Petr Pavel evaluates his first 100 days: Czechia is 'on the right path'

Pavel gave an overview of his actions in the last three months, such as improving Czech foreign relations and ensuring better state-public communication.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 15.06.2023 14:06:00 (updated on 15.06.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

During his press conference evaluating his first 100 days as the president of Czechia, Petr Pavel said his greatest achievement so far is outlining the roadmap for the next five years. The president, who took office on March 9 and completes his first 100 days this Saturday, said that he managed to fulfill most of his short-term goals and develop most of his long-term aims. 

Pavel said his mission during his five-year term rests on two key pillars. The first is to ensure Czechia continues its firmly pro-Western and democratic course. The second and more emotionally based pillar is to change the mood in Czech society so that people believe they can change something if they want to.

Do you approve of President Pavel's progress so far?

Yes 76 %
No 19 %
I have mixed feelings 5 %
42 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

He recalled that after taking office he said that he would rather be criticized for high, productive activity than for a lukewarm start. He pointed out that he had a justified feeling that there was a lot of catching up to do after his predecessor Miloš Zeman. 

On track for most aims

After his inauguration, Pavel set a total of eight goals for his first hundred days in office. These were – among others – making the Prague Castle more accesible; better interaction between the state and public; more government transparency and more productive communication; boosting Czechia’s presence on the world stage; and the appointment of new judges.

Since March, the much-maligned security checks at Prague Castle have been removed, helping ease queues to the castle premises. He plans to further open up the Castle grounds to the public during his term.

He has also been active in governmental affairs, actively listening to members of the opposition, as well as meeting with Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka to discuss the details of Czechia's pension reform (and providing his own opinion).

Although he promised a deep audit of the Office of the President of the Republic, the Forestry Administration of Lány, and the Administration of the Prague Castle, the setting up of transparent management methods are still listed on the Prague Castle website as being "in process."

Representing Czechia in the world

Pavel has also assumed a very active role in foreign relations. He has traveled to Ukraine to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy, promising unequivocal continued support for the war-stricken country – including increased financial and military aid.

"So far we have organized 33 press briefings. Since his election, the president has given 60 interviews, both to Czech and foreign media"

Presidential spokesperson Markéta Řeháková

He also represented Czechia in various other ways, such as during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a Council of Europe summit in Iceland, and most recently speaking at the European Values Summit 2023 in Prague. He also visited Slovakia twice, as well as attending a summit in Denmark.

He discussed EU affairs with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; traveled to Poland to meet Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and to Vienna to meet with senior Austrian politicians and discuss military relations; attended British King Charles III’s coronation; and clearly signaled a wish to forge closer ties with Taiwan. 

Better communication with the public

According to political analyst Lubomír Kopeček of the National Institute for Research on Socioeconomic Impacts of Diseases and Systemic Risks (SYRI), Pavel is "fulfilling expectations so far." Kopecek also says that Pavel is meeting public demand by traveling extensively to different Czech regions.

He has also worked toward promoting politics among younger people. Just this week, for example, he published a video in collaboration with students on his new, sold-out postage stamps.

In June, Pavel also held a roundtable discussion with several selected members of Generation Z. "A strategy and a plan of specific activities for the young generation are being prepared with the ambassadors," the president said in material for journalists.

Activities that break from the conventional perception of a head of state, such as a motorcycle trip to Bavaria, have also further endeared him to the public. According to Kopeček, Pavel’s non-abrasive, non-controversial style – in comparison with his predecessor – is largely welcomed by the Czech public.

On the judicial side, he appointed three judges to Czechia’s Constitutional Court, making good on his earlier promise. The president took a major step toward the transparency of the selection when he declared in public how he would proceed. During a visit to the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday – his first – Pavel urged more communication, transparency, and dialogue among politicians and also between the public.

Indeed, public trust in Czechia’s president has risen markedly since Petr Pavel took office in March, with almost 60 percent of the Czech public reporting they trust him according to the Czech Public Opinion Research Center.

In his conference today, Pavel said: "I would like to see the success of my presidency reflected in our nation regaining a healthy self-confidence and determination to change things for the better." He committed to continuing the progress made in his first 100 days.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more