From attorney and activist to president of Slovakia. Who is Zuzana Čaputová?

Slovaks elect the first female president.

Zuzana Čaputová is the fifth Slovak president.Zuzana Čaputová is the fifth Slovak president. (Source: Jana Bírošová, SITA)

In this story, you can read about:

  • How she won the “green Nobel prize”
  • How she influenced European law
  • What connects her and Mečiar’s amnesties
  • Why she became a politician

Pro-western, pro-European, liberal, environmental activist and attorney. Zuzana Čaputová's critics branded her the “unknown girl” or “marketing product” or “someone we never heard of until a month ago” during the campaign.

Indeed, Čaputová cannot boast of experiences in Slovak politics, but she is definitely an experienced lawyer and attorney.

Fighting for the environment

Her best-known and most successful case - the one she mentioned the most in her campaign, so much so that there were jokes about it - was the case of the controversial waste dump in her hometown of Pezinok. For 14 years, Čaputová led a public campaign to prevent the authorisation of a waste dump that would pollute the soil, air and water in the town and its surroundings.

The case peaked in 2013 when the Slovak Supreme Court proclaimed the planned waste dump to be illegal. This decision was linked to the verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which confirmed the right of the public to have a say in decisions that impact the environment. Several conclusions of the ruling have been binding for EU member states since then.

Čaputová's struggle was recognised internationally, when she won the Goldman Environmental Prize in April 2016, the world’s biggest award for grassroots environmental activists. Subsequently, she was invited to the White House.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Maroš Šefčovič

Read more articles by the topic
This article is also related to other trending topics
Presidential election 2019, Faces of Slovakia

Top stories

Cabinet agrees on COVID screening

More details will be presented tomorrow.

Košice

More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.

Police investigate surveillance of journalist, IPI calls for utmost seriousness

Police launch criminal prosecution after Denník N reporter said she was followed and opposition MP Robert Fico wrote about her private life.

l-r: Head of Let's Stop Corruption Foundation Zuzana Petková, journalist Monika Tódová, journalist Adam Valček, and Xénia Makarová of the Let's Stop Corruption Foundation