Press Advisories

10. 9. 2014 21:10

Statement by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on the nomination of Věra Jourová to the post of Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Protection and Gender

I would like to congratulate Věřa Jourová on obtaining a portfolio that is very important for Europe as a whole, and offers great potential to influence the form and operation of Europe. The position of Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Protection and Gender Equality touches the lives of EU citizens and the business sector. Věra Jourová is facing an even greater challenge than her predecessor, Viviane Reding, due to the significant expansion of the consumer protection portfolio, which is an important economic topic that affects every citizen of the European Union.

For a country like the Czech Republic, the award of this portfolio can be considered to be a success and a recognition of our quality. The European Commission President Juncker has described the area of justice and internal affairs as one of the ten main priorities for his Commission and this post has also previously been held by larger countries than ours (Věra Jourová’s predecessors have included Viviane Reding from Luxembourg, Jacques Barrot from France and Franco Frattini from Italy). The Czech Republic was primarily seeking a portfolio with an economic focus, but the powers awarded to Věra Jourová belong to a portfolio that is of moderate importance for the European Commission and can be used to extend and improve the perception of the Commissioner responsible for them.

In the area of justice, the main challenges facing the new Commissioner involve the successful completion of reforms concerning the rule of law and law enforcement, ensuring respect for fundamental rights, issues relating to equal treatment, personal data protection and access to the judicial system.

In the area of consumer protection, her main task will entail the creation of an environment in which EU citizens will be able to buy and trade without facing unnecessary barriers, and with the certainty that their rights will be fully protected. The Czech Republic has long supported the completion of the European Union internal market in all its dimensions, including the digital. The operation of the internal market, together with its freedoms, is one of the advantages of membership of the Union that is most valued by Czech citizens. As part of her portfolio, Věra Jourová will actively defend these benefits and also promote their expansion in other areas, such as consumer protection or the simplification of on-line purchasing and related rules.

This is also a portfolio where the Commissioner will be able to apply her legal training and I firmly believe that she will manage the portfolio that has been entrusted to her extremely competently and will also contribute to a better perception of the European Union in the Czech Republic. She has also often proved herself able to maintain a very personal approach and effectively manage the debate, even during extremely complex negotiations. These abilities will be fundamental in the area she has been allocated and will create ideal conditions for our Commissioner to successfully harmonise the approaches taken by the “old” and “new” Member States on the sensitive issues she will encounter.

Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the CR

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