural habitat, and multilateralism. Their thinking together with their use of technology has enabled them to address these global challenges better than previous generations. I believe the positive impact this generation will have on our world will be immeasurable. Why is there high unemployment among the digitally native Disruptive Generation? There are many issues with youth unemployment, but I can point out two main ones. They both relate to education: the structure of the education system and subjects taught seem to not prepare our students for the job market. As I mentioned earlier, our young people have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. Whether as a result of the disruptive technological innovation around them or the sheer volume and diversity of their interaction with it, today’s students think, process information, and learn very differently from previous generations. These differences go far and beyond the current structure of the educational system. But luckily, the solution is at hand – we must use technology in the classroom. I always say technology can do three things for the education system. Firstly, it can encourage personalized learning that combines graphics, text, audio and video to more easily fit different learning styles. Secondly, it can make learning globally accessible through the internet and cloud computing. Thirdly, it can enable global collaboration. For example, teaching tools can incorporate communication platforms like Skype where students can collaborate, help each other, or work in teams, wherever in the world they may be. The second issue related to education has to do with the subjects our young people are encouraged to learn. There seems to be a gap between the skills needed on the job market and the skills and knowledge our young people gain in schools. That might be due to the issue I explained above, as the teaching tools are not advanced enough to teach or keep interested our Digital Natives. Or, it might be due to not teaching enough of the requested subjects such as computer science, mathematics, and engineering. The Digital Natives consume technology better and faster than any other generation, a fact that has fundamentally changed them and the world, but they are not the main creators of that technology. I believe we are underutilizing the potential of the Disruptive Generation. They have the capability to propel our economies and our world into a new level of innovation and prosperity if we enable them with the right tools. They are already more connected than any other generation. The next step is to enable them with the skills and knowledge of how to create software, leverage Big Data and cloud computing. Our Disruptive Generation will fiercely take on global challenges and champion a new level of positive disruption we cannot yet imagine. By Jan Muehlfeit GLOBAL STRATEGIST I COACH I MENTOR NCEE – EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE RET. CHAIRMAN EUROPE – české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 53

Photo: Miguel Alonso

gala evening

IN COOPERATION WITH LEADERS MAGAZINE From left: Jiří Krejča, President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Radomír Šimek, former President, Czech German Chamber of Commerce with his wife, Peter P. Formanek, President Emeritus, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Mrs. Lucie Krejčová



It has been one of the traditions of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to conclude its annual events program with a pre-Christmas gathering. In 2014 the Chamber’s members as well as their spouses, friends, business partners and clients met at Žofín Garden on December 4. After a series of debating sessions, seminars, business mixers and sports events that the Chamber offered throughout the year, they enjoyed a celebration in the spirit of the approaching Festive Season on one of Prague’s most charming islands.

From left: Thomas Hrubý, Partner, Hrubý & Buchvaldek, Mrs. Victoria Kharchenko and Henri Proulx, Counsellor (Commercial), Embassy of Canada


From left: Barbora Florková, Embassy of Canada, Petr Bareš, Managing Director, Iguassu Software Systems, Mrs. Surivatsa Tumala, and Martina Taxová, Embassy of Canada

From left: Alice Štunda, Owner, Ron Stiles, Director, and Jitka Stiles, Principal, Sunny Canadian International School

Josef Nováček, Managing Director, Josef Nováček & spol.with his daughter

gala evening

From left: Peter Palečka, Board Member, Komerční banka and Tomáš Říha, Deputy Director, STEM/MARK

Klaudie Soukupová, Managing Director, Chateau Liblice Alexandra Brabcová, Executive Director, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Marek Uhlíř, Director, Cesta domů (charity partner of the evening)

Radek Moravec, Country Manager, McCain Foods with his wife

Charity sale for Cesta domů

H.E. Otto Jelinek, Ambassador of Canada From left: Jiří Krejča, President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and H.E. Otto Jelinek, Ambassador of Canada

Pavlína Rieselová, Managing Partner, Ewing Public Relations

55 From left: Jan Najman, Attorney, LTA Legal Tax Audit, Pavlína Beránková, Attorney, LTA Legal Tax Audit, and Matthew V. Duras, Managing Director, Johnny Servis

From left: Peter P. Formanek, President Emeritus, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Petr Hotovec, Business Director, Zenova services with his wife, and Mrs. Suzanne Formanek



From left: JUDr. Vojtěch Trapl, Lawyer and former Governor, LCI D122 Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Judr. Eva Stránská, Lawyer, P. Mgr. Milan Norbert Badal OP, Prague Archbishopric, Director of External Relations Department, and Mgr. Josef Nerušil, Prague Archbishopric, External Relations Department.


From left: Ing. Antonín Mika, Director, Foreign Trade Company “LAMMEX Ltd.“ and President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, Ing. Jiří Málek, Entrepreneur and former President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, and Ing. František Novotný, President, Association APST and Secretary, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador.

From left: Ing. Vladimír Páral, Writer and Prof. MUDr. Aleksi Šedo, DrSc., Dean, 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University with his wife

Ceremonial Charitable Reception of „Lions Club Praha Bohemia Ambassador“.

Běla Gran Jensen, Founder, Humanitarian and Charity Organization“ Hnutí na vlastních nohou – Stonožka“during her speech


From left: Ing. Antonín Mika, Director, Foreign Trade Company “LAMMEX Ltd.“ and President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, Ing. Anton Gerák, CSc., Commercial Director; former President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador and Secretary, LCI D122 Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, and Doc. MUDr. Martin Mates, CSc., Cardiologist, Senior Doctor of Cardiocenter in Hospital Na Homolce


From left: PhDr. Ladislav Říha, Owner, CK RI-Tours and former President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, Petr Laštovka, Entrepreneur, Ing. František Novotný, President, Association SDSS and APST and Secretary, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, JUDr. Jaroslav Šátral, Judge of the Municipal Court in Prague, Ing. Ladislav Bouček, CSc., Entrepreneur, former Governor, LCI D122 Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Ing. Antonín Mika, Director, Foreign Trade Company“ LAMMEX Ltd.“ and President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, and JUDr. PhDr. Oldřich Choděra, Lawyer, Charterpresident, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador and former Governor, LCI D122 Czech Republic and Slovak Republic


Guest of Honor: Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zíma,DrSc., Rector, Charles University, Prague Topic: Charles University and higher education


From left: Prof. MUDr. Václav Mandys, CSc. Head of Institute of Pathology, Prague and Ing. Anton Gerák, CSc., Commercial Director, former President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador and Secretary, LCI D122 Czech Republic and Slovak Republic

Lecturer Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., Rector, Charles University, Prague

From left: Ing.Antonín Mika, Director, Foreign Trade Company“LAMMEX Ltd.“ and President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, Prof. RNDr. Petr Hodek CSc., Professor of Faculty of Science, and MUDr. Blanka Seifertová, General Practitioner

From left: Prof. RNDr. Petr Hodek CSc., Professor of Faculty of Science, Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zíma, DrSc., Rector, Charles University, Prague, Ing. Antonín Mika, Director, Foreign Trade Company „LAMMEX Ltd.“ and President, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador, and Ing. František Novotný, President, Association SDSS and APST and Secretary, LC Praha Bohemia Ambassador


Photo: Archive

security conference

The second panel - from left: Ivo Možný, Sociologist, Masaryk University, Brno, Eva Syková, Senator, Director of Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Science, Vladimíra Dvořáková, University of Economics Prague, Václav Bělohradský, Sociologist, Università degli Studi di Trieste, and Daniel Miklós, Head of Crisis Management Department, General Directorate of Fire & Rescue Service of the Czech Republic






On November 7, 2014 the National Technical Library hosted 10th annual Prague Security Conference. Traditionally organized by the Center for Security Policy, CESES, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung the conference attracted more than three hundred participants. Audience at the conference

From right: Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in a debate with Jack Matlock, former Ambassador of the United States to Czechoslovakia (1981-1983) and to the Soviet Union (1987-1991)


From right: Markus Meckel, President of the German War Graves Commission, former opposition activist in GDR and Minister of Foreign Affairs of GDR (1990), Member of German Bundestag (1990-2009) discussing with H.E. Ha Yong Moon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Czech Republic

The first panel - from left: Vincenzo Camporini, Vice President of the Institute of International Affairs, former Chief of Defence General Staff, H.E. Ha Yong Moon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Czech Republic, Jack Matlock, former Ambassador of the United States to Czechoslovakia (1981-1983) and to the Soviet Union (1987-1991), Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Markus Meckel, President of the German War Graves Commission, former opposition activist in GDR and Minister of Foreign Affairs of GDR (1990), Member of German Bundestag (1990-2009).

security conference

The organizers with Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

From left: Miloš Balabán, Head of Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU, Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, H.E. Jean Pierre Asvazadourian, Ambassador of France to the Czech Republic, H.E. Aldo Amati, Ambassador of Italy to the Czech Republic, Mirko Hempel, Director, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Representation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and H.E. Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven, Ambassador of Germany to the Czech Republic

The audience from right: Libor Stejskal, Research Fellow, Center for Security Policy, H.E. Ha Yong Moon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Czech Republic, Miloš Balabán, Head of Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU, Jack Matlock, former Ambassador of the United States to the Czechoslovakia (1981-1983) and to the Soviet Union (1987-1991), Gen. Vincenzo Camporini, Vice-President of the Institute of International Affairs, former Chief of Defence General Staff, Italy, and H.E. Aldo Amati, Ambassador of Italy to the Czech Republic

From left: Arnošt Marks, Deputy Vice Prime Minister for Research, Development and Innovation and Aleš Gerloch, Vice-Rector of the Charles University in Prague

H.E. Ha Yong Moon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Czech Republic.

Opening remarks - from left sitting H.E. Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven, Ambassador of Germany to the Czech Republic, Mirko Hempel, Director, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Representation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Miloš Balabán, Head of Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU, Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and H.E. Jean Pierre Asvazadourian, Ambassador of France to the Czech Republic.

Markus Meckel, President of the German War Graves Commission, former opposition activist in GDR and Minister of Foreign Affairs of GDR (1990), Member of German Bundestag (1990-2009)

Organizers of the conference - Libor Stejskal, Research Fellow, Center for Security Policy and Miloš Balabán, Head of Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU talking to Eva Syková, Senator, Director of Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Science


The third panel - from left: Sven Hirsch, Z-punkt, The Foresight Company, Elena Telegina, Dean of Faculty of International Energy Business, Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Pavel Řežábek, Chief Economist of the Strategy Office, ČEZ, a.s., Tomáš Prouza, State Secretary for European Affairs, Jan Mühlfeit, Chairman ret., Microsoft Europe, Arnošt Marks, Deputy Vice Prime Minister for Research, Development and Innovation, Aleš Gerloch, Vice Rector of the Charles University in Prague, Květoslava Kořínková, Scientific Secretary, Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies, and Ivan Hodač, Member of the Board of Directors of the Aspen Institute Prague

security conference

Audience at the conference

H.E. Aldo Amati, Ambassador of Italy to the Czech Republic

Vincenzo Camporini, Vice President of the Institute of International Affairs, former Chief of Defence General Staff, Italy

From right: Jack Matlock, former Ambassador of the United States to Czechoslovakia (1981-1983) and to the Soviet Union (1987-1991) and Miloš Balabán, Head of the Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU

60 Miloš Balabán, Head of the Center for Security Policy CESES FSS CU

Elena Telegina, Dean of the Faculty of International Energy Business, Russian State University of Oil and Gas The fourth panel - from left: Roman Ulrych, Sales Director AMIT, Ltd., Jan Havlík, Director of Department of European Affairs and Domestic Trade, Gu Shengzu, Vice Chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, Michal Mejstřík, Institute of Economic Studies FSS CU, and Sang Woo Kim, President, Corporate Affairs and European Legal Compliance of Samsung Electronics Corporation, Ltd.


Photo: Pavel Chadima

golf event


Zlatá koruna GOLF CUP 2014

Corporate teams winners

Zlatá koruna GOLF CUP 2014 successfully completed the 12th year of the financial products competition of Zlatá koruna. Golf tournament - ran for the eighth time – became the cherry on the top of the whole competition. The tournament was held in Prague City Golf resort in Zbraslav. From left: Jaroslav Bouzek, Director IDK, Penzijní společnost - Česká pojišťovna, Alena Pacalová, Sales Manager, TOP HOTELS GROUP a.s., Radek Jalůvka, CEO, IPSOS, and Miloš Matula, HO Operations, Raiffeisenbank a.s.

From left: Jan Osúch, Spokesperson, CK Fischer and Jiří Běťák, Analyst, Office of the President of the Czech Republic, winner in category HCP 0-19,9

Golf tournament – beginning

From left: Petr Voráček, IDK, Penzijní společnost pojišťovna, Tomáš Gelnar, Architect, ING, winners in HCP 20-35,9

Tomáš Vejrych, Head of Distribution Support Department, conseq

Director - Česká Solution category

Fashion show


61 From left: Richard Dior, Owner, TOW IN, Jiří Vránek, Head of Controlling, Wüstenrot, winners in category HCP 36-54

the good things in life

GURUS OF NEW EATING (PART II ) “CHEFS THAT PROTECT US” Sometimes today´s meals in luxury restaurants can completely confuse us, and by far surpass our expectations, for instance when we see cabbage or cauliflower meals on our plates. Another surprise may come when the taste takes us back to the well-known meals of our childhood. At the center of healthy eating trends, these and other already forgotten or neglected products dominate the menus, and they can make us happy with their renewed flavors in the hands of masters. The magic thinking of modern chefs, along with their experience, innovation, and enthusiastic approach to eating, has become the fundamental turning point in cuisine since the 90’s of the last century. THE ITALIAN ANDREA PETRINI, Parisian gastronomy reviewer, is a kind of a new foodiescout, able to discover talents and make stars from young chefs. He helps to create connections and friendships among chefs who otherwise would have never had a chance to meet. When dining in the Takao Takano Rev restaurant in French Lyon, he rediscovered boletes with risotto in a strong chicken broth with watercress (nothing special, any female cook in a common European household can manage that). YOTTAM OTTOLENGHI AND SAMI TAMIMI were both born in Jerusalem, but at opposite parts of the city: Ottolenghi is a Jew and Tamimi is an Arabian. Their cooperation is a great

Best world women chefs

compilation of the Holy City in the kitchen, and a great contrast to what we quite rarely see in the field of politics. SERGIO NUÑEZ DE ARCO is a Boliviaborn businessman who made his name with the local grain quinoa, a food of the poor, yet rich in vitamins (with high protein content, without gluten, good for lowering cholesterol, etc.). Quinoa has

now become a gold mine for his country thanks to its growing popularity and exports to the USA. DAN BARBER’S name is connected with the revolution and rediscovery of cabbage for its nutritious qualities. Barber strives for the essential: knowing how to grow a healthy breed of plants, while maintaining the nutritious value that is commonly destroyed by pesticides, and how to harvest and distribute food so that it arrives fresh, lively, and healthy on our tables. is

Raw food plate

62 Leaders Magazine I/2015

VANDANA SHIVA, a physicist by education, an intellectual rebel fighting against

Famous Danish chef René Redzepi, Noma restaurant, Copenhagen

the good things in life

Fish plate by Nicolas Decherchi, Paloma restaurant, Mougin, France

a massive agricultural industry and supporters of genetically modified plants. Her charismatic performance and speeches help encourage the fight against GMO food, in spite of arguments that genetically modified food keeps the poor from starving. In reality, it has already become obvious that such food fills the stomach with an illusion of saturation, the same as if you eat a handful of cotton with no nutritious value, which leads to the long-term degeneration of an organism. FERRAN AND ALBERT ADRIA became famous for their revolutionary deconstructive, and almost laboratory approach, to the art of cooking, in their restaurant El Bullina (now closed) at the end of the last century. Deconstruction is one of the inventions of the Adria brothers which changed the face of gastronomy. To understand how it works, have a look at what it does to a classic meal from his mother country, “tortilla Española” – the Spanish omelet. In deconstruction, three single ingredients - eggs, potatoes, and onion - are cooked separately from each other. In the final product, one part is a potato foam (foaming is the method that Adria gave to the world), one part of the onion is processed as a puree, and one part of egg white is sabayon. Then, one separate component is served on the top of the other, in layers, and on the very top, fried potato crumbs are sprinkled. All of this comes in sherry glasses with a due portion of playful irony, present practically everywhere in what he does, while the name of the meal remains “tortilla Española”. He used the same method with many classic meals like gazpacho, chicken curry, and tiramisu. The fun of the thing is an ability to fully appreciate the new forms that offer new combinations of tastes, in a radically original interpretation.

