A week after president-elect Zuzana Čaputová announced on Facebook who her first three advisors in the Presidential Palace would be, she has used the social network again to reveal six more names.
They will help her make decisions in areas such as social policy, justice, foreign affairs, security, home affairs and communication.
Čaputová's team of advisors (to date):
- Zuzana Kusá: social affairs
- Peter Bátor: foreign policy, security and defence
- Radovan Pala & Peter Kubina: justice
- Marián Leško & Vladimír Talian: domestic affairs
- Martin Burgr: communication
- Martin Strižinec: spokesperson
- Juraj Rizman: environment & civic society
- Michal Šimečka: EU affairs
Ethnic minorities in the palace
“Michal Šimečka will advise me in the matter of European politics, ” Čaputová wrote on Facebook.
Šimečka, who serves as a deputy head of the non-parliamentary party Progressive Slovakia (PS), of which Čaputová used to be a member, has recently been elected an MEP in the EP elections.
Another member of her team, Radovan Pala, is a PS member.
A new advisory body focusing on ethnic minorities will be established as well. Representatives within this body will originate from various minorities living in Slovakia, Čaputová claimed.
“It will be an honour to listen to them because I want to be the president of all people who live in Slovakia,” Čaputová confessed on Facebook.
Who are the new members of the team?
Zuzana Kusá - social affairs
- a Slovak sociologist who focuses on public academic research and lectures in the field of sociology;
- works as a researcher at the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV);
- deals with matters of education, poverty and social exclusion.
Peter Bátor - foreign policy, security & defence
- studied international relations and diplomacy at Matej Bel University (UMB) in Banská Bystrica;
- his focus in the last 20 years was on foreign policy and security;
- worked as an expert and advisor at the Defence Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Slovakia's delegation to NATO;
- spent short-term stays in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and the Middle East, as well;
- since 2015, he has served as President Andrej Kiska's security advisor.
Peter Kubina - justice
- studied law at Comenius University in Bratislava, where he also lectures;
- manages the Bratislava branch of Dentons, the largest law firm in the world;
- an expert at constitutional law;
- in the past, he appeared in a number of important cases, including the scrapping of Mečiar's amnesties, freedom of speech, media freedom and the like.
Radovan Pala - justice
- studied law in Bratislava, Prague, Berlin and Groningen, where he obtained a degree in international business law;
- a founding partner of Taylor Wessing, one of the largest global law firms on the Slovak market;
- took part in the drafting of legislation that restricts the activities of shell companies.
Vladimír Talian - home affairs
- worked on the “I Vote, Therefore I Am” and “We Care” civic campaigns in 1998 and 2003;
- thanks to the organisation Hlava 98, he helped the democratic opposition in Belarus
- worked for public radio and served as an advisor of former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská;
- helped current Bratislava mayor Matúš Vallo in the municipal elections.
Martin Burgr - communication
- studied political science and media studies at Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic;
- once headed the Slovak Debate Association (SDA);
- founded an academy for critical thinking;
- for a few years, Burgr worked as an assistant of an MP;
- in charge of communication in Matúš Vallo's campaign and Zuzana Čaputová's campaign.