Politico: Pavel among Europe's 28 most influential figures in 2024

The Czech president's tough stances on China and Russia, as well as unwavering support for Ukraine, earned him a spot on the list.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 29.11.2023 10:06:00 (updated on 29.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Petr Pavel is featured in the list of the 28 most influential personalities shaping Europe in 2024, as per the Brussels-based current affairs news website Politico. Described as a hawk on Russia and China, Pavel is noted for supporting Ukraine and advocating NATO enlargement.

Tough on China

In Pavel's short profile, Politico underscores his leveraging of his past role as head of the NATO Military Committee to advocate for more effective support for Kyiv. He is firm on not allowing China to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, insisting that any peace must align with Ukrainian terms, as reported by Politico.

The website anticipates that next year Pavel may reiterate his positive stance towards Taiwan – the Czech president made headlines in February this year by calling Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen immediately after his election, becoming the first European statesman to do so.

“Former NATO General Petr Pavel has used every inch of that power to further his pro-Western cause, ever since he came into office in early 2023 as an independent promising to reduce polarization in a country split along cultural and political lines.”

Politico

Expressing hope to meet Tsai in person, Pavel laid the groundwork for a potentially groundbreaking meeting between the head of an EU country and Taiwan. This move drew criticism from Beijing, claiming Pavel crossed a red line and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, Politico notes.

An ardent backer of Ukraine

Pavel has advocated for the expansion of NATO and argued that all Russian citizens living abroad should be placed under surveillance by the intelligence services of their host countries. He has also consistently called for Ukraine to join NATO and the EU when the war ends. 

The Czech president doesn’t have executive powers – but the head of state does play an important symbolic role, with informal influence and significant sway on foreign policy.

Among others on the news source’s Politico 28: Class of 2024 list are French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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As 2024 approaches, Politico raises the question of whether Pavel will follow through on his commitment to meet Tsai and potentially challenge Beijing's strongest objections.

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