David Chang, famous NYC chef

ALEX ATALA, René Redzepi, and David Chang are three of the most acclaimed chefs in the world, as well as good friends. Their friendship and mutual openness create a new world in “haute cuisine” which differs from the empire of old masters, those who intensively protected their cooking secrets. Each of them works with the products from the region they live, and all three of them give the highest priority to the origin of all ingredients and their healthy processing, free of any chemical adjustments or modifications. The empire of gastronomy is no longer just a male issue. In 2011, the Veuve Clicquot Award was founded for the best female chef in the world, which helped to publicize and reward culinary mastery of French Anne-Sophie Pic 2011, Spanish Elen Arzak 2012, Italian Nida Santini 2013, and Brazilian Helena Rizzo. All of them agree that culinary mastery is a way of thinking, an approach close to meditation, when every day brings something new and revealing. It is an unforgettable experience which concretely rewards them for all their hard work and effort, and fulfills their culinary dreams.

Helena Rizzo, Brazilian best world woman chef 2014, Mani restaurant, Sao Paulo

All mentioned chefs agree that a common filet of fish, freshly caught and perfectly prepared on the grill, may have the same pleasant taste as any sophisticated invention of the most recognized chef. Eating well is something that we can do at home, of course. The meaning of gastronomy is in its innovative approach and use of wholesome, quality products, which is the best experience for our taste buds, and brings joy to all of our senses. By Iva Drebitko Photos: Iva Drebitko, archive české znění naleznete na našich stránkách Alex Atala, Brazilian chef D.O.M. restaurant, Sao Paulo


Leaders Magazine I/2015 63

interview An interview with Vladimír Bärtl, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade

Ing. Vladimír Bärtl is a graduate geodesist and cartographer. In 1994 he co-founded the company HOUDEK s.r.o. focused on metrology and transfer of technologies. In 1999 he joined the state administration. He started at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for four years he worked at the Czech Embassy in Ottawa. Then he was an adviser to the Vice Minister of Industry and Trade. He is a co-author of the project “The New System of State Commercial and Economic Services Abroad” and Export Strategy 2006-2010. After this he moved abroad again, this time to the Czech Embassy in Paris. During the successive French and Czech presidency in the EU, he co-organized the program “Czech and French Economic Year”. He was a team member for the localization of the Galileo Managing Center in Prague. Last year, he was named Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, and he manages the Section of the European Union and Foreign Trade.

“IT IS NOT TRUE that we cannot influence anything in the European Union.”

Photo: Archive MIT


interview Dear Mr. Vice Minister, what happens in the Section of the European Union and Foreign Trade? “Originally, they were two separate sections that are now closely related, and if I simplify, there are several areas of agenda: the coordination of our relations with the European Union, which falls within our authority; issues of the domestic market of the European Union; trade policy and membership in international organizations; preparations and realization of the export strategy of the Czech Republic; and generally the area of export promotion. This also includes the creation and realization of foreign economic policy of the Czech Republic, as well as the issues of European and international law, again falling within the authority of the Ministry. As you can see, the matters administrated by us extend beyond and connect to both the Union as well as the foreign trade agenda. That is the core of our section.” What are your main goals for 2015? “It is a combination of two things – the Union, and international organizations connected to foreign trade. If you extrapolate, one priority is the creation of new jobs thanks to the growth of Czech businesses, and the fact that we are successful in mediating opportunities in foreign markets for them. The second priority is the growing reputation of the Czech Republic in the European Union, as well as among international organizations, and creating our international trade policy so that we can help internationalize our businesses.” I would like to discuss the first priority. Are the best opportunities in the Arabian Peninsula and in China right now? “Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs we try not to say in advance that a specific region is the priority for all sectors in general. On the contrary. We perceive the access to prospective markets individually. There are sectors for which China really is advantageous, but for others it is the region of Latin America, and yet for others it is sub-Saharan Africa. This is a diversion from the former perception of export orientation. A list was made of regions that were marked as priorities and in our interest. However, this may be confusing. Small and medium-sized enterprises, which would like to follow such advice, may find out that this kind of priority region for the Czech Republic is not necessarily the priority for them. Their goods may not be competitive there, or marketable…” Does it mean that for almost any sector an advantageous region can be found? “I cannot say that for every sector. For the sectors where we are strong, we have a comparative advantage and we see the potential. I would like to mention a tool which our colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were primarily working with. It is called the map of sector opportunities. With this tool we enter data into the common trade policy which we are responsible for. The map will be repeatedly updated. It is using the information verified at our Embassies and in foreign CzechTrade offices to help Czech businesses with better orientation abroad. The idea is to bring them up to a new level of trade. They do not have a list of the priority countries anymore, but they can have a look at where they may be heading with regard to their production or business programs. The result may show them a completely different region which has never been mentioned before. However, each


region in which we can successfully realize projects in sectors that Czech companies excel at, is a priority region for us.” Have you already received feedback from business circles regarding the new course of trade policy? “We hold intensive dialogue with business representatives, and with the Confederation of Industry of the CR, the Czech Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, trade unions, and others. None of the above mentioned institutions were intent on continuing with a purely regional approach. On the contrary, they support the sector approach. They appreciate and prefer having the resources of the state available to the businesses so that individual sectors can be directed to the regions where there is a chance for being successful. One great example of this is the very important united international network of foreign representative offices and foreign CzechTrade offices.” How limited is the network of representative offices? The Czech Republic does not have its offices everywhere… “That is correct. In the past, and due to the current political and economic situation, our representative offices were in fact being closed. Today, this policy is under re-evaluation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has re-opened many places which were recently closed down. We have also begun fresh communication efforts within the business sphere. This business sphere must be involved in the key and strategic decisions on the optimization of foreign offices. Economic diplomacy, and the promotion of our businesses abroad, is part of the key agenda of our Embassies.” So, medium-sized businesses are welcome at the Ministry as well? “Of course they are. The CzechTrade agency is clearly oriented toward the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses. Since last year, when the Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade was signed, the approach of our representatives abroad towards businesses has started to unite. The natural relationships that CzechTrade is promoting is business to business (B2B). Here, the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses are heard. When it is necessary to open doors, to cultivate business to government (B2G) relationships, this is a task for our economic diplomats, here at headquarters or at our representative offices. Until very recently, it was confusing that some services provided by the CzechTrade agency were paid for, while similar services could be mediated for free by our economic diplomats at the Embassies. Therefore, we created a single catalogue of services. It includes the services that are free all over the network, whether provided by a diplomat or a CzechTrade employee. Then, there is a superstructure of further services provided by CzechTrade. Another pillar of the agreement between the two resorts was a single input point for the whole system. This so-called Clients´ Center physically resides at the CzechTrade agency in Prague, and on days which are specified in advance, the businesses are assisted by both the representatives of CzechTrade as well as economic diplomats from the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs. For businesses this makes things more comfortable. They don´t have to think about where to go or if their requirements belong to B2B or B2G. They have one single place where the employees will sort their requirements out.” The second topic that you mentioned was the reputation of the Czech Republic within the European Union. How are we doing at the moment? “We are part of the so-called group of likeminded states. These are Scandinavians, Germans, the Baltics… As far as the approach towards our domestic market is concerned, we are perceived as hardcore, and with regards to free trade we belong among the most liberally minded states. Last year, we successfully formulated the common priorities of 13 member states in the domestic market of the EU, and these priorities could be partly reflected in the working program of the new European Commission. Regarding this, I want to demonstrate that it is not true that we cannot influence anything in the European Union. On the contrary, if we have enough discussions, and enough feedback from businesses, we are able to formulate our requests, negotiate them, and much more effectively promote them among the whole twenty-eight nation bloc. For example, in the committee for trade policy, where I take part, we can influence a row of allied member states and enforce our opinion at the Commission. At the same time, it enables us to observe and evaluate the development in the EU and its impacts on the CR.”

„Chinese Projects for 2015“ I. Official trip of the government delegation led by Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the CR to the People´s Republic of China on the occasion of the official participation of the Czech Republic at the 3rd year of the Chinese International Technology Fair (20th-25th April 2015) II. Visit of LIU Yandong, Vice Prime Minister of the People´s Republic of China for Health, Science, and Technologies on the occasion of the meeting of the ministers of health (Health Summit) within 16+1 (cooperation of the People´s Republic of China with 16 countries of the Central and Eastern Europe – SVE countries) in the Czech Republic (15th June -17th June 2015) III. Visit of WANG Zhiqing, Vice Administrator of the Civil Aviation Authority of the People´s Republic of China (CAAC) in the Czech Republic IV. Visit of MIAO Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technologies of the People´s Republic of China in the Czech Republic (unconfirmed) V. Official visit of Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Government of the CR in the People´s Republic of China (unconfirmed) VI. 10th meeting of the economic joint committee in Peking (unconfirmed) VII. China Invest Forum in the Czech Republic VIII. Meeting of the Prime Ministers of the SVE countries with China (unconfirmed)

Leaders Magazine I/2015 65

interview Well, how was it then with the sanctions between the European Union and Russia? Was our negotiating position strong there as well? “There were three waves. The first two were connected to individual persons and businesses that have taken part in destabilizing Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The next wave involved the corresponding sectors. Before the general agreement within the European Union was reached, discussions were going on. We were aware of the sanctions and we were able to consult with businesses in the sectors which were concerned. Based on the data from businesses, we managed to successfully argue in Brussels the fact that some of the considered measures may take aim more at the civil sector than the military or related goods. We were able to successfully argue and change the final version of the sanctions so that the economic impact would not be more serious for our civil sector than for the Russian side…” Can you be more specific? “The third wave of sanctions was planned to affect not only large areas of engineering but also petrochemistry, specifically technologies of hydrocracks and desulphurization. It turned out that our companies had a whole lot of civil projects under preparation in the Russian Federation. If they had left them, it would have meant a loss of around five billion crowns.” What is the latest information regarding the sanctions? “The results of the previous eleven months of 2014 show quite a big decrease in mutual trade. This is due to the overall worsened situation of the Russian economy, as well as uncertainty caused by the current political situation, and also restrictive measures due to the events in Ukraine. The volume of mutual trade in Czech crowns has decreased compared to the same period of the previous year by 7.5%; however, if we use EUR, it is over 13% due to the exchange difference. Our export in Czech crowns went down by 2.5%, in EUR by more than 8%. At this moment, devaluation of the Russian ruble is more essential for us. Since the beginning of 2014 it has lost almost 50% of its value. On the Russian side, this increases the cost of import of all items, no matter if they are affected by the sanctions or not. We are entering a brand new level of problems. If the situation is not solved in several months, the impact on Czech export will be more evident.” Will that affect all sectors? “Generally, Russian partners have problems creating sufficient ruble cash flow to meet their obligations in foreign currencies. So it is a general problem. Of course, this may affect Czech sectors such as engineering and automotive.” So, further development will be decided by the strength of the Russian currency rather than by the sanctions... “Speaking of the sanctions and counter-sanctions, it is still about the relationship between the European Union and Russian Federation. The devaluation of the Russian ruble may cause a domino effect on the whole region, on all countries that are geographically, through customs and trade, connected to the Russian Federation. There you can expect they will be influenced by the economic recession caused by the fall of the ruble.”

66 Leaders Magazine I/2015

What can the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade do to reduce the impacts on the Czech Republic? “For us, it is important to understand the timeline. This problem has its genesis and it is not the reason to leave the Russian market completely. There are many sectors which are not affected by the sanctions and countersanctions. The crisis situation may be perceived as a chance to search for new opportunities, and interesting prospective areas, no matter if it means business with sectors that were not essential until now. We try to maintain dialogue and perceive that the return to a deserted Russian market is more costly than continuing to work in some kind of a crisis mode. You may presume that after the situation is stabilized, those who deserted the market completely will have problems returning. It is better to try using personnel capacity as much as possible in the meantime.” Does that mean you will not leave the Russian market? “No, we are even considering a certain measure, which we are working on with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and which resulted from the implementation plan of the government from the middle of October last year. It regards the strengthening of economic diplomacy. Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs we have the capacity to increase our foreign network by ten positions of economic diplomats in various countries where we can see untapped potential. Now, we are discussing whether it may be useful to enhance the economic department at our Moscow Embassy as well, to be able to compensate for difficult conditions, focus on the regions and so on. We are discussing our views with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs right now.” Last question about Russia: What is the Ministry currently participating in? “The situation which has developed, i.e. the reaction of the European Union and the counter-reaction of Russia, was discussed at a working group by the Office of the Government. Many agencies were taking part. We were trying to find solutions that would help the businesses avoid serious harm. Among them, for example, was the strengthening of economic diplomacy, and measures to support the restoration of Ukraine, and so on. Regarding the situation with the ruble at the end of the year, we reacted at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. On the 22nd of December, the government acknowledged the establishment of the Interdepartmental Working Commission on the economic and trade dimension of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Thus we are building a platform for the meetings of the organizations of the state administration, representatives of business, and especially exporters who are affected by recent economic impacts. One such impact, the devaluation of the ruble, was already mentioned. This commission therefore is the second tool we are using, besides the working group by the Office of the Government. The commission has a wider dimension within the whole region. We organize seminars for business representatives, for example on the impact of ruble devaluation.”

