President Pavel appoints New Education and Europe Ministers

PM Petr Fiala introduced both ministers into their offices later that afternoon. Photo credit: Martin Dvořák, via Facebook.

Prague, May 5 (CTK) – President Petr Pavel yesterday appointed Mikulas Bek (STAN) as the head of the Education Ministry, and named Martin Dvorak (STAN) as Minister for European Affairs, replacing Bek.

Bek replaced Vladimir Balas (STAN) in the post of Education Minister after he resigned over health problems connected with COVID-19.

PM Petr Fiala (ODS) introduced both ministers into their offices later that afternoon.

Bek, 59, previously served as the rector of Brno’s Masaryk University. He now becomes the third education minister in Fiala’s coalition government. Balas became education minister last July, replacing Petr Gazdik (STAN), who resigned because of his contacts with businessman Michal Redl, accused in the Prague Dosimeter corruption case.

Dvorak, a former deputy to Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates), was previously the mayor of Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, the consul general in New York and the ambassador to Kuwait.

Pavel expressed his appreciation that the second appointment of ministers during his term as Czech president was “smooth.”

“It was also because I have known both the gentlemen for a long time and I am convinced that they meet both human and professional criteria; the decision was easy,” he said.

In March, the day after he assumed his office, Pavel appointed deputy chairman of Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) Petr Hladik as environment minister.

Both ministers, said Pavel, face the urgent task of explaining, together with the rest of the government, their steps towards the correction of the public finances, for which the five-member coalition is currently working on a consolidation package.

Bek’s priority should be lifelong learning and the transformation of the education system to help people adapt to the age of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, he said.

Dvorak’s first priority should be to take a flexible approach linked to the European search for all possible forms of assistance to Ukraine. “Ukraine’s success in the war that Russia is aggressively waging is of direct interest to us. If Ukraine fails and Russia succeeds, it will have a negative impact on all parts of our lives,” Pavel said.

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