Daily news summary
Czech nominee approved for European values and transparency portfolio
The designated Czech vice-president of the European Commission, Věra Jourová has been approved by MEPs for the European values and transparency portfolio in the new European Commission.
Ms. Jourová was grilled by members of the Constitutional Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees on how she would secure rule of law and media independence across the EU.
Potential measures mentioned by the vice president-designate included anti-censorship legislation, as well as legal and financial aid for those facing rule of law violations.
Ms. Jourová also responded to questions pertaining to the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who, according to a preliminary EU audit has a conflict of interest.
The Czech nominee said she was determined to address rule of law issues across the block impartially and would not favour any state in defending the EU‘s core values.
Prague City Hall to terminate sister-city agreement with Beijing
Prague City Hall has announced it will terminate the sister-city agreement between Prague and Beijing, because the Chinese authorities are unwilling to drop an article of the document in which Prague recognizes the policy of One China.
The agreement was signed by the city’s former mayor, Adriana Krnáčová, and the Pirate Party, which heads the Prague ruling coalition, has been critical of it from the outset.
The dispute has caused a rift in Czech-Chinese relations with China recently cancelling a number of planned tours by Prague cultural ensembles.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček say that while the government respects the “One China” policy it cannot dictate anything to the democratically elected Prague leadership.
Former Central Bohemian governor David Rath back in jail
The former governor of Central Bohemia David Rath reported to the Teplice jailhouse on Monday to start serving the remainder of his prison sentence for corruption.
The regional court in Prague sentenced the former health minister and governor of Central Bohemia to 7 years in jail for corruption in June of 2018.
Rath was arrested with seven million crowns on his person six years ago and accused of taking bribes to rig public contracts.He has appealed the verdict several times to no avail.
EU commissioner for culture to discuss protection of cultural heritage in Prague
The outgoing European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics begins a two-day working visit to the Czech Republic on Monday.
His talks with Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and other top officials are expected to focus on cultural heritage protection in the digital age.
At a similar meeting in Dublin in April, Navracsics pointed out that only about 10 percent of the European cultural heritage has been digitised so far and called for the need to push ahead with this task so as to make it available to the broad public.
Navracsics has been a member of the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission since 2014. Its mandate will expire at the end of the month.
61st International Brno Engineering Fair opens
The 61st International Brno Engineering Fair opened in the Moravian metropolis on Monday. The five-day event will showcase expositions by 1,660 companies from 30 countries the world over.
The main focus of the fair is on digitalization and one of the main exhibits on show is a digital factory put together by 20 companies.
The opening of the fair was attended by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Trade and Industry Minister Karel Havlíček and Foreign minister Tomáš Petříček.
Kvitová joins Plíšková in reaching WTA Finals
As in 2018, two Czech women will take part in this year’s WTA Finals, which involves the top eight women’s tennis players from the season. Petra Kvitová has just qualified and Karolína Plíšková had already made the cut-off for the prestigious tournament, which this year is being held in China’s Shenzhen.
Kvitová, who is 29, has taken part in the WTA finals seven times and lifted the trophy in 2011.
Tuesday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain in places and day temperatures between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.