“First, in April there will be an official trip of the government delegation to the People´s Republic of China, led by Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Parliament. This will coincide with our official participation in the Chinese International Technology Fair. Then we are expecting the visit of the Vice Prime Minister of China for Health, Science and Technologies during the meeting of the ministers of health within 16+1, which means the cooperation of the People´s Republic of China with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The important event for us will be the visit of the Vice Administrator of the Civil Aviation Authority of the People´s Republic of China. This is the institution with which we try to exert strong lobbying to facilitate the certification of Czech airplanes for the Chinese market. We have problems with that, and trade barriers are occurring, specifically a nontariff barrier. In this respect, we will also take steps in Brussels so that the discriminating approach towards European products is tempered. This administrator´s visit is crucial to the progress of negotiations. The Czech Republic will also be visited by the Minister of Industry and Information Technologies, and on the other hand our Prime Minister Sobotka is planning his trip to China. There is a high probability that we are going to organize an Economic Joint Committee, and the China Invest Forum will be realized and so on…” You have already visited China. What do you consider to be the main aspects of cooperation with Chinese investors? “In cooperation with the Association of the Aerospace Manufacturers, Light Aircraft Association, and CzechTrade we undertook a week-long negotiation focused on promoting the aviation industry, including the already mentioned certifications. It was my first working experience with China, and I may say that due to the character of the Chinese administration, opening the doors for businesses is extremely important. The fact that the representative of the Czech Ministry supports Czech associations, businesses and producers, is an important signal that increases the credibility for Chinese partners. This too was the reason that we agreed with the mentioned associations, and that we consider this way of targeted activities of economic missions useful. We will also try to apply it in other areas besides China.” Thank you very much.

Another important area of development is our relationship with China. What can we expect in the new year?

By: Jaroslav Kramer české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

gala evening

Helena Vondráčková, Legendary Czech Singer




One of the first balls of the season took place on Saturday, November 7, 2014 at the Castle Berchtold. Prestigious and romantic prom was held in collaboration with Alena Hájková, owner of the Agency VIP. The whole evening was led by moderator Rey Koranteng and Castle Berchtold welcomed also Petr Kolář, Helena Vondráčková, MUDr. Jan Měšťák or Eliška Hašková-Coolidge.

From left: Alena Hájková, Owner, Agency VIP, Simona Bagárová, Director, Endowment Fund of Taťána Kuchařová, Helena Vondráčková, legendary Czech Singer, and Rey Koranteng, Moderator

From left: Aleš Brix, Sales Director, Czech Mint, Rey Koranteng, Moderator, and Luboš Procházka, Editor, Blesk, Aha, Frekvence 1

Petr Kolář, Singer and Alena Hájková, Owner, Agency VIP

Zdeněk Brož with his partner, Owner, Abidea

Alena Hájková, Owner, Agency VIP and Martin Michal, Owner, MM agency

From left: JUDr. Václav Růžička, Co–owner, Castle Berchtold and ALKOM Security, Eliška Eliška Hašková-Coolidge, Owner, Coolidge Consulting Services, Alena Hájková, Owner, Agency VIP, and Terezie Růžičková, Co–owner, Castle Berchtold and Optika Müller


gala evening

Photo: Archive From left: Jan Mládek, Minister of Trade and Industry and Andrej Babiš, 1st Vice Chairman of the Czech Government and Minister of Finance



The fundamental macroeconomic topics were discussed at Zlatá Koruna Forum with the participation of Ministers Andrej Babiš and Jan Mládek at the TOP HOTEL Praha. The theme of the Forum was "Competitiveness - Can we find our own way?" During the welcome speech Pavel Doležal, Director of Zlatá Koruna, has reminded the audience that the position of the Czech Republic in the ranking of worlds competitiveness has nine places improved, but occupies only 37th place out of 144 countries. Aleš Michl, Portfolio Strategist, Raiffeisenbank

Discussion Panel IV.

Michal Mejstřík, Professor of Economy, IES FSV UK at his speech


Jan Mládek, Minister of Trade and Industry

Jan Procházka, CEO, EGAP

gala evening

Pavel Doležal, Director, Zlatá koruna

Karel Havlíček, Chairman of the Board, AMSP

Karel Bureš, CEO, Česká exportní banka

From left: Andrej Babiš, 1st Vice Chairman of the Czech Government and Minister of Finance and Jan Mühlfeit, Global Strategist, Ret. Chairman Europe, Microsoft Corporation

Andrej Babiš, 1st Vice Chairman of the Czech Government and Minister of Finance

David Marek, Chief Economist, Director of Financial Consulting Department, Deloitte

Audience at TOP HOTEL Praha

From left: Vladimír Dohnal, Chairman of the Board, TOP HOTELS GROUP, Pavel Doležal, Director, Zlatá koruna, and Andrej Babiš, 1st Vice Chairman of the Czech Government and Minister of Finance


interview Petr Dolínek (1981) is the Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague, responsible for transport and European funds since November 2014. Petr has been operating as a councilor at the City Hall since 2010, he also served one year as alderman for Social Affairs, Housing, and European funds. Since 1995 he is a member of the Young Social Democrats, whom he led for two terms as chairman. He became a member of the Social Democratic party (ČSSD) in 1999. During his university studies, he worked as a parliamentary correspondent for the Minister of Education and later as editor of the Prague paper «Pražské listy». Petr has some experience with the private sphere, where he worked in marketing. Petr Dolínek is married and has two children. His hobbies include reading, sports and travelling.

Photo: Bryan Ham

An interview with Petr Dolínek, Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague, responsible for transport and European funds


70 Leaders Magazine I/2015

interview Elections and post-election negotiations are finished and now comes the real work. How do you rate the new coalition? Our priority was to promote the most out of our electoral program, and that is what we have managed, so in this respect the negotiations and the final version of the coalition agreement turned out in a very positive way. I also believe that a number of program points will find support across the political spectrum. Regional policy is to some extent “above politics” and Prague is no exception in this case. Every person should be interested in having a quality public transport, repaired sidewalks and schools that offer quality education. You became a deputy for transport and European funds. How were your first days in office? It was necessary to begin to address specific things right away, so there was no time for some introductions. The glaze frost, which almost paralyzed Prague tramways for two days, put us through a really sharp start. How do you assess the handling of the situation? I believe that the plan for using replacement buses instead of tramways was mastered well and that it ensured sufficient transportation service. I would also like to highlight the work of emergency services, rescuers, firefighters, military, the police, the city police and others who were involved. All demonstrated an incredible professionalism and significantly helped in controlling the situation. Some room for improvement appeared in sufficient information to citizens and visitors. I want to prepare a clear procedure, on how to quickly and efficiently inform the public in the case of unexpected events. This could be done through different instruments, whether it is by email, SMS, an updated website, or people who will inform citizens directly on the stops. Due to a large number of tourists and foreigners living in Prague, it is also necessary to raise awareness in foreign languages, at least in English. In addition to improving citizens’ awareness, what will you continue to focus on in the transport agenda? I consider as a priority completing the construction of a transport infrastructure, which means opening the tunnel Blanka complex. According to the latest estimates, the opening of the tunnel will take place around March and April 2015. We are now proceeding according to Metrostav’s schedule. However, the opening can occur only when it will be safe for users, we therefore first need to get all permits. At the present moment, there are still works within the tunnel, we are thinking out the replacement of several cables, and finalizing the necessary documentation. I hope that all will be handled within the estimated time. Blanka is wearing a hallmark of an overpriced contracts, how would you like to prevent something similar happening again in the future? A big problem arose in connection with the construction of Blanka. It is the awarding and implementation of commissions and competitions by tender. There must be a fundamental change in the way Prague operated in this field until now. Blanka


is not the only example, but it certainly is the most visible example of poorly managed commissions. It is not possible to built something different from what was presented in the original project, as was the case with the Troja bridge. Constructions must be secured through a municipal supervision and consistent monitoring of compliance with contracts and deadlines. Prague must know what it wants to build and how it should look. It is inconceivable that Prague would remain hostage to construction companies and developers. The coalition has agreed that the focus should be set on the development of public transportation. Do you know where should new tram lines or buses accrue? Urban public transport must be a clear backbone to traffic around the capital. We want citizens to give the precedence to public transport and not to individual car transport. But for such change, we first need to strengthen connections in locations where it was shown that changes made in the autumn of 2012 worsened the situation and transport services were clearly reduced. This affects both tramway and bus lines. Our next goal is to commence the construction of the D subway line during this mandate. We believe that our efforts will lead to an overall improvement of public transport in Prague. This would also be reinforced through friendly prices for yearly-coupons holders, for whom travel around Prague would become much cheaper. Common complaints are directed to a lack of accessibility while traveling by public transport. Will you also focus on this? Yes, we are going to continue to address the accessibility issue in various metro stations.Wheelchair users must also be able to access tramways and buses. Despite the deployment of wheelchair ramps, getting in and out is still unsatisfactory. A major theme is also the Transport Company - Dopravní podnik, what would you foresee in its future? The situation in the Transport Company first needs to be stabilized. The Transport Company must become a well-functioning and prosperous society, which will be financially stable, and providing quality services in the field of public transport. It certainly will not be through the privatization of the company, and the stripping of its assets or redundancies. We will primarily focus on finding savings in operating costs. Even though you want to put the emphasis on public transport, there is still a large number of people who drive in the capital city and who address the issue of parking. Will you deal with this problem as well?

Parking zones are actually one of the first points that come on the agenda. The decisionmaking gathering is planned in the near future. We should determine issues such as parking zones’ new locations, the system that will collect parking fees, as for example intelligent machines etc. We must quickly choose the best possible solution. I personally advocate the so called mixed-parking zones, where drivers residing outside of Prague can park during the day, but these zones would be defined for residents during the night. Before the elections, there were several discussions about possibilities of linking the city center to the airport. Do you already have ideas about the project’s implementation? Ensuring a qualitative and comfortable traveling to the airport is key to Prague’s development. I have already asked the newly appointed Minister of Transport Daniel Ťok for a meeting, where I would like to tackle, inter alia, the connection to the airport. We are discussing about a possibility of a rail link, which is supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Bohuslav Sobotka. In the first phase, we want to implement a rail link between the airport and Vokovice that should connect to a new metro A station in Veleslavín. Another area that falls within your competences are European funds. Are you considering on using funds for building the connection to the airport or the construction of the metro D line? Definitely yes. An efficient use of EU funds for major transportation projects, which not only serve Prague citizen, such as the metro D line and the railway to the airport, is absolutely essential. But it is not the only area where the European funds are needed in terms of the development of the metropolis. In my opinion, the key to the development of the capital is also set in the promotion of science, research and innovation. The exploitation of EU subsidies in this area must be targeted and in collaboration with universities, the Academy of Sciences and other partner institutions that support the creation of new job opportunities and profiling world-class experts. Still, an important part of the money must also be directed towards the social sphere. By Jan Vávra české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 71

Photo: DB Baca





From left: Thomas-Georg Poehlmann, Managing Director, ExpedEast, Hans Weber, Managing Partner, FRYDAY Prague, Nicoleta Pavlov, General Manager, WoodPAV s.r.o., Kraig Casebier, American Barber, and Jana Ranieri, Century21, Real Estate

From left: Hans Weber, Managing Partner, FRYDAY Prague, Jana Ranieri, Century21, Real Estate, and Thomas-Georg Poehlmann, Managing Director, ExpedEast From left: Mrs. Světlana Tyřová, Kraig Casebier, American Barber in Prague, and Mrs. Bozhena Vinskovska, Owner, Frabea Milano Jana Ranieri, Century21, Real Estate and Kraig Casebier, American Barber in Prague

From left: Mrs. Olga Pishchukhina with her friend, Mrs. Anastasiia Karpenko, Kraig Casebier, American Barber, Mrs. Irina Shamraeva, and Samir Akoury, Project Manager, Kline & Company

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From left: José Miguel Maschietto , “The Alchemist of Dream”, Composer & Conducter and Hans Weber, Managing Partner, FRYDAY Prague

From left: Nino Altomonte, Owner Torino-Praga Invest and José Miguel Maschietto , “The Alchemist of Dream”, Composer & Conducter

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Photo: Archive


Discussion with Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, met with record interest from the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute’s members and friends



74 H.E. Otto Jelínek, Canadian Ambassador and world champion in figure skating, spoke about his life.


H. E. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, spoke about relations between China and the Czech Republic

The Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, His Excellency Cardinal Duka, Ambassadors of Canada, Hungary and new Chinese Ambassador in the Czech Republic came to the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute in 2014 to meet its members in regular discussion meetings. Over last twenty years of that tradition, about 160 persons from the social and political life of the Czech Republic visited the Institute‘s seat. To meet personalities is special privilege for those who come to meetings because it gives them opportunity to open important contacts, to gain interesting information or just to listen to ideas and opinions of wise and educated people. Not only members and friends of the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute but also members of its Club of Czech and Slovak speaking diplomats showed their record interest at February meeting with the youngest Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies in the Czech history and perhaps in Europe Jan Hamáček (ČSSD). The thirty-five year old politician caught their attention by his wide range of knowledge and comprehensible speech. He also appreciated the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute for its activities for fellow-countrymen abroad and the fact that the Institute’s members do those activities voluntarily, without any honorarium which makes it more valuable.

In April, for the first time in history, members and friends of the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute welcomed the highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, His Eminence ThLic. Dominik Cardinal Duka, the 36th Prague archbishop and Czech primate. Then it was very interesting and pleasant to spend two hours with the world champion in figure skating, long-turn minister and contemporary Canadian Ambassador in the Czech Republic J. E. Otto Jelinek. No matter that he as a native of Prague has spent most of his life in Canada, his Czech is excellent. Despite of his full working programme, the leading cardio-surgeon professor MUDr. Jan Pirk, DrSc., the Head of the Prague Cardio-centre of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) found time to come to the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute. The wellknown Czech writer Ivan Klíma visited the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute at the end of May. September guest to the Institute was the president of the Chamber of Commerce (HK) of the Czech Republic Ing. Vladimír Dlouhý, CSc. He shared his first observations and findings about the Chamber and plans for its further development with the participants of the meeting. In October, the Hungary Ambassador H. E. Tibor Petö visited the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute and he spoke about the development of Czech-Hungarian relations and he assessed critically the European Union attitude to its members accepted to join it since 2004.

