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Compromise in the West, says Broza, is a success, and here it is a loss.  Who controls Brussels |  radio

Compromise in the West, says Broza, is a success, and here it is a loss. Who controls Brussels | radio

The Czech Republic’s potential to advance its interests in upcoming European legislation depends in large part on how Czech politicians, diplomats, and officials are able to gather information and negotiate behind the scenes beforehand. But the Czechs still have loopholes in this. Who has real influence in European institutions? Who controls the background and what should the Czechs do to be more influential? That’s what the first summer special of Brussels Sandwiches is all about.



brussels bread
Prague / Brussels

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According to Tomas Brossa, the most important number stored in Sherpa’s phone is the contact of the Prime Minister of the President of the European Commission. | Source: Czech Radio

In August, the institutions of the European Union did not meet, and the Czech presidency hibernated for a few weeks. So the podcast authors decided to analyze a free topic – the influence of the Czech Republic in Brussels – along with the guest, who was president of the Trade and Tourism Association Tomáš Prouza, who served as Minister of State for European Affairs, or Sherpa, during the Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD) government.

Compromise in the West, says Broza, is a success, and here it is a loss. Who controls Brussels?

Thus Broza was directly involved in the main negotiations. “The Sherpa must know his peers, he must talk to them almost constantly, and the relations must be established in such a way that one SMS is sufficient. But this can only be done by phone. This also means that he has to travel around the member states. individual, and he has to meet his peers, and he has to try something with them, so that he can then write short messages”, explains the former Czech “Mr. Europe”.

According to him, the most important number stored in Sherpa’s phone is the contact number of the Chief of Staff of the President of the European Commission. “This is someone who can identify where the biggest sensitivities are, and where the biggest potential problem is. And if you can come to an agreement with the head of the committee chair’s office, you know that seventy percent of the work is done,” Broza asserts.

The most influential of the Czechs in Brussels


At the time of this Sherpa, German lawyer Martin Selmayr was the head of the Cabinet of Jean-Claude Juncker. “He was feared by some and praised by others. He was like Cardinal Richelieu of the European Commission,” recalls Philip Nerad, who at that time worked as a correspondent for Czech Radio in Brussels. Today, according to Tomas Brossa, there is no one with such influence in the capital of the European Union.

Who among the Czechs is now among the most influential people in Brussels? In the podcast, the names of European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, Ambassador Jaroslav Zajíček and co-author of the rating Martin Špolc, who is the Head of Sustainable Finance at the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, is mentioned. .

However, according to Broza, the Czechs still lacked higher qualified positions within European institutions. For example, the Czechs have never had a director general of a European Commission directorate or prime minister of a European commissioner.


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But the question is whether jobs in European institutions are viewed as prestigious jobs in the Czech Republic. “I don’t know many university students who would like to attend EU institutions and live in Brussels,” Zdenka Trachtova notes.

According to Broza, the approach to negotiations is also weak in the Czech Republic. “In Western Europe, compromise is seen as a success. Whereas in the Czech Republic, if you say that you have reached a compromise, it will be seen as a loss. And that is the absolute fundamental error in understanding the whole European debate. In the Czech Republic, if you do not implement all What the Czechs want, you are seen as incompetent. ”

According to Viktor Dashik, the problem has already begun in the Czech public debate on the European Union. “It is true that successes are always national, but if something goes wrong, it is up to Brussels. There is not much talk about the European Union in the Czech Republic. And if it is really talked about, we will burn an enormous amount of time with unnecessary discussions about details often small and refuting useless myths, for example that Brussels bans rum to the Czechs, or guns to hunters, or the recent nonsense about the slaughter of herds in the Netherlands because of the climate,” concludes the current Brussels correspondent for Czech Radio.

You can listen to the entire program in the app galaxy.

Brussels bread podcast

How is the Czech Republic at the top of Europe? Brusselské chlebíčky is a podcast by an author for Czech Radio, which started on Monday, 20 June. Each week, he takes a look at the kitchen of the Czech Presidency of the European Union and serves the most important behind-the-scenes, spice-packed events in a clear format. The bread rolls are prepared by Victor Danuk, Zedika Trachtova, Philip Nerad and their guests.

You can listen to all the parts here.

Do you have feedback, tips or comments? Write to [email protected]

Zdeňka Trachtová, Filip Nerad, Viktor Daněk and

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