For the first time in history, the Czech Republic is interested in the position of Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a campaign in support of Vladimír Dlouhý, who is an economist and President of the Chamber of Commerce.
According to Lidové noviny, in his campaign, Dlouhý will probably focus on gaining the support of Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. However, Dlouhý did not comment on the details of his candidacy.
The selection of the new Secretary-General of the OECD will begin this September and conclude next spring.
“The appointment of the new Secretary-General will be decided by OECD member states based on consensus,” said the spokeswoman of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mariana Wernerová.
Currently, it is not yet clear how many candidates will compete for the position.
In 2006, former Mexican Finance and Foreign Minister Ángel Gurría was elected the head of the organization. However, he plans to retire next year.
According to Lidové noviny, Dlouhý’s nomination did not meet with the understanding of his colleagues in the Chamber of Commerce. Nevertheless, the Chamber’s board of directors supported Dlouhý in his decision.
Dlouhý, who is currently 66 years old, was one of the most prominent personalities of the post-communist economic transformation in the 1990s. From 1992 to 1997, he was Minister of Industry and Trade, then withdrew from politics and left for the private sector. From 2006 to 2008, he was a member of a commission that prepared the long-term strategy of the Czech energy industry.
In January 2008, he became a member of the National Economic Council of the Czech government. At the beginning of 2013, he unsuccessfully ran for President but was elected the President of the Chamber of Commerce in 2014. He is also an adviser to President Miloš Zeman.
The OECD, which unites 36 developed countries, was founded in September 1961. The Czech Republic became the OECD member in December 1995.
Title image: Vladimír Dlouhý (Chamber of Commerce)