The Czechoslovak Foreign Institute’s members and friends met with professor MUDr. Jan Pirk, DrSc., the Head of the Prague Cardio-centre of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

„China has particularly close relation to the Czech Republic“, the Chinese Ambassador in the Czech Republic, J. E. Ma Keqing emphasized in October. She was already the seventh representative of the People’s Republic of China in the Czech Republic who came for discussion to the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute in last twenty years. The meeting was held shortly before the Czech president Miloš Zeman visited China. The Ambassador mentioned the Chinese Investment Forum connected with the summit of regional representatives and with renewed session of the Combined economic committee at the end of August in the Prague Castle attended by five hundreds of Chinese entrepreneurs lead by the vice-premier Čang Kao-li. She spoke about positive results of co-operation between sixteen Middle and Eastern European countries and China, i.e. the Platform 16 + 1, within the framework of which a number of projects are realized with the Chinese financial aid. „Economics of those countries and China are complementary and therefore there is a significant space for co-operation“, she said and stated that China is interested at increasing mutual investments which are nowadays only 200 millions dollars and big reserves are in tourism. „We would like to create the Chinese entrance gate to Europe out of Middle and Eastern European countries, kind of modern silk road connecting Europe and the People’s Republic of China“, the Ambassador concluded.

For the first time, the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute’s members and friends were honoured to welcome cardinal Dominik Duka, the Prague archbishop

75 The Czechoslovak Foreign Institute’s members and friends welcomed H. E. Tibora Petö, Hungarian Ambassador

personal enlightenment James A. Cusumano, PhD




“When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.” —Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors You don’t have to suffer the stress of deciding what to do for your professional life. There is a way early on to get on the right track to success and long-term fulfilment. There are three legs to the metaphoric stool of SUCCESS. The most important of these is PURPOSE. Following it almost always leads to the other two “legs”— WEALTH and POSITION. Work-life BALANCE and following your true LIFE PURPOSE are the only elements necessary to find long-term fulfilment *



You’re a college student, or perhaps a recent graduate, struggling to create your future, a future embraced with meaning, success, fun and fulfillment—been there, done that, and know the challenges and misgivings that come at that point in your life. I certainly made my share of mistakes along the way. Fortunately, I learned valuable lessons from wrong turns on my journey and by observing others who did well with their choices. As a result, I can assure you that tools exist to short-circuit what can be an arduous

76 Leaders Magazine I/2015

process, often filled with disappointment as you struggle from major to major, and upon graduation, from job to job, in order to get “there,” wherever you think “there” may be [Figure 1]. I spent the better part of five professional lives (so far!) working with colleagues and speaking with successful entrepreneurs to find the most effective means to long-term fulfillment and success. I discovered from my experiences and from discussions over the years with successful business people that the classic definition of success, the one that has been propagated globally by society for nearly 300 years, no longer applies. It just doesn’t work for the long haul. As world-renowned entrepreneur, executive and journalist Arianna Huffington1,2 passionately points out in her “Third Metric” model for success, the classic definition of success has only two legs on a metaphoric three-legged stool, and they are money and power. Most professionals now find that this “unstable” two-legged structure, propped up by only these two drivers is not the source of long-lasting fulfillment and success. I’m not dismissing the importance of financial security and personal advancement, but there is a much more powerful and fundamental driver in the new model for success, one which, if truth be told, is hardwired into most people, and if accessed, more often than not, results in significant financial and position rewards. And that driver is Service based on your Life Purpose—providing a product or service that helps others and makes the world a better place. When you find your Life Purpose, and use it in this productive manner, you will find the greatest motivating force you will ever experience [Figure 2]. FIGURE 1: You don’t have to suffer the stress of deciding what to do for your professional life. There is a way to get on the right track to success.

Steve Jobs was my neighbor in Palo Alto, California for more than five years, and I can assure you from conversations with him and other “successful” entrepreneurs that he, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and numerous other successful Silicon Valley business pioneers were not driven to success by money or advancement. Their single driving focus was to make a positive difference in the world, or as Jobs once told me, “I want to make a memorable dent in the universe with insanely great products—period!” Many of these successful entrepreneurs ended up making billions of dollars, and now most are in the process of giving much of it away. So why is this outcome such a common financial exit strategy for so many “successful” business people?” What did they find out in their journey that was so important? The answer is unquestionably, Service; making the world a better place by creating products that when properly used can make a positive change. I am convinced most human beings are hard-wired to want to do this. However, many lose sight of this often with well-intended counsel from others and the intense noise and social hypnosis from the media. “Make money! Get promoted!” Whatever happened to, “Let’s make a difference?” I have found that you are absolutely capable of finding that special part of your body, mind, and spirit that distinguishes you from others in your professional, academic and personal circles— that unique “something” which gives you sheer pleasure and has the potential to generate great value for both you and the world.3 I call it your Essence. Everyone has it. It’s the real you, not what you or someone else thinks you should be, but—deep down—what you have always wanted to be—what you were born to be! You come into this world with it, and when you discover it and connect it with a need in the world that makes it a better place, you have found your Life Purpose. A EDITOR’S COMMENT—This is the seventh article in a series based on the author’s latest book, “BALANCE: The Business-Life Connection, SelectBooks, New York, 2013.” The book is based on three decades of personal experience on how to achieve success and long-term fulfillment in both your personal and professional lives. Details concerning the book and points of purchase can be found at www.JamesCusumano.Com. B The author may be reached at Jim@ChateauMcely.Com.

personal enlightenment Most of us innately “know” what it is when we are quite young, but for many of us, the machinations and rapid momentum of our modern technological world are a distraction and can push us on to another track—one that is often unsatisfying and unproductive, even if it results in money and power. Your parents always wanted you to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or to fall in line and follow the family business. But is that what you really want to do with your life? Or possibly there is a recording that has echoed over and over again in your mind since childhood, something like, “Everyone knows that a degree in business is the best way to a high-paying job and financial freedom. And for goodness sake, forget about your interest and special talents in the arts or music or sports. Do you want to be a pauper all of your life?” Many people end up pursuing “practical” professions, not ones that are based on their innate strengths, capabilities, and deep interests. Here, “practical” is based on the classic definition of success and equates to money, status, and power. Is it any wonder that recent studies of millions of people in the western world show that only about 20 percent of employees are happy with their jobs? And as for so-called “successful” business people, less than 20 percent have truly satisfying marriages and close relationships. I can tell you unequivocally from my close encounters with a number of truly successful people that your fundamental interests and capabilities, if properly pursued, have the highest probability of providing personal satisfaction, making a positive impact on the world and providing financial security and an enviable professional position. No matter what your Essence may be, there are many avenues to pursue all three legs of the proverbial “stool of success.” Let’s say you are excellent at sports, but for many reasons, you don’t want to pursue a career as a professional athlete. Depending on your desire, predilections and capabilities, you might decide to open a chain of sporting goods FIGURE 2: There are three “legs” to the metaphoric stool of SUCCESS. The most important of these is PURPOSE. Following it almost always leads to the other “legs” —WEALTH and POSITION.


FIGURE 3: BALANCE and LIFE PURPOSE are the only elements necessary to find long-term fulfilment .

stores; or become a professional sports agent, or pursue a position as a sports announcer, or a coach, or many other possibilities. Similar strategies can be developed for those highly skilled in the arts or music or any other profession not considered by the archaic classic definition of success as the “proper” path to pursue. Finding your Life Purpose excites high levels of emotional and physical energy; it opens up incredible avenues of creativity; and enables you to address challenges in ways you never thought possible. The power it gives you can lead to significant achievements, which in turn result in huge benefits. These benefits may be financial, emotional, psychological, spiritual or some combination. You will experience gratitude as you have never felt it before, and that is one of the two critical requirements for long-term happiness. The second requirement is BALANCE between your personal and professional endeavors. As a college student, professional in this case means your academic pursuits. My definition of balance is an effective level of effort in both your personal and professional lives such that you readily achieve the goals you set for yourself in both areas. These goals must be based on your personal values. Your values are not the basis for what is right or wrong; they are not what someone else, even you, thinks they should be, but in a moment of unadulterated truth, it’s that which is really important only to you. Just like a compass, your values will point you to your personal “true north” for a successful and gratifying path through life. As described in detail in my recent book on BALANCE4 the final step is to use your Life Purpose and your Values to create a rolling three-year Life Plan, one that you update at the end of each calendar year. This plan is a bit of a challenge to create the first time around, but after that, updating it on an annual basis is straightforward. The plan must be time-managed. You should consult it weekly and sometimes daily to be sure you are directionally on track. It keeps you focused on what is important to you, both in your personal and professional lives. It soon becomes an enjoyable habit as you observe your progress. I developed this process over five professional careers while playing an active role as a father helping to raise three lovely

daughters, and still had time for my hobbies and personal endeavors. I made lots of mistakes in the beginning, but they were really “learnings” toward the path that was right for me. As I progressed from recording artist; to research scientist and corporate executive; to Silicon Valley entrepreneur; to filmmaker; and more recently to holistic hotelier, I have improved on the process, and I can guarantee that it works. 5,6,7 I am not suggesting that this is the only means to long-term fulfillment, but I can assure it does work. It has for me, for many of my friends and colleagues, and it can work for you! My special wish to you for 2015 and beyond: “May you ALWAYS pursue your dreams, especially when you are afraid to do so!” Sat, Chit, Ananda! Enjoy your journey, make a difference! James A. Cusumano, PhD

1 how-successful-people-stay-calm_b_6071982.html?gc lid=CO3IjsOnr8ICFUzMtAodUkMAUA 2 Adrianna Huffington, “Thrive’” Harmony, New York, 2014. 3 James A. Cusumano, “BALANCE: The Business-Life Connection,” Select Books, New York, 2013. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 7

James A. Cusumano (www.JamesCusumano.Com & is Chairman and Owner of Chateau Mcely (www.ChateauMcely.Com), chosen in 2007 by the European Union as the only “Green” 5-star luxury hotel in Central and Eastern Europe and in 2008 by the World Travel Awards as The World’s Leading Green Hotel. It is home to Chateau Mcely Forum™ (www.ChateauMcelyForum.Com) which offers programs that teach the principles of Inspired Leadership. He is a former Research Director for Exxon, and subsequently founded two public companies in Silicon Valley, one in clean power generation, the other in pharmaceuticals manufacture via environmentally-benign, low-cost, catalytic technologies. While he was Chairman and CEO, the latter – Catalytica Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – grew in less than 5 years, to a $1 billion enterprise with 2,000 employees. He is coauthor of Freedom from Mid-East Oil, released in 2007 by World Business Academy Press (www.WorldBusiness.Org) and author of Cosmic Consciousness – A Journey to Well-being, Happiness and Success, published in English and Czech by Fortuna Libri, 2011. His new book, BALANCE: The Business—Life Connection was published in 2013 by SelectBooks in New York City. It was published in Czech in October 2013 by Fortuna Libri.

Leaders Magazine I/2015 77

thoughts about alternative ways...


thoughts about alternative ways... I found this 104 min video on „The End of Poverty“ very revealing and enlightening: Happy watching - and let me know what you think about it.

A couple of years ago my younger children Jasmine (then 6) and Shaan (then 8) asked me a simple question: How rich are we? This question got me thinking for a long time. I introspected and struggled with the answer & came across some facts: 1. More than 9 million children still die every year from preventable causes and diseases. 2. More than 1 billion people live on under $ 1 per day. 3. Nearly 3.5 billion people (half the world’s population) live on under $ 2 a day. 4. The world’d richest country has only 4% of the world population but consumes more than 25% of the world’s resources and creates nearly 30% of the world’s pollution. 5. In this country 1% of the population owns over 40% of the wealth and the top 20% probably over 90%, leaving the bottom 80% with less than 10%. 6. We are systematically trying to replicate the systems of this country with the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the rest of the World. All my figures may not be 100% correct but maybe there is a PINK ELEPHANT in the room that no one wants to talk about. I am not convinced that this kind of consumption or wealth and resource distribution is sustainable for our children and unborn generations to come. Then I shared with them what I thought was the right answer:

“WE ARE RICH IF WE DON’T NEED MUCH AND POOR IF WE NEED A LOT“. Coming originally from India, which is a developing country with a lot of poverty, I had the good fortune of having seen poverty at close quarters but people that were Happy and with generous hearts and in my opinion now – rich. I have also had the good fortune of knowing lots of people who own practically everything that can possibly be owned but who are unable to part with anything and constantly struggling for more – in my opinion now, rather poor. In business we have been taught the 80:20 rule and what we cannot measure does not exist, but in the 21st century we probably need to revisit the GDP model as the only measure of development. This model, in my opinion, seems to be broken in a major way. Organizations like the OECD are now starting to look at measures like GNH (Gross National Happiness) and we have some very competitive countries from Scandinavia or Canada or New Zealand etc. that are great examples of countries that rank high on the new measures.

HAPPINESS = Photo: Archive


And this, I feel, may be a more sustainable path into the future for our children. I, too, was very poor just a few years ago and was on the treadmill making a living. I did not have any time to stop or take a step back and look at the Canvas of my life or the reason or purpose of my existence. And then suddenly one day, due to health reasons, my life came to a standstill in the middle of 2012. I was running fast and on demand 24/7 with TO DO lists until I realized one day that if DOING was so important, I would be a Human Doing and not a Human Being. So I stepped back from my business and from my life. I slowed down and started to meditate and be more mindful & just stay in the present moment – I spent time with myself going nowhere and doing nothing – and it is the best time I have spent on the face of this planet. It is about connecting with myself. It is about coming Home. Today, I do not have a television at home for over 2,5 years and I do not get any newspaper. It may be an extreme response but I am a very happy man because the world we live in is beautiful and not at all as bad and scary as we are given to believe it is by our media. Suddenly, as I have stepped back, I have realized that not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts. I have realized that it is this intangible which determines the quality of my life. Many years ago Shakespeare said: “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder“ and I somehow felt that my eyes were very foggy. My eyes did not see the beauty that we are surrounded with so now I have slowed down and started to mindfully ask myself the question: “How do I feel about how I spent my time today?“ – every day. Life is beautiful. And I have started to finally “MAKE A LIFE INSTEAD OF JUST MAKING A LIVING“. It’s a perfect day for me when I can do something for someone who I know will never be able to repay me back – because I now try to focus myself on the actions with complete detachment from the results. I am very fortunate and very grateful for everything that the Universe brought me and I am aware that there are generations yet unborn whose very lives may be shifted and shaped by the actions we take today. I think it is a beautiful possibility to live into every morning and every day. -


GRATITUDE (wanting what you have) GRATIFICATION (having what you want) Leaders Magazine I/2015 79

Photo: Robert Vano

Interview An interview with Doctor Joseph Šmarda Joseph Šmarda was first an athletic league middle distance runner in Dynamo Pardubice when he was 15 and in TJ Gottwaldov when he was 19, and was trained by a well-known trainer Bohumír Zhanal. In 1979 he immigrated to Austria and then in 1980 to Canada where he established a new science branch of applied immunology, and became a world expert in it. He was also engaged in sport engines constructing industry and started his own company for performance car engines. He also opened his own immunology lab in Calgary. In 2004 he returned back to the Czech Republic to the immunology department of Smarte Immunosystems sro. in Nové Strašecí where there is a division of his company from Canada, nowadays owned by his family living in Canada. Joseph drives for Motorsport Team Mičánek Motorsport and gives lectures at many wellknown universities and in biochemical companies like H. U. Hofmann AG, or Sanyo Trading Ltd. Tokyo.


