PROFESSOR JAN SOKOL is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague. He was previously Minister of Education of the Czech Republic, and prior to that Professor of Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology, Charles University. He is also Chairman of the Education Committee of the Czech UNESCO, Vice-chairman of the Board of IBE Geneva, Adviser to the Minister of Education, Member of the Scientific Councils at the Faculties of Social Sciences, Pedagogy and at the Center for Theoretical Studies, Charles University, and at the Masaryk University, Brno. He has served as an MP, Vice-Chairman of the Chamber of Nations, in the Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia, speaker of the Civic Forum caucus, and leader of the Permanent delegation to the Council of Europe.
My points may be parallel to those of Professor Mach. I first of all would like to stress the depth and vigour of the impact that changes after 1989 have had, which is often underestimated in the West. Even here on the territory of the former GDR you can hardly appreciate the hardships that came upon the heads of citizens. First there was this huge isolation, for example the famous oil shock of the 70’s came upon us after the change.