Petr Fiala

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Petr Fiala
Petr Fiala 2019.jpg
Leader of the Civic Democratic Party
Assumed office
18 January 2014
Preceded byPetr Nečas
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports
In office
2 May 2012 – 10 July 2013
Prime MinisterPetr Nečas
Preceded byJosef Dobeš
Succeeded byDalibor Štys
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
26 October 2013
Personal details
Born (1964-09-01) 1 September 1964 (age 57)
Brno, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Political partyODS (2013–present)
Alma materMasaryk University
Charles University in Prague

Petr Fiala (born 1 September 1964) is a Czech politician, political scientist and university professor who has been leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) since 2014. He has served as a member of the Chamber of Deputies since 2013. From 2012 to 2013 Fiala was Minister of Education, Youth and Sports in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

Spolu ran in the 2021 Czech legislative election with Fiala as leader. Spolu won the highest number of votes, and opposition parties won a majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Opposition parties signed memorandum agreeing to nominate Fiala for the position of the new Prime Minister.

Life and career

Early life and academic career

Born in Brno, Fiala attended the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University before working as a historian. In 1996, he became docent at Charles University in Prague, and in 2002 was named as a first professor of political science in the Czech Republic.[citation needed][clarification needed] In 2004, he became dean at the Faculty of Social Studies and in the same year was elected as Rector of Masaryk University after he defeated Jan Weschler in third round.[1] Fiala was reelected in 2008 and remained in the position until 2011. Under his rectorship the university increased number of student while undergoing qualitative improvement. It became an important Central European educational and research institution with cca 45,000 Students. It became the most popular Czech university in terms of interest of applicants and created a nationwide system for detecting plagiarism During this period, Masaryk University built a new campus for biomedicine, which is one of the largest constructions and one-off investments (€ 220 million) for higher education in Central and Eastern Europe; in 2006, it opened its own research station in Antarctica, coordinated a project of the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) in the amount of CZK 5.3 billion from the European Structural Funds, which was launched in 2011.[2]

Political career

In September 2011, he served as a chief aide for science to Prime Minister Petr Nečas, and on 2 May 2012 was appointed as Minister of Education, Youth and Sports in Nečas' government, remaining in that post until Nečas resigned in 2013.

In the October 2013 legislative election, Fiala was elected as an independent to the Chamber of Deputies. The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) was defeated in the election, and Fiala joined the party in November 2013.[3] In 2014, Fiala announced his candidacy for the leadership of ODS, and on 18 January 2014, he was elected as the party's fourth leader. He was re-elected as party leader in 2016.

Fiala led ODS into the 2017 legislative election, in which the party finished second with 11% of the vote. Fiala refused to negotiate with ANO 2011 about the party joining the subsequent government, and ODS remained in opposition.[4] Fiala was then reelected leader of ODS in 2018 election.

Under Fiala's leadership ODS made gains in 2018 Czech municipal elections and won 2018 Czech Senate election.[5][6] Fiala was once again reelected leader of ODS in 2020.

ODS also made gains during 2020 Czech regional elections.[7] Fiala then started negotiating with KDU-ČSL and TOP 09 about forming electoral alliance for 2021 Czech legislative election.[8] ODS, KDU-ČSl and TOP 09 made agreement to form an alliance called Spolu ("together").[9] Fiala became candidate for the post of Prime Minister.[10]

Spolu ran in the 2021 Czech legislative election with Fiala as leader. Opinion polls suggested that ANO 2011 would win the election but in an electoral upset Spolu won highest number of votes and opposition parties won a majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies.[11] Opposition parties signed memorandum agreeing to nominate Fiala for the position of the new Prime Minister.[12]

Public activities

In the 1980s he took part in independent civic activities, in 1984–1989 he participated in the so-called underground university, housing seminars focused on political philosophy in Brno. He was involved in unofficial Christian activities, especially in the circle of secretly consecrated Bishop Stanislav Krátký. With several Brno students, he founded and in 1988–1989 published the samizdat university magazine Revue 88.[13]

After November 1989, he continued his publishing and civic activities, working as an editor in magazines such as Proglas, Revue Politika, Kontexty, etc. In 1993, he founded the civic association Centre for the Study of Democracy and Culture (CDK), a think-tank, which has become one of the most successful non-profit educational and cultural organizations. Fiala was for his activities criticized during election campaign in 2021 because the centre was accepting state subsidies.[14]

Fiala has also been active for a long time in institutions and bodies dealing with higher education and research in the Czech Republic and abroad. In 2005–2009 he was repeatedly elected Vice-Chairman, in 2009–2011 Chairman of the Czech Rectors' Conference, and at the international level he was a member of the Council of the European University Association (2009–2011). In 2007, he was elected by the Parliament to the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, where he served for five years. He is a member of many scientific and academic councils of public and private universities and research institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad. He received a number of awards for his scientific and academic work, in 2011 he was awarded the Golden Plaque of the President of the Republic.