Interview Although he will be sixty this year, Doctor Joseph Šmarda leads a lifestyle that colleagues half his age can envy. He is a top immunologist, biochemist, a car racing driver and an athlete. RNDr. Joseph Šmarda, B.Sc. has revolutionary ideas and understands life. He applies his knowledge to himself and promotes a healthy lifestyle. His experience helps both professional sportsmen and people with decreased immunity. Who is this extraordinary man, and what are the cornerstones of his philosophy? Doctor, what will be the topic of our interview today? “The topics will be laid out in three different areas - sports, medicine and engines. These areas are very visibly connected; especially now that I am sixty. You see, when someone is good at sports when he or she is forty or prior to forty years old, no one cares. Take Jaroslav Jágr for example. Only after he passed forty years of age have people started to be interested and ask questions. Therefore, my Porsche Cup Title in the Open category, at the age of 57, is for many people a very surprising fact.” Let’s start with medicine. “Medicine itself has big deficiencies. It has absolutely tremendous know-how and incredible advanced technology, but it doesn’t apply the knowledge. I would drown anyone in a tablespoon of water who would challenge me in questions of science and life. I totally live what I promote! It’s very awkward to see a doctor who weighs 180 kilograms, smokes forty cigarettes a day and tells us how we should live. We will not accept it. Moreover, this person doesn’t have even the slightest idea about the purpose of selenium in the human body, and that the significance of selenium has been well-known to humankind for several centuries. What is the reason for a 60 percent deficiency of selenium in children’s bodies today, and for various immunological problems of the majority of them? But what about engines? “The Mercedes Benz Company produces every single one of their parts in their own factories. And so one of their screws, which they now produce for 10 Euro cents, actually cost them millions of Euros to develop. If this screw would accidentally break as a result of insufficient testing in the development phase, it would represent a huge loss for The Mercedes Benz Company. They would have to recall all the cars and eventually fix the problem, and such a correctional measure would cost them billions of euros. This is WHY the companies dealing in mechanical issues invest heavily into testing. Medicine doesn’t recognize such accuracy. When I’m giving student lectures on accuracy in applied methods in micronutrition and living sciences, doctors and professors don’t get it. And the reason is that they are kept in their exclusive shell of biology, as an inexact science. However in medicine they have to start applying the same precise testing as every other exact science.” We journalists love simplicity. Would you call yourself an immunologist? “When someone asks me where I’m from, I answer: I don´t know because my clod of earth has changed many times during the last 100 years. My Swiss colleagues do not have this problem. Their country has stayed


without change for 720 years. When someone asks me to describe myself as a scientist, I answer the same because my science has more flexible boundaries and is in the echelon of living sciences.This term is unfortunately unknown in Europe but widely spread in Asia. My scope of expertise in this area of science is broad. Among the people who contact me for help are parents of autistic children, as well as particularly high-powered investors with a condition similar to GULF syndrome (or MS or GBS), and a banker with chronic fatigue. And I solve their problems. I study natural processes in bodies and life itself. It’s a thing of principal.” Everything that you described is your profession. Even the motor sports? “Yes. It is tightly connected to everything I do. For example when I’m calculating a mathematical model of signal molecules balancing in a body, and I’m applying it to the state-of-the-art branch of immunology.” Which one is it? “A matter of energetic, quantum medicine that fully recognizes laws of ultimate balance. I would like to return back to the mathematics. I can calculate even very difficult equations and matrices in my head, and therefore I can set a balance from many hundreds of numbers. I’m also able to have a look at a person and recognize if he/she has a deficiency of copper, iron or selenium or other elements. I simply have this gift.” So you are very good at your profession. I’m interested in examples of those people who use your services. What “type” of balancing (treatment) do you provide them with? “I’d like to start with the term treatment. This TERM was created by people, and treatment itself is a very abstract thing. It is like a patent of western healthcare. In the end the term “treatment” can be used only by pharmaceutical companies and western types of clinics applying this western healthcare. Healers and people dealing with life, wellbeing and fitness cannot use this word. I personally have not used it since the day I left university, and I’m considered by people to be very ethical. It´s very simple, I work in an ethical and professional manner, with their BALANCE, and I’m leaving the precise treatment to Mother Nature.” So you are completely out of reach of classic pharmacy? “I´m not. I cooperate with pharmaceutical and chemical companies as a consultant and I´m trying to change their IMAGE, to lead them more toward Nature and natural processes, and I´m successful in it. A Swiss company, which I have worked with for more than 24 years, completely changed their product portfolio and now produces millions of kilograms of natural materials, for the best benefits to mankind.“ I´ll go back to the previous question, it´s essence was different... “I´m dealing with balancing. In balance there is an ultimate or infinite possibility for a human being to be healed. It´s not my law, it´s a law of the Universe.” Is this the term? “Yes. When I see an analysis of your blood, urine, plasma, feces, etc., I can determine your imbalance index

or defects of balance. Therefore you should be “ill”. After making an ideal balance of these values, based on my study of hematology, biochemistry, etc., you are “cured” and you can be marked as HEALTHY. Or in other words: You will come to a better stage of your life. The terms HEALTHY or ILL are absolutely abstract terms. However, with detailed tests and clear graphics of the imbalance, it´s possible to solidify, and then the words HEALTHY and ILL gain their clear shapes.” People who come to you know how the healing process looks like, don’t they? “They don´t know, but I tell that to them in the first sentence. It sounds like this: I´ll bring you into BALANCE, and this BALANCE is the first step in your healing process.” We talked about physical aspects. What role does the mental side play? Can we measure it somehow? “Absolutely. We are coming to quantum mechanics, which very few people involved in modern medicine in the Czech Republic understand. The small group of people that does understand, does not work in the field of medicine or medical laboratory practice. I’ll go back to the word balance - fifty percent of it is physical, and fifty percent spiritual. Today we are able to quantify everything, even an evil thought or love. Nowadays these are wellknown values, but unfortunately here in the Czech Republic they are not being analyzed at all. How can this be done, or analyzed? Let’s take the blood of two people in love, before and after coitus. The blood will be different. Breakthrough research in this area appeared in 1981, when the first receptor with opioid characteristics was discovered in brain cells. Today we know of thousands of different receptors. These receptors accept signal molecules that we work with on a daily basis. There were already 3 Nobel prizes awarded in this area, however Czech society is not very familiar with the names of the winners, or with their scientific programs. Why did you start to focus on professional sportsmen? When I lived in Canada, I competed for many years as a professional car racer on many circuits in Northern America. I started competing in Europe when I turned fifty-four, which is the age when other car racing stars retire. One journalist even asked me, when she learnt my age, if I knew that many professional sportsmen my age are dead or out of the game because of health problems. My answer was that I know this, and this is why I train more than ever to stay in shape.” So your task is not to let the sport destroy them? “Exactly. Those who work out in a high physiological imbalance do severe damage upon their own bodies. In ten, fifteen years, without having a team of professionals around, they will end up like veterans of the wars in Vietnam or The Gulf. Basically they do not pay attention to what will happen to themselves 10 or 15 years in the future.” Doesn´t a physiological imbalance go hand-inhand with professional sports? We are talking about high physical performance after all. “Everything can be compensated for. If a sportsman performs an extra MILE, he or she won´t have an extra hotdog to compensate for the extra energy given to the

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Interview extra effort, but add an extra antioxidant, extra vitamins and amino acids into his diet. It’s the same connection as with a high performance V8 Buick engine with 865 HP, built with fortifications of such parts of the engine that are under the highest pressure and chances of fatigue. Instead of steel or other weaker metals, we use parts coated with iridium, platinum or chrome or other similar materials. Everything is about balance.” Are both engines alike? “In the past it was not possible to compare the human body to a car engine, and the historical method doesn´t lead to this conclusion. We state though that the human body has a mechanical construction similar to an engine. And we are right. The majority of Germans over 50 years and weighing 120 kilograms in average don´t take care of their bodies in the same way they do their beloved BMWs and Mercedes. When these highly intelligent men with great jobs are driving on a highway, and the red light indicating the low level of oil starts blinking, they start sweating heavily and search for the nearest service station to arrange filter and oil replacements for their beloved car. However, they don´t take good care of themselves. I ask them why they don´t change the oil in themselves too. For example by taking an organically bonded selenium, vitamin B-12 and other micronutrients... It is a good old medicine after all. They answer that when their pump (heart) seizes up, good German professors will fix it easily. Very odd thinking which is out of date today, indeed.” What about their doctors and professors? “They like to brag about how they know the top minds in the field. However, these people were at the top fifty years ago, when human nutrition was still good. There was no Lidl or Aldi and a potato still had its value. Today our food does not have such value anymore. And this is the biggest problem for each doctor or professor of medicine. They do their fantastic medical operations on bodies that are highly deficient. Therefore today we have so many deaths amongst patients with nosocomial and iatrogenic injuries.” So awareness in medicine doesn´t reflect the actual times? “We have old data from the 1970s to 1980s that is used for balancing feedstuff for animals. I am very familiar with such facts, because as a biochemist I am not only engaged with the immune systems of people, but also animals’ systems. Acid rains have depleted nutrients in the soil completely. Microelements have disappeared from plants by 75-90%, due to environmental issues, and no-one truly cares.” Why is that so? “Specialists, and I intentionally do not use their professional titles, but they are MDs, who are focused on their types of science, have never actually touched mechanics, classical physics, kinetics and dynamics. They don´t understand the connection between inexact biology and exact sciences. But there is a connection. I know this because I am lecturing in one hundred countries around the world, and I see that the reactions of all the people are the same, i.e. they are influenced by a doctrine. On average, I visit between 40 to 50 universities and science labs a year. I´m telling them, for example, that weaknesses in complex structures such as bridges or human bodies are very similar.

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The pressures which are applied upon such complex structures precisely follow the laws of physics, and NOT the laws of inexactness, or the law of shrugging shoulders. They follow a very precise law of breaking at a weak point. In other words, the complex bridge is going to break at the weak point, and exactly the same goes for the human body - the organ which will break is the one that is under severe pressure, and one which is already CRACKED by a certain lack of balance. Nature is absolutely unforgiving in this case, and does not see any differences amongst a CEO of a large bank, or a vice-president of an investment company, in the same way as in a bridge over the Moldau River or a bridge over the River Thames. Is this applicable to sportsmen, too? “Yes. If a chess player is overloading himself with extra effort, he or she will likely succumb to a neurological disease. He or she works with his or her brain. The sportsman MUST take care of his or her biggest sporting asset and that is the brain. Another sportsman, who does not care for his muscles, may fall ill when he is fifty or sixty years old. A sportsman taking a lot of complex proteins, or even simple proteins, has to protect his liver. Otherwise he´ll die of liver cancer or he´ll suffer from autoimmune disease of the liver. It is sad because sportsmen’s health should be an example for others. Unfortunately the percentage of illnesses among sportsmen is very high. Just take a look at how many top sportsmen are suffering from illnesses. I don´t have to name them, all sport fans know well. I can give one clear example, the saddest one from sports history – one of the best baseball players - Mr. Lou Gehrig. He was one of the best batters in this sport. He fell ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a highly progressive disease of neurons severely affecting musculature. It is very sad that the famous sportsman entered the world of medicine as a name donor to one of the most terrible diseases known by mankind.” What are the basic guidelines for us to avoid disease? “Keep checking ourselves, and closely focus on our physical and mental balance at all levels, starting from the macro/milli/micro levels and down to nano/pico/ femto levels.“ When someone comes to you for help, how do you work together? “I don´t have huge particular demands. I can work with a sportsman who is only interested in applied immunology as well as with someone whom I can take care of in a more complex way – starting from specific wellness coaching to the deepest level of femtograms of signaling molecules. There´s only one question for that particular sportsman or any other person: what is her/ his choice and how far is she/he willing to go. I’m saying that because today competitions are being won by millimeters, or literally a nose, and not ten horse’s lengths like it was in Emil and Dana Zátopek´s times. Therefore, it is necessary for each and every sportsman to be ready both physically and mentally in order to be able to win by millimeters. That requires an absolutely clear preparation on a nano/pico/femto level, which our sportsmen are missing unfortunately. I don´t want to mention names, but dozens of final rounds of world championships were lost by Czech sportsmen in the last minute, last set or

last rounds of the tournaments. As a consultant and a sportsman, I have 45 years of experience with such finishes, with a large success rate of wins, not losses. Just as an example, in my last race in Spa, Belgium, I ended up on the podium of a very difficult Porsche Cup race (with 52 racers in the field). The first three places had their times within 19 hundredths of seconds. I´m willing to share my heritage of a 45 year-long presence in top sports with those who have the courage and want to reach the very top.“ So how expensive is it working with you? “Let´s say it´s expensive by Czech standards. Nevertheless, if we look at similarly specialized professors dealing for example with autism or other neurological conditions, the yearly costs for close work with an autistic child in the United States are 130 to 150 thousand dollars. I am able to do similar or even better work eight times cheaper. For sportsmen my work is very detailed, however the price for it is totally negligible compared to western countries. Because of this I also have many sportsmen from western countries who come to me for consultation or examination. “ Why autism? Do you have any personal experience with it? “My main scientific focus after leaving University of Toronto was on managing the biggest laboratory in North America. It dealt mainly with oil and gas related businesses, but also had a large environmental department, which had overseen environmental damages done by oil companies. We received a project to observe the immune system of animals suffering in the areas of heavy industry. We have discovered big deficiencies namely in mothering animals. That particular mass of deficiencies in maternal immune systems had initiated my career of an applied immunologist. Autism is a very general term like flu or diarrhea. It´s undefined, only a name of a broad set of millions of various symptoms in children and adults. My article about these vast variances in autism was published in Regenerace magazine in 2009. I have stated in this very magazine that I can compare the analyses of millions of autistic individuals, and that each of them will be different. The disease is not defined, and such illness or lack-of-balance to use my terminology, makes this type of dis-balance a true puzzle for the medical specialists. The reason why there is such a big focus on autism today is that, among all the other illnesses, this illness most reflects our environmental problems. If we were to take the Globe called Earth as a mathematical model drawing-board and made a mathematical distribution list of all autistic children on its surface, it would reflect in its density of dark colors the sites with highest and higher pollution levels in the environment, comparing those with no pollution at all or very low level of industrial pollution. This is not yet published of course and no one wants to hear about that, especially from the medical professionals and also the industrial giants. I am convinced that if parents of autistic children knew that, they would immediately sue the companies that caused the industrial revolution. People, nevertheless, do not want to hear the truth, generally. By Jaroslav Kramer české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Photo: Archive


From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Václav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic




“I was born into a World War, a time, which was more than difficult. As a result, my life is extraordinary for I can say that in the past seventy years I have been living in peace and under constantly improving conditions. It is indisputable that our ancestors have never lived under such good conditions as Bohemians and Moravians live nowadays, especially the young generation”, read the guests of the 75th birthday of Karel Muzikář on the invitation to this significant jubilee. With this on mind the celebration was meant to be in the spirit of thankfulness and helping others at the same time. Mr. Karel Muzikář used the opportunity of his birthday to support those who are in need with his wish that guests send a donation to the Saint Charles Borromeo Home in Řepy instead of presenting him with any birthday gifts. During the evening Sister Konsoláta Miroslava Frýdecká, Sister Superior of the Saint Charles Borromeo Home, personally expressed gratitude for all donations. The total collected amount was about 700.000 CZK.

