Čaputová was awarded for political culture

She said less marketing and more authenticity is needed in politics.

President Zuzana Čaputová and chairman of the Hans Ringier Foundation Frank André Meyer in Ascona, Switzerland.President Zuzana Čaputová and chairman of the Hans Ringier Foundation Frank André Meyer in Ascona, Switzerland. (Source: SITA)

Political culture needs less marketing and more truthfulness and authenticity, said President Zuzana Čaputová as she accepted the European Prize for Political Culture on August 10 in Ascona, Switzerland.

The prize is also an award to people in Slovakia who embody the change she represents, she added.

Slovak people showed maturity

The president is convinced that politicians are responsible for the tone, mood and accuracy of their public performance. She warned against the campaign for Brexit and the spread of hoaxes about refugees as negative examples.

Read alsoMorality, decency and change. What do voters want from Zuzana Čaputová? Read more 

“The stakes are high and the enormous responsibility is bigger than our candidacies and posts; it influences whether people will even believe in democracy and political representatives anymore,” she said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding the mistrust shakes the bases of all of Europe.

She mentioned the demonstration that took place in Slovakia after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová as an example of positive change.

“There is also a call for change in other European countries, but the peace and decency of tens of thousands of people is not a matter of course,” she stated, as quoted by TASR. “People in Slovakia showed maturity.”

Lack of trust and understanding

In her speech, the president also touched on the lingering dividing line in the EU between the East and West. She attributes its continuing existence to the lack of trust and understanding.

“It’s necessary to perceive the historical context of Eastern European countries and simultaneously not ease up on the required EU values,” she said for TASR. “However, compliance with these values must be expected from everyone equally, irrespective of their geographical location or duration of EU membership,” she claimed.

The European Prize for Political Culture is awarded to figures from European politics every year by the Hans Ringier Foundation. Previous laureates include German president F.W. Steinmeier, Serbian president Boris Tadic, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.

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