At Least Five Czech Ministers Cannot Lead Meetings in English

Several members of the new government will not be able to lead working meetings in English and therefore will use an interpreter.

As Hospodářské noviny reports, at least five ministers have insufficient language skills. English in particular will be key to the Czech Republic’s forthcoming EU presidency.

“We will prepare the Czech presidency of the EU professionally and responsibly in the autumn of 2022. We will guarantee that every member of the government can properly speak at least one foreign language,” Pirates and STAN parties representatives said.

“According to my teachers, my English is at B1 level and I am trying to improve my skills further,” said Minister of Defense Jana Černochová (ODS), who speaks Polish and can passively speak Russian.

Level B1 corresponds to independent users of the language, i.e. those who have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers.

Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) stated that he would need an interpreter for important business meetings. “I haven’t been very active in English lately, and I admit that my level of English is not good enough, yet” he said.

During his presidency, Stanjura will chair the Ecofin Council of Finance Ministers, which regularly addresses important financial and economic issues.

Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL), the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, also lacks a language certificate. He can communicate in German. “I have been supplementing my English in recent years, but I use interpreters in official meetings,” he said. An interpreter will also be used by Culture Minister Martin Baxa (ODS).

Czech presidencies

The Czech Republic held its first EU presidency in the first half of 2009. The next Czech presidency will take place in the second half of 2022. In this respect, the Czech government already launched its preparations on 10 July 2018.

The preparation and implementation of the Czech presidency of the EU Council are carried out by the Prime Minister through the Section for European Affairs of the Office of the Government and in close cooperation with all ministries, particularly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU in Brussels.

As a part of the preparations for the second Czech presidency, the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic has also registered the domain www.eu2022.cz.

Current information on the Czech presidential preparations will be gradually published at this link.

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