From left: Mrs. Zita Muzikářová, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and Jiří Šedivý, Retired General of the Army, former Chief of Staff

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Jan Kohout, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Hynek Kmoníček, Director of the International Department, Office of the President of the Czech Republic



Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius with his daughters Natalie and Sharon

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Petr Dvořák, General Director, Czech Television

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and H.E. Mr. Otto Jelinek, Ambassador of Canada

From left: Mrs. Zita Muzikářová, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and H.E. Mrs. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the People´s Republic of China

Sister Konsoláta, Saint Charles Borromeo Home and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Beata Rajská, Fashion Designer and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

84 From left: Petr Hulinský, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius , and Jaroslav Javornický, Owner, Spielberg Winery

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Jan Světlík, Owner of Vítkovice Machinery Group

birthday From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade, Mrs. Marie Mládková, and Andrej Babiš, First Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance

thank you I would like to cordiallyth birthday all for attending my 75 the Saint and also for donating to e Charles Borromeo Hom Karel & Karel Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius with his daughters Natalie and Sharon and Karel Gott, Singer

From left: Alessandro Pasquale, General Director, Karlovarské minerální vody and Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius

Karel Muzikáø Sr.

e p y. c z w w w. d om o v r

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Pavel Nepala, Managing Partner, Renomia

From left: Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius and Vladimír Plašil, Chairman of the Board, ALTA invest

From left: Mona Sandescu, Owner, FAVEA, Mrs. Zita Muzikářová, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius, and Libor Sadílek, Co-owner, Eltodo

From left: Mrs. Zita Muzikářová, Karel Muzikář, President, Comenius , Miroslav Toman Sr., Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Agrotrade, and Zdeněk Toman, Chairman of the Board, Agrotrade




culture event FELIX REHFELD LACQUER PAINTINGS – ROCHUS SERIES 10. 1. – 31. 3. 2015



From left: Mr. Vladimír Darjanin, Camilla Solomon, Fashion Designer, and Hynek Kmoníček, Director, Foreign Affairs Department, The Office of the President of the Czech Republic with his wife Indira

Alena Miro, Opera Singer; Soloist of the State Opera Prague and Ing. Marco Durando, General Manager, Member of the Board, ZAPA Beton

Michal Pavel, Event Director, C&B Events s.r.o.and Mgr. Tereza Urbánková, PSJ Invest From left: Miro Smolák, Owner and Director, MIRO Gallery Prague, Felix Rehfeld, Artist/Author of the Exhibition, and Dr. Erika Költzsch, Art Historian and Director, Galerie Haas AG Zürich

86 From left: Iveta Demianová, RWE, a.s., Oldřich Vejvoda, Journalist, and Dr. Josef Gáfrik, Journalist

From left: Carlos Suárez, Tailor, Carolina Herrera, Financial Advisor, Lucas Giraldo, Architect, and Héctor Castillo, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of Venezuela in the Czech Republic

culture event

From left: Mrs. Martina Svárovská, Leoš Svárovský, Conductor, and PhDr. Marie Ulrichová-Hakenová, Member of the Municipal Government of Prague 5

From left: Miroslav Krupička, Editor-in-chief, Radio Praha, Český Rozhlas, Pavel Opočenský, Sculptor and Designer, Tibor Altrichter, Art Collector, and Lucie Gelemová, Student of Art Pavol Andrasko, Associate Conservator, Guggenheim Museum and Dr. Erika Költzsch, Art Historian and Director of Galerie Haas AG Zürich

From left: MUDr. Martin Papáč, Military Hospital Střešovice, Ing. Jitka Pilařová, Head of the ODS Office, Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Ing. Václav Pilař, Head of a construction company, Bc. Erika Papáčová, Executive, Headquarters of VZP, and MUDr. Oldřich Macháček, Doctor, Military Hospital Střešovice

From left: Oksana Vašová, PATRIA VOYAGE s.r.o. , Irina Kondratěntko, Famous Pianist, Ian Parker, Attorney, CMS Cameron McKenna, and Natali Ruden, Fashion Designer with her son Filip

Lída Rakušanová, Former Journalist, Radio Free Europe with her husband

From left: Jozef Jarabinský, Football Association of the Czech Republic and JUDr. Rudolf Tomašovič, Attorney, The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic

Mrs. Vendula Krtilová and MUDr. Ján Lešták, Owner, Eyeclinic JL From left: Angel Gustavo Suárez, Attaché, Embassy of Cuba in the Czech Republic and H.E. Juraj Chmiel, Ambassador, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Hungary

Jan Vodňanský, Writer, Actor, Musician, Poet and Bohunka Waageová, Painter

From left: PhDr. Jaroslav Holoubek, Poet and Writer, Ing. František Mach, Fianancial Advisor, Ing. Jana Vichrová, Head of Marketing and Business Development, AUDITOR, spol.s.r.o., Ing. Zuzana Holoubková, Supreme Audit Office, and JUDR. Jitka Machová


culture event



Henri Matisse (1869–1954) Fernand Léger (1881–1955) Andy Warhol (1928–1987) George Grosz (1893–1959) Otto Dix (1891–1969) Hans Uhlmann (1900–1975) Ludwig Meidner (1884–1966) Jiří Georg Dokoupil (*1954) Georg Baselitz (*1938) Arnulf Rainer (*1929) Dirk Lange (*1972) David Nicholson (*1970) Konrad Klapheck (*1935) Pia Stadtbäumer (*1959) Dennis Scholl (*1980) Thomas Palme (*1967) Gary Kuehl (*1939) Jannis Varelas (*1977)

From left: Vladimír Valovič, Director, Slovak Institute, friend of Mr. Augustin and Mgr. Radek Augustin, Director, Political Department, The Office of the President of the Czech Republic

88 From left: Mirko Lachman, Businessman, Mgr. Kristina Farris, Art Dealer, and Héctor Castillo, Embassy of Venezuela


From left: Aleš Lamr, Artist and Prof. František Hodonský, Artist, The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague

From left: Jurij Korolev, Partner, EuroAsia, Russia, Ing. Miloš Jaro, Czech Export Bank Plc, Igor Grass, Owner, X5 Company, Russia, and Bystrík Denkocy, Partner, EuroAsia

From left: Mrs. Vlasta Hemalová, Alexander Hemala, TV Moderator, and Marie Tomsová, TV Moderator

From left: Daniela Karasová, Financial Director, Foster Facility Plc, Peter Hradil, Managing Partner, Lydon Wells Ltd, and Ing. Petr Hejma, former Mayor of Prague 1

culture event

From left: Eliška Coolidge – Hašková, Owner, Coolidge Consulting Services, Růžena Nechanská, Consultant, and MUDr. Michal Sičák, Owner, Derma Medical Clinic

From left: MUDr. Martin Papáč, Military Hospital Střešovice, Mrs. Erika Papáčová, Ladislav Szabo with his wife, and Szákal Benjamín, Advisor, Parliament of the Czech Republic

From left: Jiří Kornatovský, Artist and Roman Franta, Artist

From left: Jaromír Schling, former Minister of Transport and Milan Horáček, former Member of the European Parliament

From left: Miro Smolák, Owner and Director, MIRO Gallery Prague and Július Aszalay, Managing Director, MPOWER

From left: Jaromír Másler, Artist and Ing. Emanuel Poche, Property Management

From left: Leoš Svárovský, Conductor, Alena Miro, Opera Singer, and Petr Chromčák, Conductor

Mr. Jakub Mertl and Kristýna Mertlová, CEO, 2K communication Ltd

JUDr. Eva Bartůňková, Attorney, Seddons Ltd and Petr Šťastný, Attorney, Seddons Ltd

From left: Dominik Mareš, Artist, Jiří Weiss, Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce, Štěpán Čert, Parish Priest, and Ing. Tibor Altrichter, Art Collector

From left: MUDr. Ján Lešták, Owner, Eyeclinic JL, Jana Doležalová, Fashion Model, and Jan Černý, Attorney, Law Firm Černý-Raupachová


ambassadors without diplomatic passport

MUDr. Milena Černá

From left: MUDr. Milena Černá, Olga Havlová, and Klement Lukeš, famous journalist and co-founder of Olga Havlová Foundation

If the origin of this interview was to be given one single characteristics, then it would be synchronicity in the sense of „meaningful coincidences“. During my studies in the US, I have developed the interest and the passion for the role of civil society. I also vividly remember the cold January in 1996 when I was standing long hours to pay tribute to Olga Havel and to sign the condolence book to commemorate Olga as my woman role model. The final piece of puzzle was completed in December 2014 when I had the privilege to facilitate the donation for Olga Havel Foundation from the Rotary Club in Montreal as the Secretary of Rotary Club Prague International. It was incredibly moving moment. The premises of Olga Havel Foundation – the Committee of Good Will – evoke Olga´s kindness, wisdom and overall the true humanistic spirit. The Olga Havel´s Foundation – The Committee of Goodwill was perhaps the first foundation to be established after the Velvet Revolution. In 2015, the committee of Goodwill Celebrates 25 years of existence. I realized that all the achievements would not be reached without Olga ´s founding spirit truly embedded in the premises but also without the everyday involvement of Mrs. Milena Černá, who has been a director of the Foundation since 1993.

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Photo: Ondřej Němec

Mrs. Milena Černá studied a medicine and due to her close relations with dissidents she was often called the physician for Charter 77. She was forced to leave the Dermato-Venerology Clinics in 1986 and as a regular district doctor she became familiar with the reality in children´s foster homes, elderly and social care institutions. After 1989, she naturally began to active in the sphere of social affairs. Besides being involved in Olga Havel´s foundation, is the founder of European Anti Poverty Network in the Czech Republic – a network of associations against poverty and social exclusion.

ambassadors without diplomatic passport How do you perceive today´s world? The world is full of anxiety. I think that since there was not an outbrake of a large scale war for a long time, people must somehow express their ambition for dominance. So they provoke, demonstrate, destroy the planet or worse attack, occupy territory, expel each other and kill one another. I am an advocate of cosmopolitism, but it seems that the mankind is still not mature enough. How do you perceive the position of the Czech Republic in today´s world? After 1989, our country had a great chance to restore democracy, decency and order. Instead striving for ideals, people chose materialistic approach. They misuse freedom. Minister of Finance goes too far to claim that he wants to manage this country as a company. Does not it sound like a perverse idea? Does it work like that somewhere else in the world? From the outside perspective, it looks like “the little Czech pond” presents itself as superior to other nations and despises the European Community. The Committee of Good Will – The Olga Havel Foundation is celebrating 25 years anniversary this year. In retrospective what were the most important milestones and achievements? During 25 years of our existence we have had numerous successes: We contributed to the first Leksell gamma knife, we managed to send a large number of sick children to convalesce stays, we gained an important partner for the education of children with handicaps, we helped during the floods, we managed to influence some legislative measures. I think we have achieved a lot with regards to the change of the attitude of mainstream society and its view on people with disabilities. This was also thanks to our top event - the annual Olga Havel Award for personalities, who help others despite their own heavy handicap. However, any specific assistance to a child or an adult in difficult life situation, make us happy again and again. And these numerous occasions are almost impossible to count. Now, if you look ahead what are your plans for future?