In 2005 he was part of the commission in the competition of Czech and Moravian wines called TOP 77.[15]

Political views

In October 2015, Fiala called for a military invasion of Western ground forces into the Middle East stating "We will not solve the problem of migration and destabilization of the Middle East and North Africa unless we take military action." On the other hand he rejected Russia's involvement in the war against the Islamic State.[16]

In August 2016, he stated that "radical Islam is at war with Europe ... the Czech government should not have approached the senseless EU migration policy, not allowing quotas and not accepting migrants who pose a risk."[17]

In June 2018, commemorating the displaced and refugees, German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia and other Central and Eastern European countries after World War II. Fiala responded to Chancellor Merkel's remarks about the lack of moral and political justification for the expulsion of German minorities by saying that "pulling things out of the past and their one-sided interpretation certainly does not help the development of mutual relations."[18]

He refused withdrawal of Czech soldiers from the war in Afghanistan because Czech Republic "shouldn't run away from the fight."[19]

In October 2019, he condemned the military aggression of Turkey, a NATO member state, against the Kurds in Rojava in northern Syria, stating that "The situation in the Middle East has deteriorated significantly since this Turkish military operation in northern Syria."[20]

He welcomed the victory of the Polish ruling Law and Justice in the Polish parliamentary elections in October 2019 and recalled that the ODS and PiS had been cooperating for a long time in a common faction in the European Parliament.[21] He stated that he would limit the negative impacts of mining on Czech territory in the Polish brown coal mine Turów near the Czech border.[22]

He supports Israel and its policies. He criticized Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek and former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg for their joint statement on 23 May 2020 condemning the planned Israeli annexation of Jewish settlements that Israel had built in the occupied West Bank since 1967. the future state of Palestine and which are illegal under international law.[23]

At the beginning of June 2020, unknown perpetrators spray-painted the Prague statue of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which stands at Winston Churchill Square in Žižkov, with the inscription "He was a racist. Black Lives Matter."The motto refers to a wave of protests against police brutality and racism, triggered by the murder of George Floyd in the United States. Fiala condemned the vandal attack on Churchill's statue and declared that spraying the statue of "the great democratic politician Winston Churchill, who had contributed to the defeat of Adolf Hitler," is "stupid and shameful."[24]

He rejected any involvement of Russia and China in the construction of the new unit of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant.[25] Regarding human impact on climate change, he said that "the answer is not entirely clear."[26]

Fiala opposes same-sex marriage and wrote in his book A to Z that "no one can want me to believe that same-sex people should form a marriage and a family that is equal to the natural one."[27]

Personal life

Petr Fiala is married to biologist Jana Fialová whom he met as a student during Velvet Revolution. They got married two years later and have three children.[28]


  1. "Masarykova univerzita si zvolila nového rektora". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  2. "Petr Fiala - životopis". (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  3. "Exministr školství Fiala vstoupil do ODS" (in čeština). Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. "Do Průhonic nepojedu. O uspořádání Sněmovny se má jednat ve Sněmovně, vzkázal šéf ODS Babišovi". Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  5. Perknerová, Kateřina (8 October 2018). "Volby 2018: Kdo uspěl, kdo propadl, kdo sílí. A proč". Dení (in čeština). Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  6. "ON-LINE: Volby do Senátu ovládla ODS, pro hnutí ANO dopadly podle Babiše mizerně - Seznam Zprávy". Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  7. televize, Česká. "ANO vyhrálo krajské volby, hejtmanská křesla ale nemá jistá. Uspěli i Starostové a ODS". ČT24 - Nejdůvěryhodnější zpravodajský web v ČR - Česká televize (in čeština). Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  8. Prima, F. T. V. "Námluvy pokročily. Jak se pečou koalice proti Babišovi do velkých voleb?". (in čeština). Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  9. "ODS, KDU-ČSL a TOP 09 jdou do voleb jako koalice SPOLU. Daly 17 slibů". Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  10. "ODS, TOP 09 a KDU-ČSL půjdou do voleb společně. Chtějí je vyhrát". Česká Televize. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  11. "Spolu vyhrálo volby. Petr Fiala může být nový český premiér". (in čeština). Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  12. "Czech opposition parties form majority alliance, sign memorandum for new government". (in English). 10 October 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  13. "Zázrak jménem Revue 88 aneb Když samizdat dělali studenti". (in čeština). 28 March 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  14. "Fialovo ,dotační království' je zavádějící. Před zkresleným článkem varují experti na dezinformace". iROZHLAS (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  15. "Čeští vinaři dohánějí ty moravské". (in čeština). 2 November 2005. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  16. televize, Česká. "Fiala volá po vojenské invazi na Blízký východ". ČT24 - Nejdůvěryhodnější zpravodajský web v ČR - Česká televize (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  17. "Fiala: Jsme ve válce, která se vede i v našich ulicích". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  18. "Babišovi a Zemanovi vadí výroky Merkelové o odsunu Němců. Diplomacie s nimi problém nemá". (in čeština). 20 June 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  19. "Je třeba se z Afghánistánu stáhnout, řekl Zaorálek. Babiš to odmítl". (in čeština). 23 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  20. "Sněmovna odsoudila tureckou agresi proti Kurdům, Babišovi uložila prosazovat ekonomická opatření". iROZHLAS (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  21. "Další čtyři roky u moci. Výsledky potvrzují volební výhru Práva a spravedlnosti". Dení (in čeština). 14 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  22. "Petr Fiala: Těžbu v Turówě měl stát řešit mnohem dříve". Občanská demokratická strana (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  23. "Kritický článek tří ministrů zahraničí o Izraeli vyvolal v Česku politickou přestřelku". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  24. "Autorky nápisu na soše Winstona Churchilla: "Chtěly jsme upozornit na jeho zločiny."". A2larm (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  25. "Spor o stavbu Dukovan pokračuje. Vládní strany věří, že tajné služby změní názor na účast Ruska a Číny". iROZHLAS (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  26. Vodrážka, Prokop (6 October 2021). "Experti: Fialovo zpochybňování vlivu člověka na klima je manifestace populismu. Cílí na bojovníky za "normální svět"". Deník N (in čeština). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  27. "Fiala proti stejnopohlavním sňatkům: Tradiční rodinu je třeba chránit". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  28. "Sametová láska předsedy ODS Petra Fialy: Rande na hřbitově, návrh a revoluce". Dení (in čeština). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2021.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Rector of Masaryk University
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Leader of the Civic Democratic Party

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