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.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

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.

SkryťRemove ad

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

Top stories

Illustrative stock photo

New project to help with affordable housing in Nové Zámky

Project sees success in Košice.


28. nov
Helfried Carl

Democracy delivers, experience from local politics shows

Thirteen cities compete to become the European Capital of Democracy. People from Slovakia can now become jurors to choose the winner.


24. nov

Which are the largest law firms in Slovakia?

Comprehensive Analyses of Law Firms and Lawyers in Slovakia


28. nov
SkryťClose ad