On the 15th December 2014 Canada’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic, H.E. Otto Jelinek, attended a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding relating to a donation of CAD 30,000 to The Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation Photo: Zdeněk Chrapek

Our Foundation has created a surrounding circle of helping people, donors, co-operators, volunteers who identify with the principles that our Foundation advocates. We would like to expand this circuit to the universities´ environment and we would like to establish cooperation with foreign foundations operating in the Czech Republic. I believe that both foundations and universities contribute to the positive development of society. As far as our target group for receiving assistance is concerned, we concentrate on elderly people, dying people, people experiencing poverty and living at the risk of social exclusion, children and adults with disabilities and we are open to assist refugees. According to the latest research done by STEM and Via Foundation, 90% of polled Czechs themselves proclaimed being philanthropists helping others. You as an expert in the area, do you confirm such positive trend in Czech society in case of helping others? Certainly, I can confirm that in the Czech Republic, people are willing to donate money if you learn about a disaster from the media. Such as the situation during floods. People tend to contribute having a purpose. Many contribute to support children patients with cancer and blind children. The question is how the donations from collections will be spent. The Foundation is a guarantee that the money

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Linda Štucbartová graduated from the Institute of International Territorial Studies. After a one year scholarship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, she obtained a Diplome d’études supérieures from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. Between the years 2002 and 2006, she worked in senior positions at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2006 she has functioned in the private sphere, and lectures at the Anglo-American University, where she was named the Chair of the Department of Diplomacy. In addition to training in negotiation and communication of clients from the private, public and non-profit sector, she regularly collaborates with NGOs in the projects of the International Global Young Leaders Conference and the Women and Leadership Programme. Linda Štucbartová is a member of the Rotary Club Prague International. She currently works for ATAIRU. Articles are follow ups from her book Velvyslanci Velvyslanci i bez diplomatického pasu (Eng. “Ambassadors without a Diplomatic Passport”).


will be distributed fairly, meeting a long-term perspective and goals. Activities of the Foundation correspond to the broad notion of diversity. You help diverse groups of people, often people on the margin, the groups that are easy to neglect by the outside society. How did you manage to carry on Olga Havel´s legacy for a long time? This is simple. I knew Mrs. Olga since the sixties and our views were very close. I consider management of the Foundation my life mission. You had extremely busy professional life of a medical doctor and then director of the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation, at the same time you are a mother of two sons. I cannot help to ask: How did you manage? And what is your advice to women who try to balance meaningful career and family? And how have conditions for women in the Czech society improved? As a physician, I have the role of mother pretty well settled. My parents and friends helped me. I think that my sons were well prepared to life. I always say that the scout movement also helped me to raise my children since they both were involved. After 1989, I naturally had to give up on life with my grandchildren; I declined the pleasure from grandmother´s role. My perception is that a woman should not be content with her role merely in the upbringing of children. She should have an occupation, where she can do something meaningful for the society. Women today have higher self-esteem and I can see that they tend to study at universities at much higher rate than before. I’m a big supporter of these changes. Final words for Prague Leaders Magazine readers? Believe that if you do something good for others, it will eventually return to you. By Linda Štucbartová české znění naleznete na našich stránkách

Leaders Magazine I/2015 91

ambassadors without diplomatic passport

Hana Machková

Following interview from the series Ambassadors Without Diplomatic Passports will take us to the realm of marketing, economics and France. Professor Hana Machková, current Rector of the University of Economics, Prague, has been awarded “Chevalier dans l´Ordre des Palmes Académiques“ by French Prime Minister. This does not come as a surprise since Mrs. Machková has been in charge of the „Institut franco-tcheque de gestion“ (French Czech Institute of Management), the only institution specializing in French management in the Czech Republic, since 1990. The main project of this joint cooperation, supported by the French Embassy, is the program MASTER - Management et Administration des Entreprises (French equivalent to MBA). This program is organized in cooperation with three French Universities under the direction of Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 (IAE Lyon). Prof. Machková has been also a visiting professor at Université Jean Moulin 3 Lyon and Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne for more than a decade. University of Economics (in Czech known under the abbreviation of VŠE) is the largest public university of economics in the Czech Republic, having currently enrolled almost 20 000 students. The faculty consists of 700 academics and business experts. Prof. Machková is an author and co-author of more than 130 publications. She twice received for her own publications on international marketing and trade GRADA publishing house award in economics literature. The first traditional question – how do you perceive today´s world? Today´s world is marked by the globalization with all advantages and disadvantages that the open globe offers. We can travel, study abroad, do business nearly everywhere, communicate easily and discover new cultures. The price paid for this enormous progress is linked with the risks of growing competitiveness of emerging countries and with the growth of insecurity due to the geopolitical and cultural conflicts. But if I am to compare today´s world to the situation of the “Cold War Era” I believe that we should not complain. As an expert on international marketing, how do you perceive the position of the Czech Republic in today´s world? The position of the Czech Republic is good, in fact better than it is often presented by Czech media. We have to compare ourselves with other countries from Central and Eastern Europe. And if we do so, we are among the best in many respects. For example the GDP per capita in PPS is expressed in relation to EU28 average, and the CR is on 80 % while Poland is on 68 %, Hungary on 67 % and Slovakia on 76 %.

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92 Leaders Magazine I/2015

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Why did you choose international marketing as a field of study? Given the communist history and the negligence of the discipline, the Czech

ambassadors without diplomatic passport companies were in the position when they had to catch up. After 25 years, have Czech companies already become leaders in the international marketing? I have studied foreign trade during the communist time when the word “marketing” was forbidden and there was a monopoly on foreign trade. But export and import are the first stages of international marketing and I have been always interested in international relations. Until 1990´s, Czechoslovakian production companies were isolated from foreign markets. To proclaim that after 25 years, Czech companies become leaders in the international marketing would be too optimistic. One should not forget that 70 % of our export is done by multinationals and the international marketing is mainly the strategic decision of headquarters. Czech companies are traditionally strong in technologies, quality and production, but marketing unfortunately still remains their weakness, often this being the case on the local market as well. Culturally we are more oriented on production than sales and services. But the situation is improving and I hope that it is also due to the result of business education. Special Czech-French relations and connections were prominent not only during the first Czechoslovak Republic, but they date much further to the 14th century, when Jan Lucemburg was brought up at the French court and then he was crowned as the Czech king in 1311. Why did you choose France and how do you perceive French support of the IFTG program after 25 years of existence? I have started to learn French language when I was eight years old, so France and I have a long lasting relationship and I must admit that it is still a true passion for me. I do admire not only the French culture but also French values and style of living. In 1990, when I was 32, rector Věněk Šilhán gave me a chance to create the French-Czech Institute of Management. The French government decided to support the economic transformation of Czechoslovakia by offering the training of teachers and by co-financing the education for French speaking managers. Since the beginning, we Czechs were regarded partners, not just recipients of grants, and that is why our program remains sustainable. French government supports management education in French as a kind of an investment and a tool of export and investment promotion, because

our graduates are working mostly in French owned companies. VŠE is the only institution offering the MBA program in French. Our MBA is a typical market niche and I am proud that after 25 years we still have 25 French speaking students every year. You are a member of Czech Rectors Conference that represents rectors from both public and private universities. The Conference has 51 members, only 7 women. From traditional large and well established universities, you are the only one female representative. How difficult is career for women in science and are you personally in favor of quotas? I am against quotas in the Czech Republic but I am for the improvement of conditions and care providing facilities for women in the Czech Republic. In our society a woman has to serve many roles and I think it is right, because I am convinced that a woman is fullfilled only when both the private and professional life are balanced. But the problem is that a Czech woman has to care first about children and then about parents and compared to western developed countries we are still missing good quality and affordable care providing services. I am glad that VŠE has its own kindergarten, this is an example of our support for young women. And personally I am lucky to have an excellent familial background and this was conditio sine qua non for my whole carrier. And by the way to be a member-woman of Czech Rectors Conference is a fantastic experience. My colleagues are true gentlemen and I must say that it is also an advantage at my University – I have six deans and with all of them I have good relations. But I hope that it is not because I am a woman, but it is the result of my leadership skills. The University of Economics has been traditionally very competitive school, consistently improving its international rankings. How do you view the current debate that in the Czech Republic technical oriented disciplines should be given priority? I do agree that the Czech Republic´s main strength is the industrial tradition and that the technical oriented disciplines should be supported. As for the situation in the higher education, today we have a paradox, there are 26 public universities and 43 private schools in the Czech Republic. 81 % of private schools are focusing on our disciplines, e.g. economics and management. For the University of Economics, Prague

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Linda Štucbartová graduated from the Institute of International Territorial Studies. After a one year scholarship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, she obtained a Diplome d’études supérieures from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. Between the years 2002 and 2006, she worked in senior positions at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2006 she has functioned in the private sphere, and lectures at the Anglo-American University, where she was named the Chair of the Department of Diplomacy. In addition to training in negotiation and communication of clients from the private, public and non-profit sector, she regularly collaborates with NGOs in the projects of the International Global Young Leaders Conference and the Women and Leadership Programme. Linda Štucbartová is a member of the Rotary Club Prague International. She currently works for ATAIRU. Articles are extracts from her book Velvyslanci i bez diplomatického pasu (Eng. “Ambassadors without a Diplomatic Passport”).


Jérôme Rive, Dean of IAE Lyon and Professor Hana Machková, Rector of the University of Economics, Prague

it is a challenge to compete with so many entities and in the situation when the labor market is saturated by graduates in economics and social sciences and the share of graduates in technical sciences is constantly decreasing (it was only 13,7 % in 2012),the debate about priorities is reasonable. Of course, I am pleased that finally companies are more and more caring about the quality of diploma and that the graduate of the University of Economics, Prague is usually the first choice due to our good image. But this country cannot live only from managers, we are innovation based economy and we need a quality technical education as well. How do you perceive the debate on the future of tertiary education? What are your plans as Rector of University of Economics? I am glad that the Higher Education Act is ready to be discussed in the Parliament. If admitted, I am looking forward to the Institutional Accreditation. As Rector, my nearest plan is the opening of the first VŠE Business Accelerator in January under the brand xPort. We have prepared modern premises in Prague in Jarov and we have hired a very dedicated management team. I am pleased that we have already not only company support from Česká spořitelna, but one of the donors is also one of our graduates, the first private donator. I will also support as much as I can the qualification growth of our young faculties and I will continue to develop the internationalization strategy of the VŠE. Our ambition is to be the leader in Central and Eastern Europe. Your final message for Prague Leaders readers… Be optimistic. We are living in a beautiful and a safe country in the heart of Europe. Our country has many talented people and Czech Universities are ready to educate them. The chance is there for all those who are ready! By Linda Štucbartová

Leaders Magazine I/2015 93

EU matters interview


An interview with H.E. Jaroslav Kurfürst, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Belgium „Bilateral diplomacy is sometimes like operating the radio: you need to help to find the right wave length of two coutries. For the Czech Belgian partnership it is not so difficult.“ Dear Mr. Ambassador, you have been living in Belgium very shortly so far, but you have already had the opportunity to discover Belgian economy during your tours in the regions. Was there anything that had positively surprised you? At the moment, I can only share the first, although very intensive, impressions. During the first weeks, I had the opportunity to get to know the Flemish Brabant very well and to visit Antwerp, a fair in Gent and Namur the capital of the Walloon region. I was very impressed by the general accent on knowledge economy. Belgian universities developed great partnerships with private sector and state agencies and set up spin-offs. Belgium has started with this approach a couple of years ago and it has been a success ever since. Meanwhile, the most successful companies that were created as spin-offs became leaders at global level, e.g. IMEC or B-PHOT. Top level has also been reached by live-sciences facilities such as the Research centre of the Catholic University of Leuven which I had the opportunity to visit. This university is in fact linked with one of the strongest stories of Czech science – career of Professor Holý. Cooperation with Professor Erik De Clerq from Leuven was key for number of his projects and Professor De Clerq is co-author of 15 Holý´s patents. But there are more similar examples. However, the Czech Republic closely cooperates with other universities and research centres. This is exactly the field to which I would like to dedicate my mission in Belgium.



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94 Leaders Magazine I/2015

Which other priorities did you set up for your mission? Czech-Belgian relations have long-lasting tradition and are very rich. I would like to deepen and enhance them. If I had to point out one particular area, it would be R&D and simultaneously the cooperation with universities. By that I mean mobility of students and educators in both directions, cooperation on research projects and joint participation in European programmes such as Horizon 2020 or spin-off projects creating virtual bridge between research and economy. I have visited numerous ceremonial openings of the

EU matters interview academic year at Belgian universities and had the possibility to understand how important the education is for Belgians. They know that it is not only about current and future cultural level of the nation, but also about its future prosperity. In today’s world of hard competition, the education is the first prerequisite. For this reason I have addressed all rectors of Czech public universities with the offer of cooperation when strengthening the tights with Belgium. Giving the fact that there are two international organizations – NATO and EU, Brussels is very cosmopolitan. It offers a variety of cultural events. How successful are you when promoting Czech culture? Is there any interest for it? It is not possible to assess that after such a short time I have been here. I can only confirm that Brussels is a difficult milieu with a great offer of events. There are many of them every day from morning to evening. Except the traditional cultural life of Brussels, the attention of public is drawn to numerous embassies, culture centres, economic sectors, regions from over the Europe, lobby groups and other stakeholders. Despite that, I think the Czechs are successful and seen – also thanks to active work of all of us who represent our country – diplomatic mission, Czech centre, Czech regions including the Prague House, sectorial representations, Czech Fan Club and other friends of the Czech Republic. We managed to build a clear knowledge of Czech entities in Brussels that we all wear the same jersey and must pull together. The Belgians like and know Czech classical music, fine arts including the photography, film and literature. Only in the last couple of weeks, philharmonic orchestra of Brno played in Brussels Beaux Arts and in Liege. Czech classical music was heard in many Belgian cities performed by Czech interpreters in the framework of International music festival 13 cities - Czech Dreams. Last week, there was an article in Le Soir about French performance of Petr Zelenka play called Příběhy obyčejného šílenství, that were performed in Brussels, Mons, Liege and Namur. You wish to focus on research and science. Is there any Belgian recipe for business cooperation with academic world? H. E. Ambassador Jaroslav Kurfürst holds Master degree in Geography and Physical Education from the University of Ostrava and Master degree in French language from the University of Hradec Králové. He served as Second Secretary at the Czech Embassy in Moscow and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he served as Director of Security Policy, later as Director of Common Foreign and Security Policy Department and also as Director General of Europe Section. Since 2014 he has been Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Belgium. He is fluent in French, English and Russian. He likes outdoor sports, reading, music and gardening. With his wife Radka they have two sons - Jaroslav and Vojtěch.

