Czechia – She is the most well-known Czech female politician on the EU-level and has been involved in politics, both in the EU and in the Czech Republic, for many years. During this time, she has led a campaign of censorship and repression, which the V4 countries have regularly decried. However, she is a member of Andrej Babiš’s (the Czech Prime Minister) party. So, who exactly is Věra Jourová, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for “Values and Transparency”?
Born on 18 August 1964 at Třebíčin communist Czechoslovakia (now in Czechia), she is a member of the “ANO 2011” political group, whose chairman was none other than Andrej Babiš, the current Czech Prime Minister.
A graduate of Charles University in Prague in 1991, where she undertook cultural studies, she got her first appointment as deputy director of the municipal cultural centre of her home town. She then proceeded to concentrate all the different cultural institutions into a single entity and then was appointed to the position of secretary of Třebíč’s municipal cabinet, where she worked to develop the Jewish quarter of the town, including getting it on the UNESCO list in 2003. This part of her work gave her the opportunity to weave links with the pro-Israel lobby. Having such links will lead her to voice her support, whilst she was the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (2014-2019), of a resolution passed by the Czech parliament condemning the boycott of the State of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism in October 2019.
As committed European federalist, she switched from national politics to EU politics in 2000, when she joined the consulting firm “DHV”, where she worked on projects covering human resources, regional development, economic policymaking and EU funds. Between 2001 and 2003, she worked as the director of regional development for the Vysočina region. After leaving that position, she became deputy minister of regional development. According to Jiří Paroubek, who was Czech Prime Minister from 2005 to 2006, she was relieved of her duties following repeated complaints from Radko Martínek, her minister at the time, who accused her of being incompetent.
Between 13 October and 16 November 2006, she was brought into custody on suspicions of corruption in what has since been called the Budišov Affair. However, the charges against her were never proven and were dropped during the summer of 2008 and was awarded 3.6 million Czech korunas (roughly 140.000€) as compensation. According to Janek Kroupa, the investigative journalist who unearthed the scandal and has followed Věra Jourová for many years, being declared innocent had more to do with the great work of her lawyers and by meagre means the police had to carry out their investigation. Kroupa stresses that Jourová has never filed a complaint or lawsuit against him and that the information contained within his investigation is truthful.
Věra Jourová started her political career in 2003 within the ranks of the Czech Democratic Socialist Party (ČSSD), which she left in 2006. In 2009, she stood in the EU elections, as well as the 2010 Czech general election, as a candidate for the European Democratic Party. Having failed to get elected in either of those ballots, she left the EDP and joined the ANO, a party created by Andrej Babiš, in 2011. During the anticipated general election of 25-26 October 2013, she was elected as a member of the Chamber of Deputies and, on 29 January 2014, appointed as Minister for Regional Development. She was then appointed European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality on 10 Septembre that same year. On 26 August 2019, Andrej Babiš’s government confirmed her nomination to a EU Commissioner position for the 2019-2024 period. At the start of September 2019, Ursula von der Leyen (the future president of the European Commission) announced that Věra Jourová was to be appointed as Vice-President of the Commission and responsible for EU values and transparency. She officially took charge of her new duties on 1 December 2019. Such a stupendous rise is surprising, as is the continued support of the Czech Prime Minister, despite of her many repeated attacks on the V4 countries.
Having managed to get these major postings within the EU, she has been particularly hostile towards Poland and Hungary during her terms of office. In 2018, Věra Jourová attacked several countries, notably Hungary, which she accused of endangering “civil society” – which is code for NGOs, notably those connected with Soros. More recently, in response to measures taken by both Poland and Hungary during the COVID-19 crisis, she stated that “the virus must be killed but democracy must survive”, a statement in line with the narrative of the liberal opposition and progressive Western press, which conveniently glossed over the fact that French President Emmanuel Macron had concentrated more power than the prime ministers of either Poland or Hungary during the same crisis. This hostility towards Poland and Hungary can be explained by her connections with those networks that allowed her to reach such distinguished positions. Origo, the Hungarian media outlet, revealed that Věra Jourová had met billionaire George Soros, as well as his representatives from the Open Society Foundations, on several occasions (11 in fact!) between 2014 and 2019. During that same period, her staff also met representatives of Soros’ organisations on seven occasions. In 2017, she strongly defended the University of Central Europe, which is financed by Soros, in its dispute with the Hungarian government. Her links with Soros networks isn’t a secret: For example, in 207, Věra Jourová posted a photo on her Twitter account with the following comment: “Discussed Fundamental Rights situation in Europe with George Soros. Open society values are at the heart of EU action.”
Regarding to the issue of illegal migration, she notably attempted to censor Matteo Salvini in 2018 when, in a tweet, he criticised a group of North African migrants that had sexually assaulted a 13-year old girl in Venice. Věra Jourová pointed out that such a tweet was hate speech which could be used as an incitement to violence and passionately called for such tweets to be deleted within 24 hours. On the question of the migrant quotas, she was singled out and put into a hot seat by Petr Mach, a Czech politician, who outlined how the European Commission’s work was particularly detrimental in resolving this issue.
Contrary to what Věra Jourová has said, she is not only demanding more transparency but is actively seeking to control online content. Her exchange with Matteo Salvini, coupled with her close ties with Soros networks, only further highlight how hypocritical she is and, when the opportunity arises, how she eagerly attacks countries that show the slightest insubordination towards Brussels. Thus, Věra Jourová is a veritable Trojan horse of Czech politics for whilst she is officially attached to the pro-V4 Babiš governement, she is in reality an agent of George Soros’ Open Society.