The 55-year old Czech is a senior politician with strong EU-sceptic and anti-integration views. He has been an MEP for already 15 years. Mr Zahradil is chair of the ACER (Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe) the pan-European movement affiliated with the parliamentary group ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists). He is an active parliamentarian with his work being focused on international trade.
The future of the ECR group in the European Parliament is uncertain. With all 19 UK Conservative MEPs leaving, the ECR group is anticipated to shrink significantly if no new parties join in. With the group relying on the politically strong Central European right-wing parties, Mr Zahradil was the only candidate for becoming ECR’s Spitzenkandidat.
Key policy priorities:
Multi-speed EU, freedom of Member States to pursue their own foreign policy interests
National approach to immigration (incl. increasing the rate of returns for failed asylum seekers) – with EU having an advisory role
Pragmatic approach to environment protection considering the interest of large businesses
Focus on international trade agreements