Belgians have worked intensively to teach these two worlds to communicate and cooperate. We work home in the same way. Research centres cannot be considered as machines for patents, where you throw 5 crowns on one side and you get an invention on the other. At the same time, they have to show, especially in technical programmes, the results. World is getting faster and interconnected today, and R&D generates very progressive and smart entities. Who hesitates, stands aside very soon. Nevertheless, it is an area connected with future prosperity and success. Belgian research institutions are aware of it and are open to international cooperation. In the criteria of internationalization they rank in the top places in the world – and it is a country of smaller size, similar to the Czech Republic. International cooperation is crucial for Belgians. In this respect I see an opportunity for Czech scientists, research centres and companies. Are you aware of any common aspects of Czech and Belgian economy? Indeed, there is a range of similar features. Beside the same size of the economy and the fact that we are both part of the EU Internal Market, we have a strong industrial tradition. Plus there is a very strong link to German supply chain in both countries. And we could go on with the similarities and end up with the tradition of beer brewing, of which are both countries rightly proud. Which sectors in Belgium are prospective for Czech companies? Everything of high quality has a potential to be placed on this market. You might want to hear concrete sectors where we have a bigger opportunity to be successful, though. Naturally, we have made numerous analyses which are going as deep as to the categories of products. I will rather mention the larger sectors such as transport, esp. railways. Furthermore, it is healthcare, esp. medical chairs, beds or health material or energy. According to the analyses, there is also potential in sectors of furnishing, papermaking, drinking-water, lifting and handling equipment, machine tools and forming tools and many others. Nevertheless, I think that Czech companies are able to succeed in Belgium in all sectors if they have excellent goods for a good price. Access to the sea and links to former colonies give Belgian companies many opportunities. Shouldn´t we use Belgium as a bridge for trading with third countries? Yes, that’s a good point but a big challenge at the same time. There are many countries that could serve as an intermediary to enter those markets they have acquired better than us, either due to historic or geographic reasons. This is a topic for my colleagues from Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and France as well. In case of Belgium, it is unequivocally equatorial

Africa, the markets which are very hard to get to for inexperienced companies. On the other hand, investment in Czech companies could open the door for Belgian companies to Western Balkans or Eastern Europe. There were a lot of discussions about such cooperation, but it ends up with a success very rarely. Nevertheless, it is worth trying such cooperation and look for opportunities. You have experience with security policy. Last year, Belgium has recorded couple of terrorist threats. How do you perceive it? Last year´s attack on Brussels Jewish museum was a cold shower for the whole Europe. Belgium is fully aware of the threat especially after the attack against the Charlie Hebdo. Per capita, Belgium is the country with the most Islamists fighting in Iraq and Syria. According to the estimations, it concerns 300 people. There are justifiable doubts about the consequences of their return to Belgium. There are already many of such returnees in Belgium – media says about 90 persons. I would like to compliment Belgian security agencies that don’t find themselves in an easy situation and are coping with this problem. Belgium has also joined countries of the international coalition against Daesh, i.e. the terrorist army that is being called Islamic State. It was remarkable to see the speed of decision to send six Belgian F16s to that region on the same day when it was approved by the Belgian Parliament. Belgian political representation is united and principled when it comes to the defence of democratic values and readiness to confront serious security threats. The deployment of aircrafts had a massive support in the Parliament – there were only two MPs from Marxist formation against. New Belgian government of Prime Minister Michel is very well aware of the problem of radical Islam and wants to tackle it intensively as it is one of its priorities. During your professional career you have worked at the Czech Embassy in Moscow. You know Russian culture very well. What is your personal opinion regarding the efficiency of EU sanctions against Russia? In my opinion the sanctions proved to be effective. Their aim is not to punish Russia but to change its unacceptable behaviour. Unlawful attack against neighbouring Ukraine, armed annexation of Crimea and fomenting and supporting separatism in eastern Ukraine are no distant regional problems. They concern principles on which stands European security. Europe has always been set to cooperate with Russia. But Russia broke a lot of porcelain in the last couple of years and lost a lot of its credibility. I hope that it will start respecting its neighbours as independent states and partners, and working on coming back to the trajectory of cooperation. Thank you for the cooperation! By Alena Mastantuono

Amsterdam Athinai Berlin Bratislava Bruxelles Bucureşti Budapest Dublin Helsingfors København Lefkosia Lisboa Ljubljana London Luxembourg Madrid Paris Praha Rïga Roma Sofia Stockholm Tallinn Valletta Vilnius Warszawa Wien


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EU matters debates

Business representatives participating at the European Parliament of Enterprises



Czech Chamber of Commerce with CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU organized a business mission to Brussels on 15th and 16th October 2014. Firstly, participants of the mission met on the 15th of October in Pilsen House with representatives of Belgian companies for a B2B meeting. The event was officially launched by H. E. Jaroslav Kurfürst, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Brussels. The next day, the delegation discussed current topics related to EU legislation and quality of business environment in the EU with representatives of Czech Permanent Representation to the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Subsequently, the delegation participated at the European Parliament of Enterprises, where business representatives from all member states discussed current EU business related legislation. Finally, the delegation met a group of Czech MEPs.

Irena Bartoňová Pálková, Vice President, Czech Chamber of Commerce and H. E. Jaroslav Kurfürst, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Brussels

From left: Karel Havlíček, Chairman of the Association of SMEs and Crafts of the Czech Republic and Miroslav Zámečník, Advisor to the President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce

From left: Alena Mastantuono, Director, CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU, Michaela Šojdrová, Vice Chairwoman of the Committee on Culture and Education, European Parliament, H.E. Martin Povejšil, Ambassador, Czech Permanent Representation to the EU, Jan Pánek, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission, and Jakub Mazur, Czech Permanent Representation to the EU


Th i iis not ddramatic i for f the h Czech C h economy in i The iimpact off sanctions its integrity. According to calculations of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, economic sanctions could reduce Czech GDP by 0.03 %. On the other hand, sanctions could have a significant impact on those companies whose sales are dependent on Russian market. The impact of sanctions will be mostly indirect, i.e. the Czech export will decrease to those countries (e.g. Germany) which have important trade with Russia. The companies will reorient their trade and it is a question, when and in what extend they will come back to Russia. Confidence is a very important aspect of business and it is difficult to regain it when lost. These were the main conclusions of a debate co-organized by CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU on the 23rd of October in European House in Prague.

From left: Vilém Semerák, Economic Expert, CERGE-EI, Helena Horská, Chief Economist, Raiffeisenbank, Miroslav Zámečník, Advisor to the President of Czech Chamber of Commerce, Karel Havlíček, Chairman of the Association of SMEs and Crafts of the Czech Republic, and Alena Mastantuono, Director of CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU


From left: Vilém Semerák, Economic Expert, CERGE-EI, Helena Horská, Chief Economist, Raiffeisenbank, Miroslav Zámečník, Advisor to the President of Czech Chamber of Commerce, Karel Havlíček, Chairman of the Association of SMEs and Crafts of the Czech Republic, and Alena Mastantuono, Director of CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU

EU matters debates

Jan Michal, Head of European Commission Representation to the Czech Republic

Claudia Canevari, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission Jan Rovenský, Greenpeace, Czech Republic Participants of the debate Jakub Vít, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic

INCREASING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS REASONABLE, BUT SHOULD NOT BE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE The EU directive on energy efficiency is supposed to increase the energy efficiency by 20% until 2020. However, only 7 member states fully implemented the directive so far; the Czech Republic is not one of them. The Communication from the European Commission issued at the end of July 2014 shows the expected reduction by 2020 should be around 18-19%. At the beginning of 2014, the European Commission has prepared a draft of EU 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, of which the final form was approved at the European Council Summit on 23 - 24 October 2014. Just before the summit, the framework was discussed at a debate co-organized by CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU on the 30th of September in European House in Prague. Increase of energy efficiency is crucial for sustaining the competitiveness and energy security in the Czech Republic. The positive impacts of energy efficiency include higher security of supplies, GDP growth, higher employment and a there is a positive effect on health and environment as well. However, there are different approaches in member states; in older and richer member states the price burden caused by implementation of energy efficiency measures lies on households, while in new member states it is mainly on industry – in the Czech Republic even up to 83%.


ICT skills and digital agenda are among the top priorities of the new European Commission and the significance of this sector is expected to increase and one of the main EU´s priorities is improvement of education in ICT. The rapid digitization requires a profound upskilling of citizens and the workforce in Europe as many Europeans do not have enough digital skills today. We witness a paradoxical situation on the labor market: although many Europeans are unemployed, we see many vacancies for digital technology jobs which cannot be filled. The lack of digital skills is also one of the reasons why Europe is losing its competitiveness. In addition, Europe needs leaders that would be capable of implementing strategies of digital education. Although strategies have been introduced before, they were never properly implemented because of insufficient political will. To improve the situation in ICT education, it is necessary to promote lifelong learning and adapt strategies to rapidly changing environment, agreed speakers at a debate co-organized by CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU on 25th November 2014 in European House in Prague.

Jan Michal, Head of European Commission Representation to the Czech Republic

From left: Svatoslav Novák, President of ICT Union and Jan Mühlfeit, former Chairman Europe, Microsoft

From left: Ondřej Neumajer, Chairman of the working group preparing the Strategy of Digital Education by 2020 and Alexander Riedl, European Commission’s Directorate-General Communications Networks, Content and Technology


EU matters business


BUSINESS NEWS December 2014

DID YOU KNOW THAT…? …the European Commission aims for more transparency? The European Commission has announced that its aim to increase transparency and gain more trust and support of EU citizens. Since the 1st of December 2014, there are new internal rules for meetings with lobbyists that apply to Commissioners, members of their Cabinets and Directors-General of the Commission. Under the new rules, a report from every meeting with interested groups has to be published mentioning where, when and with whom the representatives of the Commission met. With this step, the new President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker lives up to his promise to make the Commission a more transparent and open institution. …the European Commission unveiled its investment package? At the end of November, the European Commission presented its long-awaited investment plan prepared in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) that should help the EU´s growth get back on track. The main pillar of the plan is the newly established European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) that is expected to raise 315 billion EUR in the next three years. The other two pillars of the plan focus on creating a list of trustworthy projects that should attract even more private investment and removing regulatory barriers to long term investment. The main strength of the EFSI should be its leverage effect. While only 16 billion EUR will be used from the EU budget and 5 billion EUR from the budget of EIB, the Commission expects the multiplier value to be 15, giving the estimated 315 billion EUR for investment. …TTE Council discussed the connected continent? Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) discussed on the 27th of November a proposal amend to the EU telecommunications regulatory framework, the so-called “connected continent”, which is based on two pillars – roaming and net neutrality. On roaming, most Member States expressed the need to have more time to analyze the best steps to prevent rise of domestic prices as a compensation for losses caused from price cuts of roaming services. The Council also gave the green light to multi–stakeholder cooperation for internet governance. On data protection, Council reaffirmed its support to equal rights both online and offline.


search engines and certain discriminating practices of search engines should be removed. Furthermore, fast adoption of the telecoms package and creation of common standards for cloud computing should speed up the process. LET´S TALK NUMBERS… EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions at lowest level since 1990 The European Commission in cooperation with the European Environment Agency released its annual Progress report that assesses EU performance in the area of climate action. According to the results, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 1.8 percent compared with 2012 and recorded the lowest level since 1990. According to estimates and if current trends will continue, the European Union is on the right track to overachieve its 2020 target. In addition, the report shows that approximately 3 billion EUR out of 3.6 billion EUR raised from auctioning of the CO2 emissions will be invested in climate and energy related measures. External current account recorded 7.8 billion EUR surplus in Q3 2014 Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, published data on the external current account showing that it recorded a surplus of 7.8 billion EUR in the third quarter of 2014. Compared to the previous quarter, it decreased by 13.4 billion EUR. In the annual comparison, the surplus of external current account also declined from 17.3 billion EUR in the third quarter of 2013. Error rate in EU funded projects slightly decreased in 2013 At the beginning of November, the European Parliament discussed the annual report released by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) that deals with EU´s expenses and payment errors in 2013. The report mainly criticizes the uncertainty of data on handling with money from EU funds provide by individual Member States. According to the report, the overall error rate was 4.7 percent in 2013, which means a slight decline compared to 2012. But, on the other hand, this number is still above the 2.0 percent threshold that ECA defines as a maximal level for classification of flawless payment. In the long term, most irregularities occur in the regional (6.9% in 2013) and agricultural policy (6.7 in 2013).

…European Semester 2015 was launched? On the 28th of November the European Commission published its Annual Growth Survey 2015 (AGS) and initiated the process of European Semester. Although the European economy isn’t declining any more, the growth is very weak. Therefore, the Commission issued many socio–economic recommendations which should support sustainable growth, reduce unemployment and create new jobs. The recommendations are divided into three main pillars – investment support, renewal of commitment to structural reforms and enforcement of fiscal responsibility. The Commission also released the Alert Mechanism Report focused on macroeconomic imbalances in Member States and Joint Employment analyzing the situation on European labor market.

EU R&D Investment in 2013 below world average On the 4th of December, the European Commission published results of its Survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends, according to which investment in research and development increased by 2.6 percent in 2013, despite the unfavorable economic environment. Nevertheless, this means a slowdown in comparison with 2012 when the investment in research and development increased by 6.8 percent. This number is also below the world average (4.9 percent) and is lower than in the US (5.0 percent) and Japan (5.5 percent). The good news is that the biggest R&D investor in the world in 2013 was EU-based Volkswagen with 11.7billion EUR.

…the Parliament calls for Digital Single Market? In its resolution from the plenary session that was held at the end of November, the European Parliament called on Member States and the European Commission to make the best possible effort to create a genuine Digital Single Market. According to the Parliament, the digital single market could add up to 260 billion EUR per year to EU GDP. However, the Parliament stresses that a level playing field needs to be created and it is necessary to ensure that all the subjects will have the same conditions. Special attention should be dedicated to the field of

Industrial producer prices down in October 2014 According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, industrial producer prices decreased in October 2014 compared with September 2014 by 0.4 percent in the euro area and by 0.5 percent in the EU28 as a whole. In the year on year comparison with October 2013, industrial producer prices decreased by 1.3 per cent in the euro area and by 1.5 per cent in the whole EU. Compared with 2013, prices decreased in almost all EU countries, slight increase was recorded only in Bulgaria, Romania and Sweden.

IN THE WORLD EU main foreign partners still implement trade restrictions In mid-November, The European Commission published its report assessing the favorability of business climate among EU´s main foreign business partners. With regard to the conclusions of the report, EU business partners are still prone to implement the measures preventing or complicating international trade. Commission´s survey covers 13 months period, during which the key trade partners, for instance China, Russia, India and Indonesia, adopted 170 new international trade restricting measures while just 12 previously adopted restrictions were removed. New EU trade Commissioner underlined the importance of TTIP conclusion At the conference held on the 18th of November in the European Parliament, the new trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström underlined the importance of concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US. Mrs. Malmstöm also highlighted the key role TTIP can play in the effort to global spreading of values and standards that EU and the US share. Furthermore, TTIP could serve as a pattern for agreements with other world economies. Negotiators expect the completion of TTIP negotiations in 2015, after that the agreement will be forwarded to the Member States and European Parliament for formal ratification. Šefčovič highlighted the essential role of EUMediterranean energy collaboration Vice-President of European Commission for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič underlined on the high-level conference hosted on the 18th of November in Rome the essential role of energy networks diversification for energy security of the EU and its neighbors from south and eastern Mediterranean. Šefčovič said that energy cooperation should be the key priority of the EU-Mediterranean partnership. Due to increased cooperation, it should be possible to make use of gas resources in Algeria and offshore gas supplies in Eastern Mediterranean in the future. In relation to the recent events in Ukraine, he also underlined the significance of further Euro Mediterranean cooperation for EU energy supplies diversification. EU new financial support to Ukraine On the 12th of November, the European Commission provided 260 million EUR in form of loan to Ukraine as part of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA). The MFA program aims to give financial support to Ukraine in its current uneasy situation and boost structural reforms primarily in the area of public finance, trade, taxation or energy sector. One of the main goals is to harmonize Ukrainian legislation and bring it closer to EU standards. The EU provided additional 600 million EUR to Ukraine earlier in 2014. EU and India agreed on renewal of ICT-related patent cooperation During the Indo-European Conference on ICT-related patents hosted on the 7th of November in Munich, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of India (IPO India) have agreed on the renewal of their co-operation in the field of patents. Both sides agreed on common effort to support innovation in both regions. This agreement sets up the framework of relationships between both institutions for at least the next 4 years. The main objective is to establish efficient patent system between both parties that will cooperate in technical field and will exchange information and best practices. Brought by CEBRE – Czech Business Representation to the EU (kindly supported by CzechTrade),

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