Jewish 100, 2014: Bohuslav Sobotka – Government
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
Marking one year in office as Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka exemplifies the new breed of politicians that have emerged in Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism 25 years ago. A social democrat, Sobotka’s plan to tackle the Czech Republic’s economic recession involves high levels of social spending as well as a closer relationship with the European Union. But unlike many on the left in Europe, Sobotka is refreshingly free of animus towards Israel. As he told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on an official visit to Jerusalem last year, the Czech Republic’s “closest allies” are its immediate neighbor, Slovakia, and Israel. Among the slew of agreements signed by the Czechs and the Israelis last year is one concerning joint medical research and another on Holocaust commemoration.