Jan Kudrna


The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, as a key part of the constitutional system of the Czech Republic, was adopted thirty years ago. This happened in a fundamentally different society. Over the past thirty years, Czech society has undergone significant changes. From a society of scarcity, it has become a much richer society as a whole, accustomed to a high standard of consumption and possessing higher expectations. Czech society has also changed in the sense that it has gone from being a collectivist society to one based on strong individualism. This can be well illustrated by the example of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of movement and, among other things, the freedom to travel beyond the borders of the state and to return to its territory. At the time of the creation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, in 1990–1991, this right was perceived primarily as the right to leave the territory of the state and return without the need for the consent of the ruling regime, i.e., regardless of the political attitude of the state towards the individual and vice versa. Naturally, this right also included an element of possible economic emigration. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that freedom of movement was perceived, not by the whole of society but by a not-insignificant part of it, as an unrestricted right, including the right to go on holiday and to return, regardless of the health consequences. This is one of the proofs of a change in Czech society’s view not only of itself but also of the content of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.