In contrast to Western Europe, the citizens of the Czech Republic have grown up in the last 30 years in political environment with open public debate, which Czech presidents have been able to expand as much as possible with their distinctive attitudes and values - identity protecting humanist Havel, competition protecting conservative Klaus and equality protecting socialist Zeman.
Václav Havel (1993-2003): "The [European] community must rely fully on the spiritual, intellectual, and political values that in recent decades have been maintained, cultivated, and practiced in the democratic countries of Western Europe. I mean values like political and economic plurality, parliamentary democracy, respect for civil rights and freedoms, the decentralization of local administration and municipal government, and all that these things imply... It does not mean adaptation to something alien..."
Václav Klaus (2003-2013): “..one or another institutional arrangement of the European Union is not an objective in itself; but a tool for achieving the real objectives. These are nothing but human freedom and an economic system that would bring prosperity… We must say openly that the present economic system of the EU is a system of a suppressed market, a system of a permanently strengthening centrally controlled economy… I say all of this because I do feel a strong responsibility for the democratic and prosperous future of Europe.“
Miloš Zeman (2013-2023): "In my opinion, much of the guilt lies on the current leadership of the European Union, which is totally incompetent, bureaucratic, causing the alienation of European citizens from European institutions... We do not need censorship, we do not need an ideological police, we do not need a new press and information office if we are to continue living in a free and democratic society..."