history Eastern_Europe Czecho-Slovakia


After the Fall of Communism

By:  John Zetocha


Czechoslovakia under went a relatively peaceful revolution and divided into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.  Each country faced many of the same problems though their transition from being a communist state to a free market, republic state.  The former Czechoslovakia was one few countries who had a strong history of a market economy before being placed under the Soviet Union.  This has helped them create a strong basis for the new

The Foreign Policy of Czech Republic changed during the transitional period from the old Soviet based policies to new Western based policies.   A fundamental goal for Czech Republic was their joining the European Union.1  The European Union had only a few gripes with the Czech Republic government and one of these dissatisfactions was the tariffs they had on agricultural products.1  Even with this and a few other areas of work the European Union and Czech Republic signed mutual benefiting agreements.1 


The Czech Republic also became a member of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs or GATT and the United Nations.1  Within the United Nations the Czech Republic holds positions on the different agencies.1  The relations between the Czech Republic and other countries developed quickly and friendly since the fall of communism, now they maintain relations with 85 countries with 63 of those having some type of yearly round representation there.1

Under the leadership of President Havel and others, the Czech Republic has modeled their rebirth around the United States.   They have taken necessary steps not to fall in what is called the reform trap.2  This is were the government only has partial reforms and this will be more detrimental to the future of the country.2  An important country for the Czech Republic to have strong economic and political ties was the United States.1    President Havel has seen the United States as an important ally, both economically and politically.


President Havel has visited Washington trying to strength the Czech-United States relations and was given a warm welcome.   The United States under President Bush guaranteed about 30 to 35 million a year in the form of regional programs through the United States Agency for International Development.1

Vaclav Klaus was Havel’s finance minister and was a key ally of the transition from the communist economy to the market economy.  Klaus stated that the Czech Republic needed to have “a market economy without any adjectives” in an interview with John Fund.2  Klaus also stated that the Czech Republic “wanted to lower barriers of trade and investment”, but did not want foreign aid.2  The Czech Republic is the only Eastern European country not to ask for foreign aid.2 

Instead of foreign aid, Klaus stated that they were going to apply to the International Monetary Fund or IMF.  Klaus stated that classical foreign aid “would bring inflation and a certain timidity in the making of economic policy…could allow us to delay needed economic treatments and send us into the reform trap.”2   The Czech Republic seeking a reasonable credit rating from the IMF for membership to allow them to form their policy around their real needs that will allow them to strive into the future.


Work Cited

1.        http://traveldocs.com/cz/foreign.htm

 2.        http://reason.com/klausint.html









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