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 Khalid’s topic – the influence of the Czech Republic in Brussels – along with guest, Trade and Tourism Association President Tomasz Broza, who served as Minister of State for European Affairs, or Sherpa, during the ČSSD’s Bohuslav Sobotka government.
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 chair of the committee chair’s office, you know you’ve got 70 percent of the work done,” Broza confirms.
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.
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 you’ve reached a compromise, it will be seen as a loss. This is the absolute fundamental error in understanding the whole European debate. In the Czech Republic, if you don’t implement Whatever 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 very little talk of 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 on small details. often and refute useless myths, for example that Brussels bans rum for the Czechs, or guns for hunters, or the recent nonsense about the killing of the state in the Netherlands because of the climate”, concludes the current Brussels correspondent of the Czech Radio.
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