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MEP Michaela Šojdrová: We have established food safety

Deník visited Kutná Hora for the first of the pre-election debates, where the main guest was the People’s Party MEP Michaela Šojdrová, a candidate for the Spolu coalition.

We recently celebrated twenty years of EU membership. We are now in Kutná Hora. In your opinion, how much has it helped this city and its residents that we are in European Union?
Today I visited the gymnasium, the new part of the Carita building, where they have sheltered workshops and work with clients. This was all fixed with EU funds. Overall, I must say that wherever I walk around Kutná Hora, I see traces of the European Union and joint efforts. Because it’s not just about investing in buildings, it’s investing in people, in a better life for people. And I think that’s the most important thing about it.

On the occasion of the anniversary of joining the European Community, the newspaper offers readers a look at the ten most important things that the Union brought to the Czech Republic, according to reporter Luboš Palata.  Illustrative image

Better highways and clean water. Read what the EU has brought to the Czech Republic in 20 years

Kutná Hora is listed among the UNESCO monuments. What is the Union, the European Parliament doing to preserve the world’s important heritage?
The European Union makes sure that this cultural heritage is protected. And the Czech Republic repaired its UNESCO monuments with EU funds and cohesion funds. The fact that they were included in the UNESCO list was one of the reasons why the Czech Republic had a “special envelope” for their repair. I do not know of any UNESCO monument in the Czech Republic that would not receive European funds. In Kutná Hora, a gallery of nationwide importance, as well as vineyards, were added to this with EU and GASK money. Kutná Hora has turned into a good place to live and a place that attracts foreign tourists. I met a lot of them here today.

Member of the European Parliament Michaela ŠojdrováMember of the European Parliament Michaela ŠojdrováSource: with the permission of the European ParliamentSpeaking of vineyards, half of them in Kutná Hora froze over in the past few weeks. Has the European Parliament done anything in recent years to ensure that there is money in the budget for such disasters?
Money for help in such situations is part of the national reserves, but also of the European crisis reserve. This is what the EU has at its disposal just for these purposes. Although I am no longer sitting in the European Parliament at the moment, I am sure that the Czech Minister of Agriculture will be able to convince his colleagues from EU countries to provide aid. Because these things happen. Once they are frosts in the Czech Republic, other times floods in Italy, fires in Spain. And specific farmers are always helped from the EU’s agricultural crisis fund.

You have been in the European Parliament for ten years. What are you most proud of from those ten years of work?
I am proud that the Czech Republic is now back among good partners in the European Union. That we have political representation that we don’t have to be ashamed of, which was not the case in the past.

So do you also take it as your personal political victory?
That has to do with it. I am proud of the fact that, even under previous governments, we were able to defend the position that we are a democratic country in the European Parliament. That we will not allow the public media to be limited and privatized, that we have citizens who will stand up for the freedom and independence of the courts.

At the turn of 2019 and 2020, the situation turned around. And I am glad that we experienced the Czech presidency of the EU, which was in the most difficult period of the beginning Russian aggression against Ukraine. We managed to unite Europe, we stood behind the defense of Ukraine and at the same time we solved the energy crisis.

MEP Michaela Šojdrová at a meeting of the European Parliament in Straburk, February 2024

If there was less bureaucracy, farmers would not have to go to the streets, says Šojdrová

What have you personally managed to achieve for the benefit of the citizens?
The Committee for Education succeeded in doubling the budget of the Erasmus student exchange program. This means twice as many young Czechs and teachers who can go abroad and gain experience. We managed to approve it in the agricultural committee measures that help our farmers. We said that we must protect the countryside, but also ensure the food security of the EU. Agriculture is now seen as a strategic sector. The new regulation on the use of new genetic techniques and breeding has a clear Czech footprint.

Watch the video of the Euro debate from Kutná Hora:

Source: Diary/Jakub Vítek

Europe in context

Europe in contextEurope in contextSource: courtesy of EU

Project was co-financed by the European Union as part of the European Parliament’s subsidy program in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and bears no responsibility for the information, information or opinions expressed within the project, nor is it bound by them, as only the authors, addressed persons, publishers or broadcasters of the program are responsible for them in accordance with the applicable law. The European Parliament cannot be held responsible even for direct or indirect damages that may arise during the implementation of the project.

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